Skulptur Projekte, Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia); Day 1

Click here to read the review of Skulptur Projekte on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch). Here is a report in pictures of our first day in Münster.

We started out in a less glamorous venue: a tunnel next to the railway station where Emeka Ogboh (1977) has installed a soundscape based on the work of the famous blind American musician Moondog (1916-1999), who died in Münster.

Although it’s an interesting work the tunnel has been turned into a bicycle parking which doesn’t leave enough space for both pedestrians and cyclists who use the tunnel. Also the recorded spoken word was hardly understandable because of the tunnel acoustics.

In the mean time there was enough graffiti etc. to see on the walls.

Like many old German cities that were destroyed during WWII there is a sense of remorse and grief in Münster’s monuments. In the heyday of modernism and abstraction (1960) this work (Unteilbares Deutschland / Undividable Germany) was made by Anni Buschkötter (1913-2010) in an attempt to combine abstraction with content.

Next to it is Nietzsche’s Rock by Justin Matherly (1972).

Not one of the strongest works of  this year’s edition, as it tries to create a kind of philosophical profundity seemingly only by its title.

Nearby is the monument for Paul Wulf (1921-1999) by Silke Wagner (1968). Wulf was a local anti-Nazi hero, who was forcedly sterilised by the Nazi’s for being mentally deranged.

The statue is being used as a kind of advertising column for information about Wulf from the digital archive . It is a work of the 2007 edition.

In front of and behind the 18th century Erbdrostenhof (Hereditary Bailiff’s Court) is the work Privileged Points by Nairy Baghramian (1971), about which i wrote in the VLR review.

Just behind the Erbdrostenhof is the Clemenskirche (St. Clement’s Church), originally built in the 18th century after a design by J.C. Schlaun.

After destruction in WWII the present building is a rebuilt copy of the 1950s and 60s.

In the Dominikanerkirche (Dominican Church) was an uninteresting show of local art. The church itself is 18th century, was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

As the trip from The Hague was long and the weather was hot we needed some extra liquid to keep us going, meanwhile enjoying local creativity.

Prinzipalmarkt (Main Market) with its post WWII façades and with Lambertikirche (St. Lambert’s Church).

St.-Paulus-Dom (St. Paul’s Cathedral) at Domplatz (Cathedral Square) has an originally Romanesque late 12th century westwork, which was heavily restored after WWII.

The rest of the cathedral was built from the 13th century onwards in Gothic style and is said to be still quite original.


In the LWL Museum für Kunst und Kultur (formerly the Westphalian Landesmuseum) is the impressive and strangely moving installation Tender tender by Michael Dean (1977) about which i have written extensively on VLR.

It is so full of detail that it is difficult to get away from it.

Over the atrium is the 1997 edition’s Untitled (Books) (I sincerely hope this hype of saying a work has no title and then giving it a title between brackets anyway is over now) by Rachel Whiteread (1963), a wonderful work, both unobtrusive and monumental.

The 1970s architectural additions to the museum are perfectly in the modernist style of that time, but also very open and quite a relief in between all the historicising  façades of the city.

Next to the museum, in the Westfälische Kunstverein, is the exhibition Surplus of Myself by Tom Burr (1963) in which Burr seems to reinvigorate the language of minimalism with the personal.

It looks like a somewhat belated postmodern reaction in these post-postmodern days, but even so it works well in the exhibition space of the Kunstverein.

Not far from the museum in a small car park is Sculpture by the duo Peles Empire, a wonderful piece about which i have written on VLR.

It took some time to find Angst by Ludger Gerdes (1954-2008).

It was originally made for the Fort Asperen open air exhibition in 1989 in the Netherlands in the Germany Year. Now it looks over Cosima von Bonin’s and Tom Burr’s Benz Bonin Burr (about which i’ve written on VLR), with a sculpture by Henry Moore (1898-1986).

This is not Christo but part of our view from an otherwise fine terrace.

We were in dire need of a hearty German dinner after a lot of sauntering and strolling along. The Schweinefleisch (porc) and Dicke Bohnen (thick beans) tasted excellent!

And with an evening stroll back to the hotel along the cathedral,

one of the originally Four Gateways by Daniel Buren (1938), a relic of the 1987 edition,

the Lambertikirche and

the Museum of Lacquer Art, we ended the day. Day 2 will follow in the next blog report!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists.


Bertus Pieters

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