Sculpture projects

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Giant Pool Balls by Claes Oldenburg am Aasee (Photo: 2005)
Sculpture Do you look up and read the words ... by Ilya Kabakow (1997) (Photo: 2009)

The Sculpture Projects are an international art exhibition of sculptures and sculptures in public space that has been taking place in Münster , Westphalia, every ten years since 1977 . The exhibition takes place parallel to every second documenta in Kassel. Artists are invited to Münster to realize an artistic project at a location of their choice within the city. After the 100 days of exhibition, many of the works were bought by the city, the LWL Museum for Art and Culture or the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster and became a permanent part of the cityscape.


The three rotating squares gave the impetus for the first exhibition (Photo: 2006)

For the sculpture projects , the team of curators invites internationally renowned artists to work in situ in the urban space of Münster . The question of the "relationship between art, public space and urban environment" is asked. The artists choose the location of their work of art themselves. As far as possible, the work should be located within the promenade ring . This single requirement is intended to ensure that visitors from outside the city also have the opportunity to view a large number of sculptures. The concept for visitors thus combines exploration of the city of Münster with art.

The idea of ​​bringing art into the outdoor space arose when Klaus Bußmann and Kasper König were planning an overview exhibition of modern sculpture from Auguste Rodin to the present day. This project also responded to the outrage in the Münster population against the planned installation of the non-representational sculpture Drei Rotieren Squares by George Rickey in 1973 and was intended to awaken a greater understanding of contemporary art. Since the city did not want to buy the DM 130,000 sculpture against the will of the citizens, the Westdeutsche Landesbank decided in 1975 to donate the sculpture to the city.

In 1977 artists were finally invited to Münster to design a sculpture for a place within the city of their choice. The focus was and is on dealing with the historical, cultural, social or topographical events of the city and generally the relationship between art and the public in a kind of test laboratory.

The previous sculpture projects took place in the following times:

  • 1977: from July 3rd to November 13th
  • 1987: from June 14th to October 4th
  • 1997: from June 22nd to September 28th
  • 2007: from June 16 to September 30
  • 2017: from June 10th to October 1st

The exhibition is sponsored by the city of Münster and the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association (LWL). The sculpture projects are organized by the LWL Museum for Art and Culture. Support is also provided by the Art and Culture Foundation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Westphalian Wilhelms University . There are also a number of sponsors from the local economy.

After the 100 days of the exhibition, the lease agreement with the owner of the site on which the sculptures were placed expires. The concept actually provides for the sculptures to be dismantled and returned to the artists. However, many of the works of art remain permanent and so there are numerous works from past exhibitions in the city.

Local factors

Significance of the “sculpture projects” for the city of Münster

Since the second exhibition in 1987, the sculpture projects have become an important part of the external image of the city of Münster; Above all, the city's popularity abroad benefited. This is thanks to the strong advertising campaign that started in 1987. Not only were journalists from America to Asia invited, an advertising vehicle was also sent to documenta VIII in Kassel, and later to the Art Basel art fair . The exhibition became a tourist attraction in 1997. On the opening weekend, all of the city's hotels (3100 beds) were fully booked. According to the press spokesman for the Skulptur Projekte , more foreign than German guests came to the show. The short guide to the 1997 exhibition was printed in three editions of 10,000 copies each. The total number of visitors is estimated at around 500,000.

Relationship between the people of Münster and the exhibition

The relationship between the people of Münster, who are considered conservative and down-to-earth, and “their” art exhibition has changed over the years. Initially, many citizens felt the work and the entire, at that time new concept of the sculpture projects as an eyesore in the historic city. Sometimes this went so far that the artists could only work under police protection. In 1977 and 1987 there was also targeted vandalism against sculptures. In 1977 an attempt was made to roll the Giant Pool Balls into Lake Aasee, and in 1987 a lemon-yellow Madonna figure was "dragged" several times from the city center.

The negative attitude from 1977 changed only marginally until the next exhibition ten years later, and particularly controversial projects such as Trunk were not helpful in forming a positive opinion. But the climate already changed during the course of the exhibition, when the press reported very positively about the exhibition and made comparisons with documenta . Incidentally, the financial aspect was also important: the exhibition attracted many tourists, who also gave the economy in Münster some money.

The relationship between the people of Münster and the exhibition in the ten years up to 1997 had improved significantly. The fact that the Giant Pool Balls from 1977 , for example, had meanwhile become the city's trademark and other sculptures clearly shaped the cityscape, should have been beneficial for the increased acceptance .

The exhibitions

Exhibition 1977

Four of the nine planned works in the Skulptur Projekte 1977 were located at Lake Aasee , which had been enlarged to its present form a year before the exhibition. After the exhibition it turned out that the organizers had to show a financial loss of 300,000 DM. This was absorbed with the help of the city of Münster and the state. The city bought Oldenburg's Giant Pool Balls for 115,000 DM and Judd's concrete rings ( untitled ) for 185,000 DM, part of the money was raised by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The best-known contribution of 1977 were the Giant Pool Balls by Claes Oldenburg. Using drawings, watercolors and photomontages, he distributed huge billiard balls all over the city. Finally, three of these concrete balls (diameter 3.5 meters) were set up on the Aaseeterrassen. They have been owned by the city since 1987 and have been among the best-known works to date that have been created within the framework of the sculpture projects .

