M HKA ENSEMBLES
M HKA sets as its core task to ‘present an art hypothesis to the public’ or, in other words, to ‘mediate a vision of art’. This Art Hypothesis is a vision of art formulated by the museum and presented to the world. A classic museum arranges the artistic past into a ‘master narrative’, a canon. That canon gives the impression of being final and unchangeable. A museum for contemporary art, on the other hand, must continually challenge its views on the past, present and future; it must test its visions of artists, of the public, of society. In that way it can enrich, reconsider and reformulate its insight. The vision of art that the museum formulates therefore lives and evolves, continuously gaining power.
To formulate its Art Hypothesis M HKA takes as its starting point the vision of artists whom it finds important. This means that everything these artists do, everything they consider to be part of their practice, is of interest. These artists’ works require particular space and attention, but their preliminary studies and documents, editions, artists’ books and other printed matter, texts, blogs, websites and secondary sources are often equally important manifestations of their artistic energy. How artists position themselves in the world and present their work is also significant. When the different approaches that make up an artist’s vision are connected clusters may be created, and when related works, or clusters of works, are brought together they may create ensembles.
Organising connections is therefore an important part of giving shape to the Art Hypothesis. Ensembles can be created and structured in the most diverse ways, starting with the initial entry of information and metadata. With each action the ensemble continues to grow. Over time, this method will expand into a new dynamic museum practice.
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M HKA has acquired the complete USEFUL LIFE for its collection in 2009, a key exhibition in the development of contemporary art in Shanghai.
M HKA acquired the SANTHAL FAMILY ensemble on the occasion of the exhibition Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture in 2008. W
JIMMIE DURHAM ENSEMBLE
This ensemble and digital application is an outcome of M HKA’s extensive long-term research in the oeuvre of Jimmie Durham and starts with an