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HONEY, I REARRANGED THE COLLECTION

#1 The Magic of Things. Perfidious Objects

The Hamburger Kunsthalle owns an important collection of international contemporary art from the 1960s to the present. One of the museum’s central missions is to preserve its collection for future generations and to continue to expand it through acquisitions and gifts. At the same time, it is a great pleasure to keep the collection alive and accessible to our visitors by presenting the works in changing constellations. HONEY, I REARRANGED THE COLLECTION tells of the joy of working with such a rich collection, highlighting its narrative abundance and diversity.

HONEY, I REARRANGED THE COLLECTION – originally the title of a work group by the American artist Allen Ruppersberg – is a cordial invitation to (re)discover the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s collection of contemporary art. The large-scale presentation has been conceived to span a period of three years, with each year dedicated to a central realm of human knowledge and experience. The first exhibition addresses the relationship between people and things, the second will focus on interpersonal relationships, and the last on how we relate to the space that surrounds us.

# 1 The Magic of Things. Perfidious Objects (2016)
# 2 Help Me Hurt Me. Between Care and Cruelty (2017) 
      A Tribute to Bruce Nauman on his 75th Birthday
# 3 Bouncing in the Corner. Surveying Space (2018)

Like characters in a play, some artworks will put in a cameo appearance in individual scenes and then disappear again. Others will be “on stage” continuously throughout all three parts of the presentation, offering the opportunity to re-interpret them in these changing contexts.

# 1 The Magic of Things. Perfidious Objects

Kicking off the exhibition trilogy HONEY, I REARRANGED THE COLLECTION (2016 to 2018) is the show The Magic of Things. Perfidious Objects. The featured works tell of our relationship with things using the language of art. What is known today as the “material turn” in the humanities and cultural studies expresses a growing interest in the object which coincides – perhaps surprisingly – with the explosion of digital technologies in an increasingly virtual world. Things – utilitarian objects, goods, collectibles and status symbols – dominate our daily lives to a large degree. As long as they function and everything goes smoothly, we are not really aware of their presence. But sometimes, things seem to take on a life of their own, even acting downright stubborn and mischievous, putting up resistance to our efforts, interrupting what we’re doing or speeding things up uncontrollably. The potential in this perfidy is evoked by artists in varied and captivating fashions.

With some 50 artworks by over 30 international artists, the exhibition focuses on how we see and think about the things that surround us. Closely related sections such as “The Secret Life of Things”, “The Way Things Go”, “The Thing as a Commodity”, “Order and Meaning” and “The Transience of Things” tell the story of the intense and multi-faceted relationship between people and things from multiple individual viewpoints.

Lothar Baumgarten, Anna und Bernhard Blume, KP Brehmer, Thorsten Brinkmann, Bogomir Ecker, Domenico Gnoli, Andreas Gursky, Raymond Hains, Jeppe Hein, Almut Heise, Rudolf Herz, Candida Höfer, Rebecca Horn, Christian Jankowski, Konrad Klapheck, Louise Lawler, Annette Messager, Reinhard Mucha, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Fischli und David Weiss, Sigmar Polke, Bernhard Prinz, Jeroen de Rijke und Willem de Rooij, Dieter Roth, Allen Ruppersberg, Jörg Sasse, Wiebke Siem, Andreas Slominski, Andy Warhol

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