Under the title Unschlitt / Tallow, Joseph Beuys had an exact replica of a useless cavity above the pedestrian tunnel on Schlossplatz filled with stearin and tallow (in a mixing ratio of 23 parts stearin to one part beef tallow) and then arbitrarily cut the resulting block into six parts. The cut pieces were exhibited in the atrium of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture (then Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History). Today the work - which Beuys made a donation to the LWL Museum for Art and Culture - is part of the Marx Collection in Berlin .

Untitled by Donald Judd (Photo: 2010)

A work by Donald Judd that has no title is also permanently in Münster. At the Aasee near the all-weather zoo , he created two concentric concrete rings. The inner ring has a height that rises from 90 cm to 2.10 meters and a diameter of 13.50 meters. The outer ring maintains its height of 60 cm and measures 15 meters in diameter. According to Judd, the work represents a “topographical regulator” on the gently sloping meadows.

Ulrich Rückriem created with his contribution dolomite, cut a wall from nine stones. It stands on a path (the Jesuit corridor ), on the other side of which is the Petrikirche. The nine stones, increasing and decreasing in their height relation to each other, together with buttresses on the side of the path opposite form a space between the path to the church building. The sculpture was exhibited from 1977 to 1981. This work has been in the possession of the city of Münster since 1986 and is now also one of the works on permanent display.

Michael Asher set up a caravan in a total of 19 different places during the 1977 sculpture projects . With the installation he wanted to create a confrontation between nomadic (the caravan) and permanent living (the houses in the immediate vicinity). This project was repeated in all subsequent exhibitions, the locations remain the same.

Richard Serra exhibited two 13.40 × 2.08 × 3 meter steel walls arranged in pairs on the palace square. According to Serra, "there are no established patterns or anticipated public consciousness movements".

Additional temporary exhibition contributions were created by Carl Andre , Richard Long and Richard Serra. However, because the budget was exceeded, Bruce Nauman's proposal for a contribution could not be implemented.

Exhibition 1987

In 1987 a budget of approx. DM 15,000 was estimated for each project to be implemented. However, this framework was far exceeded by some artists. For some of these sculptures, which are actually too expensive, sponsors from the regional and national economy stepped in and in some cases also official bodies. The sponsors who supported the realization of this work included the Italian Embassy, ​​the Vienna Federal Ministry of Art, WestLB and IBM Germany. Sponsors contributed a total of DM 600,000 for the 1987 sculpture projects . The total budget of the exhibition was 1.5 million DM. The city of Münster, the LWL and the Kunststiftung NRW each contributed 300,000 DM.

A total of 61 artists created proposals for sculptures, some of which, however, were not realized due to budget overruns. Joseph Beuys also started a project in the Rieselfeldern (a tree planting), but died before completion.

Probably the best-known project of the 1987 exhibition is A Ship for Münster by Ludger Gerdes . On the Horstmarer Landweg, an undeveloped meadow area at the time of the exhibition, a 43-meter-long artificial island was created, which was framed by a moat. The island in the form of a ship, the walls of which are framed with sandstone , has its " bow " pointing exactly towards the city center. A wooden pavilion with two poplars imitates the bridge of the ship. The artist donated the sculpture to the city in 1987. In the summer of 2005, 200 m³ of mud was removed from the trench, as otherwise the ship would almost have looked stranded.

Cherry pillar by Thomas Schütte (Photo: 2005)

On Harsewinkelplatz, Thomas Schütte had the cherry pillar erected, a sandstone pillar on which he placed two bright red, oversized cherries. The column is an allusion to the reconstruction of the city after the Second World War. The sandstone makes it look older than it is. This makes it look similar to the city of Münster, which in 1945 was 90% in ruins and today shines in the style of the late Middle Ages. The proportions of the column, which are not entirely correct, also support this. The color of the cherries, a symbol of modernity on the "historic" column, should shine in competition with the paintwork of the cars that were parked on Harsewinkelplatz, which was used as a parking lot in 1987.

An initially only temporarily installed project by Rebecca Horn in the Zwinger ( The Opposite Concert ) represents a symbiosis between nature and the injustice that occurred there during the time of National Socialism. With flickering eternal lights, metal, rhythmically clicking hammers and a steady drop of water that falls twelve meters into a cistern , Horn creates an oppressive atmosphere in the former prison where the Gestapo carried out executions. For the following sculpture projects in 1997, the work was reinstalled slightly modified. The now permanent exhibition removed the taboo from the place and made it possible to install a memorial there, in which the sculpture is now firmly integrated.

The bronze sculptures at their new site

Rémy Zaugg moved the existing bronze sculptures farmhand with horse and handmaid with bull back to the entrance to the city on Bundesstraße 54 . There they had "welcomed" the rural population moving into the city to the market around 1912. Today visitors to the city meet it at the entrance of the large roundabout on Ludgeriplatz . The implementation sparked heated debates about the historical identity of the city and about the interventions that modernity has made, especially when it became known that the original installation site had been forgotten due to numerous shifts.

Lothar Baumgarten installed three will-o'-the-wisps in the baskets on the tower of St. Lamberti , in which the bodies of the Anabaptists were publicly exhibited in 1535 . Today three lights flicker in the baskets at night, "as the appearance of three souls or inner fires that cannot find rest".

