In July 1968, on the occasion of the fiftieth birthday of the Kunsthalle Bern, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the building in 2.430 square meters of white polyethylene fabric. The Kunsthalle was the first architecture in Europe that received the honor of being fully wrapped by Christo.
Interventions in the architectural structure of the Kunsthalle, such as Sol LeWitt’s structures (1972) for example, continued during the following fifty years, leading to a constant and critical examination of both the institution and its building. The centennial of the Kunsthalle Bern in 2018 is the starting point for the international conference KUNSTHALLEN. Architectures for the Continuous Contemporary in Europe and the US, which will be held at the University of Bern on September 2-3, 2016. In contrast to collecting museums the model of the Kunsthalle is characterized by freedom and novelty. Due to its dynamic concept, this institutional format contributes to the formation of contemporary art in essential ways.
The conference assembles international guests from diverse institutions and professional fields who will discuss the historical development, political implications as well as the societal positioning of the Kunsthalle. The institution’s role as curatorial field of experimentation, artistic material, and as a platform for transatlantic exchange will be examined as well.
This conference is organised by the Department for Modern and Contemporary Art History, Institute for Art History, University of Bern, in cooperation with the Institute for Art History, Basel University and the Kunsthalle Bern. It has received generous financial support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Additional speaker on Saturday, September 3, 11h45: Terry Smith, University of Pittsburgh, „Independent Art Spaces: a Global Perspective“
Concept and organisation:
Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann, Bern
Prof. Dr. Eva Ehninger, Basel
Valérie Knoll, Director Kunsthalle Bern
Contact: Olivia Baeriswyl (email@example.com)