Measuring Time

To kick off 2022, the exhibition FUTURA will bring together a group of around thirty international artists who deal in their work with fundamental questions regarding temporality, sustainability and visions of the future. About 200 artworks on view engage in surprising dialogues across centuries and disciplines – and many of them are new, created especially for the exhibition. The show marks the 25th year of the ongoing work Tropfsteinmaschine (Dripstone Machine) (1996–2496) by Bogomir Ecker (b. 1950). Running right through the building from roof to base storey, the machine commenced operation with the opening of the Galerie der Gegenwart (Gallery for Contemporary Art of the Hamburger Kunst­halle) and is designed to run for 500 years. Through the interaction of rainwater, a plant biotope in the muse­um foyer, and a piece of limestone, a dripstone, or stalagmite, is gradually being formed. Visitors are taken on a mental journey into the future, inspiring the ques­tions: What is time and how can it be represented and measured artistically? FUTURA expands on these issues to ask how we can shape the future and what art as an aesthetic category can contribute to a »future as a form of thought«. Bogomir Ecker, who is curating the show together with Brigitte Kölle (Head of Col­lection Contemporary Art), has designed the exhi­bition space as an associative and experimental framework for FUTURA. In an arrangement that resembles a playing field, he used recycled museum inventory to build a backdrop for manifes­tations of matter, change and transformation processes that also serves as a plat­form for the works of the participating artists.

All of the partition walls have been removed from the first floor of the Galerie der Gegenwart, creating an open exhibition space for the works of art, artefacts and natural objects on display. A drawing by Caspar David Friedrich from 1826 meets up with a contemporary photograph by Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962); Katinka Bock’s (b. 1976) ceramic installation Trostpfützen (Consolatory Puddles), made espe­cial­ly for the exhibition, encounters Gustave Courbet’s The Grotto of the Loue (1864); and geological meteorites turn up next to an immersive installation by the young Hamburg artist Elena Greta Falcini (b. 1986).


Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive interdisciplinary programme of events entitled FUTURA: Future as a Form of Thought, in cooperation with Tropf­stein e. V. A musical premiere of a specially developed composition by Daniel Ott, readings with the author Emma Braslavsky and the actor Jens Harzer, talks and lectures by famous philosophers, literary scholars and art historians are parts of the programme. A series of science fiction films at Metropolis Cinema Hamburg, work­shops with Fridays for Future activists and looks behind the scenes are also offered.
A richly illustrated publication (Verlag Kettler) – conceived by Bogomir Ecker – with essays by Brigitte Kölle, Johanne Mohs and Uwe M. Schneede is accompanying the exhibition. The publication will be published on the 5th of February and will be presented and signed by Ecker at the same day. It can be purchased in the Museum Shop for 35 euros or can be ordered online at

Featured artists: Katinka Bock, John Cage, Nina Canell, Gustave Courbet, Attila Csörgő, Hanne Darboven, Edith Dekyndt, Bogomir Ecker, Oswald Egger, Elena Greta Falcini, Ceal Floyer, Caspar David Friedrich, Monika Grzymala, Channa Horwitz, Pierre Huyghe, Daniel Janik, Samson Kambalu, On Kawara, Axel Loytved, Sarah Lucas, Étienne-Jules Marey, Daniel Ott, Johanna Reich, Jens Risch, Philipp Otto Runge, Ani Schulze, Roman Signer, Lucía Simón Medina, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Rayyane Tabet and Robin Watkins.

A project of the Hamburger Kunsthalle in cooperation with Tropfstein e. V.

Supported by: Stiftung Kunstfonds, Philipp Otto Runge Stiftung, Malschule in der Kunsthalle e. V., Förderstiftung Hamburger Kunsthalle, Schweizer Kulturstiftung Pro Helvetia, Ministry of Culture and Media Hamburg


The complete supporting program to the exhibition

Some events are offered in English
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