Keith Haring created the Red Dog for Landois, a sculpture that stands on the former grounds of the zoo and is dedicated to its founder, Hermann Landois . It represents a two-dimensional, stylized, fire-red dog made of steel, which raises its mouth barking towards the sky. Haring wanted to protest against the new office building that was being built there. According to Haring, it is “a playful protest against blind progress and a monument to the imagination”. After the sculpture, which was on loan from Galerie Hans Meier in Düsseldorf, was exhibited in Münster for ten years, it is no longer in the place to which it was dedicated.

Reiner Ruthenbeck had a 14 × 2.4 meter flag made of dark green wool hang on a 5.6 meter high flagpole in the atrium of the old building of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture. A large part of the loden fabric covers a group of around 15 bicycles that are parked as a group underneath and apparently inhibits their latent mobility. On the other hand, the bicycles seem to pull the flag, which is hanging at an angle, forward. It is a kind of portrait of the bicycle city of Münster with its rural bourgeoisie and its students. This installation is currently being presented again at the same location.

Richard Serra placed two sculptures made of a total of 24 tons of steel in the courtyard of the Erbdrostenhof ( Trunk - Johann Conrad Schlaun Recomposed ). The two steel plates, arched like Johann Conrad Schlaun's building and reaching in height to the lower edge of the balconies, were set up on edge with a cavity in between. The sculpture, which triggered massive protests from the population in 1987, has been in St. Gallen since 1988 . In his night project during the exhibition, Thomas Struth projected classic suburban architecture onto the facades in the city center until 1 a.m.

Black Form - Dedicated to the Missing Jews in front of the Hamburg-Altona town hall

Sol LeWitt placed a 1.75 × 5.20 × 1.75 meter black concrete block in front of the castle in such a way that it has since blocked the view of the entrance portal. In the botanical garden behind the castle, he placed a white pyramid that was in line with the block and the entrance. According to iconography , these are the symbols of death and life. In the official catalog for the sculpture projects , this work was still called White Pyramid / Black Form , but the artist added the addition Dedicated to the missing Jews to the block a short time later . This memorial was not only dedicated to the murdered but also to the missing Jews, i.e. the unborn children of the Jews who perished during the time of National Socialism. The square in front of the castle, which is now the seat of the Westphalian Wilhelms University , should symbolize that these missing people could have studied or taught there. The plan to set up this sculpture permanently in the same place failed due to resistance from the university. Today it stands in memory of the former Jewish community there in front of the snow-white town hall of Hamburg-Altona . The pyramid was also dismantled and is owned by the City of Hamburg.

Richard Deacon realized two snake-like sculptures ( Like a Snail A and B ) at two ends of a street , which are made of wood and galvanized steel. Today they are in the Tate Gallery in London .

Press reviews

The sculpture projects aroused interest in the media landscape around the world. Several newspapers compared the Münstersche exhibition with the documenta, the Wiener Zeitung Die Presse wrote: “Measured against the documenta 8 in Kassel, the second large exhibition company of this summer in Germany, Sculpture.Projects in Münster 1987, is the more consistent.” Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung commented in this direction: "Münster has achieved what Kassel's documenta, with its loudly proclaimed 'social dimension' and its open-air sculpture project, failed: You experience the charm and history of the city with a new awareness."

The Wall Street Journal also drew comparisons with Kassel:

“Here, unlike in Kassel, you are stunned by the respect for the environment that almost all artists have shown. Although there are very few sculptures here that can be described as outstanding in and of themselves, the experience of finding and looking at the pieces that are scattered all over the city and its outskirts is extraordinarily enjoyable. "

Other newspapers dealt with the relationship between the people of Münster and their exhibition. The Bauwelt wrote: “Whether the people of Münster appreciate it themselves or not: They are to be envied for an exhibition that is unique in every respect. There has seldom been art in public space so varied, so high-quality and so illuminating elsewhere. "
According to Capital , the relationship between the exhibition and the Münster residents had improved significantly since the first sculpture projects :" With mixed feelings, but rather proud of them Münsteraner to how their city attracts friends of new art from all over the world. "

The quality of the work was commented, among other things, by the Geneva Journal de Genève : “The best works have succeeded in understanding the specifics of the city and in respecting the flair of local conditions. [...] It is important to say that the exhibition covers the whole city and that a round trip takes a good day on foot. If you don't prefer the bicycles: You can borrow them, and everyone does too. "

Exhibition 1997

The total budget in 1997 was the equivalent of three million euros, supported by the city, LWL, the Kunststiftung NRW and some sponsors. A total of 76 artists in 73 groups worked on the sculpture projects 1997, the number of visitors is estimated at around 500,000.

The pier in the Aasee serves as a recreational platform

Jorge Pardo built a 40 meter long pier into the Aasee due to the almost complete lack of footbridges . Its end consists of an asymmetrical viewing platform with an open, hexagonal pavilion. It is made entirely of wood from California's redwood .
Access to the footbridge was barred with bars from summer 2005, and in December the first meters of the planks were finally removed because the wood had rotten and, according to the city of Münster, it was no longer safe to enter. The restoration took place at the end of May 2007, the necessary funds were raised by the Sparkasse Münsterland Ost .

100 arms of the Guan-yin , state during the exhibition

The sculpture 100 Arms of the Guan-yin by Huang Yong Ping also remained in the city . On a traffic island south of the St. Ludgeri Church on Marienplatz there is a round frame in the shape of a bottle dryer, but instead of the bottles, 50 arms were attached during the exhibition that held mundane things like brooms and hooks. On the one hand, the sculpture is a reference to the Buddhist goddess Thousand-armed Guanyin , but on the other hand also to the crucifix of St. Ludgeri, whose figure of Jesus lost both arms in a bomb attack during World War II. Since the arms of the statue were made of not very weather-resistant material, they had to be removed in 2002. In 2007 the city's cultural office succeeded in having the artist manufacture new, weather-resistant aluminum arms for around 19,000 euros. In time for the start of the sculpture exhibition, the formerly clay-colored, now optically metallic-looking arms were installed.

It was permanently installed look up and read the words of Ilya Kabakov in the immediate vicinity of the concrete rings of the sculpture projects 1977. It is a “poetic transmission tower”. Letters are formed from thin wire on the cross braces at a height of 13 meters. They result in the text: My dear! You lie in the grass, your head back, not a soul around you, you only hear the wind and look up at the open sky - at the blue up there, where the clouds are moving - that is perhaps the most beautiful thing you have in life have done and seen. The sculpture was bought by the LWL Museum for Art and Culture.

The text of the sculpture Do you look up ... by Ilya Kabakov

The artist Herman de Vries rebuilt a wild garden with his sanctuary (Latin: sacred space) consisting of 20,000 bricks . From all four directions there are oval openings that invite the viewer to look inside. A text in Sanskrit is engraved on the frieze of the "round temple", which was built according to a traditional masonry technique from the 18th century : om. this is perfect. that is perfect. perfect comes from perfect. take perfect from perfect, it remains perfect.

Martin Kippenberger has with Metro-Net. Subway around the world also set up part of its global, fictitious subway network in Münster (other stations are on the island of Sýros , in Dawson and in Kassel for documenta X). At the Kreuzschanze he installed a subway ventilation shaft from which the noise of a passing train can be heard at regular intervals. This seems particularly ironic, since Münster would have no use for an underground train because of the many cyclists and the limited size of the city.

Wolfgang Winter and Berthold Hörbelt have set up four information stands made from bottle transport crates. In the box houses, upholstered boxes were set up as seating furniture, city maps and information on the locations of all sculptures were available for visitors.

Rachel Whitereads Untitled (Books) in the LWL Museum for Art and Culture is a plaster cast negative form of a bookshelf with the books inside. The ambiguity of the work is that on this shelf it is not the books that are visible, but the normally invisible dusty room that does not contain any books.

Nam June Paik created one of the most famous sculptures in the Skulptur Projekte in 1997, the 32 cars for the 20th century: play Mozart's Requiem quietly : He arranged 32 automobiles completely in silver from the years 1920, 1930, 1940 and 1950 in front of the Prince-Bishop's Palace in four groups each to a geometric figure. Instead of engines and other interiors, the cars contained electronic scrap such as old televisions and radios, some of which sounded softly Mozart's Requiem .

Karin Sander took the requirement to choose a location in the center of the city for her sculpture literally. She let determine the center of gravity of the city. This point, which is about one kilometer south of St. Paulus Cathedral at Von-Kluck-Straße 34/36 , was marked with a red circle with a diameter of 1.3 meters, the exact error tolerance of the measurement.

Georg Herold hung on his sculpture bent poetry, w. up! In the palace garden around 250 red roof battens on steel cables on trees so that they form a labyrinth. On the underside of the slats he noted quotations from the history of literature, art and philosophy.

The project was not realized by Gabriel Orozco , who, following the Send fair, wanted to sink half of a Ferris wheel in the Schlossplatz. A project by Charles Ray , who wanted to plant a tree in such a way that it rotates on its own axis once every two hours, moved by a mechanism under the ground, could also not be realized .

Press reviews

In 1997, Germany's largest newspapers and magazines also wrote about the sculpture projects. In its 22/1997 issue, Der Spiegel wrote, among other things: “The pioneering project sculptures made it popular in Münster - and is now breaking all genre boundaries. (...) While the Kassel showrooms are still tightly closed, the preparations in Münster could hardly be kept secret because they mostly take place outdoors. ”The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung also reported on the exhibition again and came to a conclusion that was primarily the Those responsible and sponsors should have liked: "The art of possibilities - the third 'Sculpture.Projects' show is the best PR coup that Münster can have".

Again, comparisons were made with documenta, which entered its Xth season in 1997. The Süddeutsche Zeitung saw the winner again in Münster (“Ten years are not an era - the sculpture projects in Münster steal the show from the documenta with imagination and wit.”), Die Woche also commented similarly: “Better 99 days in Münster than 100 days Kassel! The large-scale exhibition SKULPTUR.PROJEKTE tries to compete with the Documenta - with considerable success. ”The Illustrierte Bunte also published a report, but left the assessment to the reader:“ Magic Münster - the whole city is a work of art. The documenta gets competition: Münster will be Europe's sculpture capital for three months. "

The Berlin taz wrote about the philosophy of the exhibition : “No works are ordered to Münster, but artists are invited.” There were also reports in the Los Angeles Times , El País from Madrid, the New York Times and the French Le Moons .

Exhibition 2007

The 2007 exhibition took place from June 16 to September 30, the curators were Kasper König, Brigitte Franzen and Carina Plath (as associated curator), project manager Christine Litz . The patron of the fourth exhibition was Federal President Horst Köhler . The number of visitors is estimated at over 550,000.

In the run-up to the sculpture projects , all works acquired by the city in the past 30 years were appraised and, if necessary, restored. This was necessary for some of the works, as they were smeared with graffiti, among other things . The first preparatory work for the actual exhibition began in February 2007.

The total budget was 6.32 million euros, 50% of which was planned for the sculptures themselves. In addition to the city of Münster, the sponsors included the LWL and the Federal Cultural Foundation and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Art Foundation. Local companies such as Westfälische Provinzial also provided money. The show recorded a profit of around 300,000 euros. The exhibition was part of the Grand Tour 2007 , a merger of the four major art exhibitions of summer 2007; other participants were documenta 12 , the Biennale di Venezia and Art Basel .

For 2007, 37 artists, including Rosemarie Trockel , Mike Kelley , Marko Lehanka , Guillaume Bijl and Isa Genzken , were invited to design 35 sculptures in public spaces, but ultimately only 34 works of art were actually completed.

Bruce Nauman : Square Depression

Bruce Nauman took up the project in 2007, which had not been realized in 1977 for financial reasons. On the scientific campus of the Westphalian Wilhelms University he set up a "negative pyramid", the so-called Square Depression . The concrete plant with edge lengths of 25 meters each forms a pyramid that was built 2.30 meters into the ground.

Guillaume Bijl : Archaeological Site (A Sorry Installation)

A focus of the exhibition in 2007 was the Aasee and the surrounding park areas. There Guillaume Bijl installed his sculpture Archaeological Site (A Sorry Installation) , a fake archaeological excavation site. Bijl built a church tower into a dug hole in the ground, so that the viewer has to think that it is a real excavation. Rosemarie Trockel planted two yew hedges near the Tormin Bridge at the end of 2006 and pruned them during the sculpture projects . The asymmetrical cut and the size of 7 × 3.5 meters as well as the height of 4.5 meters should make any comparison with conventional hedges impossible. This sculpture stayed in Münster and is kept in trim by the city. Under the bridge itself, audio artist Susan Philipsz installed two loudspeakers from which her voice can be heard. She sings both voices of the barcarole , which is supposed to remind of the rocking of a gondola in the canals of Venice. The rights to this were acquired in 2008 by the LWL Museum for Art and Culture, which lets the singing sound every Sunday.

Rosemarie Trockel : Less Sauvage than Others (Less Wild Than Others)

The floor relief We are still and reflective by Martin Boyce , which is located on the old zoo site , was acquired by the Association of Merchants in Münster for 50,000 euros. This makes Münster the first German city in which a work of art by Boyce is permanently on display.

The handling of the memorial column, Münster's story from below by Silke Wagner , caused a dispute in Münster . The majority of the CDU and FDP in the culture committee did not want to buy the work of art reminiscent of the Münster Nazi victim Paul Wulf , which had a binding effect on the city council. It was not until the Mitte district council decided to set up the column in the Servatiiplatz area . This should be financed through private donations. For this reason, the sculpture remained in storage until it was officially opened to the public on September 5, 2010. The starting point for Martha Rosler's work was similar: the culture committee did not want to keep the copy of a stone imperial eagle from the headquarters of the air transport command , a Nazi building by Ernst Sagebiel , which was set up in front of the Münster Arkaden . BV stepped in again and secured the work of art.

The artist Deimantas Narkevicius first attracted attention in April . He wanted to transport the Karl Marx Monument to Munster for the duration of the exhibition and set it up there; However, the city of Chemnitz prevented both this and the subsequent creation of a copy. The artist's widow Lew Kerbel had already given her consent for this.

The media focused on two projects at the opening. On the one hand, this was Mike Kelley's Petting Zoo ( zoo) . Not far from the main train station , Kelley put animals in a hall that could actually be petted. Among them was a column of salt in the shape of a woman (a reference to Lot's wife ), which the animals constantly licked. Rock formations named after Lot's wife are shown on three screens. The other very positively received project is Trickle down - The public space in the age of its privatization by Andreas Siekmann . He put thirteen plastic figures, as they are set up by many cities as “city art” and marketing, into a scrap press and set up the resulting plastic ball together with the press in front of the Erbdrostenhof .

Thomas Schütte returned with his project to Harsewinkelplatz, which is adorned with its cherry pillar from 1987. Pawel Althamer had a path leading away from the lake at the southeastern end of the Aasee, which suddenly ends after just under a kilometer. There the visitor either had to go back down the path or cut through a barley field.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster reproduced sculptures from previous exhibitions on a scale of 1: 4 at the Kanonengraben as part of the Roman de Münster - erected and thus torn out of their actual surroundings, but with which she was also able to create an overview of 30 years of sculpture projects . This popular project was also to remain in Münster, the Sparda-Bank Münster wanted to buy it for over 100,000 euros and display it in front of their new main building in the North Center . The garden area was not suitable for the installation.

Hans-Peter Feldmann had an underground public toilet facility on Domplatz renovated in order to “spare the local“ customers ”“ negative aesthetic experiences ”. The work of Dora García is a moving or living sculpture. Inspired by the marginal figure in Brecht's Threepenny Opera (and its model The Beggars Opera by John Gay), she created the fictional character of a beggar, who, however, was embodied by a real person and roamed around the cityscape. Initially as a secret reporter of everyday life, he slowly developed into an integral part of the city community. Filch's experiences were published daily on an internet blog.

Press reviews

In the run-up to the exhibition, the comparison with the other three major exhibitions dominated. The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in particular asked art experts in a series about the relationship between documenta and sculpture projects . According to Focus , the “charming Westphalian city” beat the “over-staged Documenta in Kassel”. According to the FAZ, “not everything was successful with this sculpture exhibition”, but it shows “what a city can still be: a place for experiences, a network of paths that not only serves to get you out of the office to go shopping and then come home”. The taz described the sculpture projects as largely unknown: “But Münster? The little town behind the Teutoburg Forest is considered to be conservative Catholic, and despite the high reputation of the artists and curators, very few people know that a contemporary exhibition takes place here every ten years. "

Exhibition 2017

On August 31, 2017, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the sculpture projects. Here he examines Peles Empire .

The fifth exhibition of the Skulptur Projekte took place from June 10th to October 1st, 2017. The artistic director was Kasper König . He was supported by the curators Britta Peters and Marianne Wagner. Imke Itzen took over the project management.

As with the exhibition ten years earlier, all objects that were acquired through the Skulptur Projekte were examined, cleaned and, if necessary, restored.

In contrast to the previous exhibitions, this time there was a “satellite” or The Hot Wire (Eng .: “The hot wire”). This is a cooperation project between the sculpture projects and the sculpture museum Glaskasten Marl . It was about so-called project modules: artists who work in both cities, exchanging sculptures, an exhibition of models from the archive of sculpture projects in the sculpture museum Glaskasten Marl, a video exhibition in the school on Kampstrasse in Marl and reciprocal visits. For this purpose, a free shuttle bus commuted from Münster to Marl and back during the sculpture projects. For the cooperation, the project of the cherry pillar should be set up by Thomas Schütte in Marl, but the artist refused and without further ado built a similar pillar with melons under the name Melon pillar for the satellite city .


The artists of the Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017:


stage name Project name description material Location
Egg arakawa Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster [rough quotation, rough pastoral, gruff minster] Roughly rasterized LED panels that refer to paintings by various artists 7 LED strips on hand-dyed textile, LED transmitter, power supply units, SD cards, energy converters, cardboard boxes, amplifiers, media players Meadow in front of the Kump house

Mecklenbecker Strasse 252, 48163 Münster

Nairy Baghramian Popular positions / privileged points Lacquered bronze, metal, lashing chain, spindle tensioner, rubber Forecourt and backyard of the Erbdrostenhof

Salzstrasse 38,

48143 Munster

Aram Bartholl 12 V Thermoelectric device that converts heat generated by fire into energy Router, grill, thermal generator, cables, electronics, software, database Telecommunications tower

Playground on Mühlhäuser Strasse,

48155 Munster

Aram Bartholl 5 V Thermoelectric device that converts heat generated by fire into energy Campfire, wood, steel, thermal generator, cables, electronics Meadow next to the theater in the pump house

Gartenstrasse 123, 48147 Münster

Aram Bartholl 3 V Thermoelectric device that converts heat generated by fire into energy Aluminum, acrylic glass, thermal generator, electronics, LEDs, tea lights, steel chain Underpass at Schlossplatz

Schlossplatz 46, 48143 Münster

Cosima from Bonin + Tom Burr Benz Bonin Burr Low loader, wooden box, safety ropes Forecourt of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture

Rothenburg 30, 48143 Münster

Andreas Bunte Laboratory Life  [laboratory conditions] 16 mm film, digitized (color, sound), duration between 2 and 3 minutes, accessible via posters with QR codes → H1, Schlossplatz 46, 48143 Münster

→ VHS Münster, Aegidiistraße 3, 48143 Münster

→ Stadthaus I, Klemensstrasse 10, 48143 Münster

Gerard Byrne In Our Time  [in our time] Video, with no specific duration City library

Alter Steinweg 11, 48143 Münster


Shaina Anand + Ashok Sukumaran

matrix Black cables, monitors, switches, speakers, custom electronics Theater Munster

Neubrückstrasse 63, 48143 Münster

Michael Dean Tender Tender  [Be tender, be tender] Foil, concrete, stickers, metal, paper Atrium in the old building of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture and the outside area in front of the old building

Domplatz 10, 48143 Münster

Jeremy Deller Speak to the Earth and It Will Tell You (2007-2017) [Speak to the Earth, She Will Tell You (2007-2017)] Wooden shelf with diaries, kept, installed and made accessible in a garden shed 2007-2017 Allotment garden association Mühlenfeld

Lublinring, 48147 Münster

Nicole Eisenman Sketch for a Fountain  [sketch for a fountain] Bronze, plaster, water basin Meadow next to the promenade

Am Kreuztor / Promenade, 48143 Münster

Ayşe Erkmen On Water  [on the water] A jetty installed across the harbor basin just below the surface of the water, which enables visitors to "walk on the water" Sea freight containers, steel girders, gratings City harbor 1

→ North side: Hafenweg 24

→ South side: Am Mittelhafen 20,

48155 Munster

Lara Favaretto Momentary Monument - The Stone Tittlinger coarse grain (granite) → northeast meadow between Ludgeriplatz and promenade (behind the bus stops),

48151 Munster

→ Second part of the work in Marl on the town hall forecourt Creiler Platz 1, 45768 Marl

Hreinn Friðfinnsson fourth house of the house project since 1974 [fourth house in the house series since 1974] Polished stainless steel Clearing in the Sternbuschpark

Sternbusch 24, 48153 Münster

Gintersdorfer / Klaßen

Monika Gintersdorfer + Knut Klaßen

Humiliation is not the end of the world Theater in the pump house

Gartenstrasse 123, 48147 Münster

Pierre Huyghe After ALife Ahead  [After a K-life before what's to come] Concrete floor of the ice rink, logic game, ammonia, sand, clay, phreatic water, bacteria, algae, bees, peacocks, aquarium, black switchable glass, Weber cones (Conus Textile), GloFish, incubator, human cancer cells, genetic algorithm, augmented reality, automated ceiling structure , Rain Former ice rink

at Steinfurterstrasse 113 - 115, 48149 Münster

John Knight John Knight, A Work in situ  [John Knight, a work in situ] Carbon fiber reinforced plastic Facade of the new LWL Museum for Art and Culture

Domplatz 10, 48143 Münster

Justin Matherly Nietzsche's Rock  [Nietzsche Rocks] Concrete, fiberglass, medical walking aids, wood, metal Meadow on the promenade

Corner of Vincke-Straße / Salzstraße, 48143 Münster

Christian Odzuck OFF OFD Concrete, steel, wood, spoil Andreas-Hofer-Strasse 50,

48145 Munster

Emeka Ogboh Passage through Moondog / Quiet Storm [Passage to Moondog / Quiet Storm] Sound installation (soundscapes, couplets from Moondog, trimba game, 16 loudspeakers) Hamburg tunnel

Münster Central Station, 48143 Münster

Peles Empire

Katharina Stöver + Barbara Wolff

Sculpture  [sculpture] Dibond, ceramic tiles, galvanized steel and Jesmonite Parking lot of the Higher Administrative Court

Corner of Aegidiistraße / Aegidiikirchplatz, 48143 Münster

Alexandra Pirici Leaking Territories  [Leaking territories] Friedenssaal in the historical town hall of Münster

Prinzipalmarkt 10, 48143 Münster

Mika Rottenberg Cosmic generator Asian shop, video (approx. 20 min.), Plastic objects, street sign Gartenstrasse 29,

48147 Munster

Xavier Le Roy with / with Scarlet Yu Still Untitled Anytime, anywhere
Sany (Samuel Nyholm) Marginal Frieze Fallande ting series and film trailers as well as drawings for banners, carrier bags, flyers, stickers and merchandise Untitled (Estrid)

333 × 340 cm Schlossplatz 34, 48143 Münster

Untitled (Grazyna) 170 × 370 cm

Hüfferstraße 20, 48149 Münster

Untitled (Apisina)

117 × 247 cm

Bispinghof 20, 48143 Münster

Untitled (Yggdrasil)

370 × 340 cm

Kampstrasse 8-10, 45768 Marl

Untitled (Norns)

280 × 235 cm Kampstrasse 8-10, 45768 Marl

Gregor Schneider N. Schmidt Pferdegasse 19 48143 Munster Germany Rheydt 2017, free-standing rooms in rooms, blockboard and plywood panels on wooden structures, 16 doors, 6 windows, 10 lights, 8 radiators, 2 showers, 2 toilets, 2 sinks, other inventory, gray and white floor tiles, brown and gray carpet, white and beige walls and wallpaper, invisible action LWL Museum for Art and Culture

Domplatz 10, 48143 Münster, access via Pferdegasse 19

Nora Schultz Pointing their fingers at an unidentified event out of frame  [ Pointing their fingers at an unidentified event out of frame ] Foil, carpet, 2-channel video installation with sound, fault in the billboard Foyer of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture

Domplatz 10, 48143 Münster

Thomas Schütte Nuclear Temple Hollow form, 8 mm sheet steel, laser cut, welded Old zoo, behind the music school

Himmelreichallee 50, 48149 Münster (access via promenade)

Michael Smith Not Quite Under_Ground Installation, various media and activities Tattoo parlor

Hansaring 38, 48155 Münster, Germany

Hito Steyerl HellYeahWeFuckDie 3-channel video installation, environment, 4 min., HD video (2016) LBS West

Himmelreichallee 40, 48149 Münster Access via Promenade, Foyer A

Koki Tanaka Provisional Studies: Workshop # 7 How to Live Together and Sharing the Unknown [Provisional Studies: Workshop # 7 How to Live Together and Share the Unknown] Action and workshops, installation of the video documentation in four rooms Johannisstrasse 18/20,

48143 Münster Access via the passage between Johannisstrasse 18/20 and 21, opposite the Aegidiimarkt

Oscar Tuazon Burn the Formwork  [Burn the shuttering] Concrete, wood, fire Meadow between the harbor border route / Albersloher Weg,

48155 Munster

Joëlle Tuerlinckx Le day / 200 m Chalk spray Marl Sculpture Park

Old Brassert Cemetery, 45768 Marl

Wagner / De Burca Bye bye Germany! A melody of life 1-channel video installation, 20 min. Elephant Lounge

Roggenmarkt 15, 48153 Münster

Cerith Wyn Evans A Modified Threshold… (for Münster) Existing church bells made to ring at a (slightly) higher pitch  [church bells, slightly changed, sounding in a higher pitch] St. Stephen's Church, refrigerator St. Stephen's Church

Stephanuskirchplatz 4, 48151 Münster

Hervé Youmbi Les masques célèstes  [Heavenly masks] Voodoo-like masks that are hung in the trees above the old cemetery Wood, glass beads, wood glue, cotton thread, silicone Overwater cemetery

Wilhelmstrasse / Schlosspark, 48149 Münster

Sculpture Biennale Münsterland

From 1999 to 2005, the Münsterland Biennale took place every two years in the districts of the Münsterland . The content of these events was based on the sculpture projects and was intended to combine the current trends in contemporary art with the particularities of the region.


  • Klaus Bußmann, Kasper König (Ed.): Sculpture. Exhibition in Münster. Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe, Münster 1977.
  • Klaus Bußmann, Kasper König (ed.): Sculpture Projects in Münster 1987. DuMont, Cologne 1987, ISBN 3-88789-077-9
  • Rainer Schnettler: Exhibition of sculpture in public space. Conception, mediation, reception using the example of the "sculpture" 1977 in Münster and the "sculpture projects in Münster 1987" . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-631-43878-8
  • Klaus Bussmann, Kasper König, Florian Matzner: Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997. Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 1997, ISBN 3-7757-0649-6
  • Walter Grasskamp (Ed.): Unwanted Monuments: Modern Art in Urban Space , Munich, Schreiber 2000 (3rd edition), ISBN 978-3889600158
  • Florian Matzner (Ed.): Public Art. Art in public space. Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2001, ISBN 3-7757-9073-X
  • sculpture projects münster 07. opening credits. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2007, ISBN 3-86560-209-6
  • Brigitte Franzen, Kasper König, Carina Plath (eds.): Skulptur projekte münster 07 , Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2007
  • Johannes Kirchenmann, Florian Matzner (eds.): Documenta Kassel, Skulptur Münster, Venice Biennale , kopaed 2007, ISBN 9783867361132
  • Kasper König, Britta Peters, Marianne Wagner (Eds.): Sculpture Projects Münster 2017 , Spector Books, Leipzig 2017, ISBN 9783959051309
  • Hermann Arnhold, Ursula Frohne, Marianne Wagner (eds.): Public Matters. Debates and documents from the Skulptur Projekte archive , Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3960986706


  • Sculpture Projects Münster 2017. A film by Alina Schmuch and Jan Kiesswetter, ed. from the LWL media center for Westphalia (German-English), approx. 52 min
  • "Skulptur projekte münster 07 - The film documentation" - Documentation by the LWL media center for Westphalia (in German and English), Germany 2007, approx. 60 min. + Bonus material approx. 100 min
  • Photo archive of the sculpture projects 1997 and 2001 - (The photographer Roman Mensing has documented the exhibitions since 1997 on behalf of the organizers for the catalogs, exhibition guides and other publications.)
  • Museum check with Markus Brock : LWL Museum for Art and Culture - Sculpture Projects Münster. Synopsis and video from 3sat . First broadcast: June 18, 2017

Web links

Commons : Sculpture.Projects  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ How Munster learned to love Rickey. In: Westfälische Nachrichten. May 2, 2008, accessed September 14, 2019 .
  2. ^ "Skulptur projekte münster 07" - magazine for the exhibition, page 4.
  3. Scan of the report from Die Presse
  4. a b c Quoted from Westfälische Nachrichten: Scan of the report on pages 1 and 2
  5. Scan of the report from Bauwelt
  6. Scan of the report from the mirror : Pages 1 and 2
  7. ^ Scan of the report from the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
  8. ^ Scan of the report of the Süddeutsche Zeitung
  9. Scan of the report from the week
  10. Scan of the report from the Bunter : Pages 1 and 2
  11. Ulf Erdmann Ziegler: Let the reins fly. In: June 27, 1997, accessed April 7, 2020 .
  12. Sculpture Show of Records.
  13. ^ A 50,000 euro gift from Westfälische Nachrichten
  14. Munster is not allowed to copy Nischel. Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
  15. Focus : petting zoo and slurry tanker
  16. ^ FAZ : How sculpture is reinventing the city
  17. taz : Documenta in a square
  18. ^ Andreas Rossmann: "Sculpture Projects" Münster: Marl's hot wire . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . June 6, 2017, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed July 14, 2017]).
  19. ^ Sculpture Biennale Münsterland 2003. Retrieved on September 14, 2019 .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on December 17, 2005 in this version .