On November 14, the Bundestag should release funds for the new Kulturforum Museum. The project is criticized – and also because of its architecture – because of the high costs already incurred before the start of construction of 450 million euros. It is here that Carsten Brosda comments on the dispute over the Berlin museum. Brosda is Senator of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and President of the German Conference of Ministers of Culture. He lived in Berlin for a long time.
Does he need a 20th century museum in the heart of Berlin? Although this issue is currently under discussion, it is in fact wrong. Because it is less a question of needs whose realization must be measured by the resources and the opportunities, but rather of the goal of such a project. And we can only answer loudly.
Public spaces for art and especially for modern art make sense. They confront us with irritations and inspirations that broaden our vision of the world and enrich our lives. Precisely because art, in the spirit of Theodor W. Adorno, is able to bring order into chaos, it has all the potential to make sense when it comes into our lives daily.
In this sense, the Museum of the twentieth century can become a place where we engage in the reality of an artistically fictional present to better understand our current social location.
Art asks questions that we do not necessarily ask ourselves. This sows doubt, opens up new perspectives and forces the debates we have to lead as a society. It finally helps us find each other. But that can not make art in the filing. But he can only do so if he is publicly confronted with the speech.
The museum of modern art looks into the present
This requires museums as public spaces. And if necessary, it also needs new rooms if the old ones are not enough.
The Museum of Modern Art can be such a space. He does not consider the past as a program, but the present, its complexity and its contradictions. The museum can develop a very special power because an art house, in its design, should always be a public commitment to the art.
Architecture is not a warming shell for a supposedly rational purpose that must be fulfilled. This is in itself a public and artistic statement of his time. Whenever we need courage publicly – and often means: architecturally – to show what that is.
This requires open spaces that invite people to be interested in art and culture and, at best, to do it together.
The attractiveness and relevance of these open spaces stem from their relationship to the environment. I have lived in Berlin for a long time and I am closely related to this city. Therefore, I am aware of the discussion about the location and I would like to give no concrete indication about remote urban planning.
The Museum of Modernity offers an opportunity to revitalize the cultural forum
But, in principle, it's difficult for me to imagine a better place for a museum of modern art than the previously unfinished space between the New National Gallery Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Philharmonic concert hall and the Hans Scharoun State Library and St. Matthew's listed church.
In the midst of this resolutely contemporary construction ensemble, a secure self-architecture is needed to add a contemporary facet to the overall impression. This requires visionary and sensitive architects like Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who understand the genius of the place and know how to work with their power.
It could also be an opportunity to revisit the revitalization of the Kulturforum as a whole.
In a place that has long been banned on the outskirts of the city, on the border between East and West, and which is now so clearly located in the heart of a reunited city in the middle of a reunited country, art can create very special references
It can interact with other branches of art, cope with social development and, most importantly, have an effect exactly where citizens of the city spend their time with their guests. The art – it becomes clear – can shape the face of a city and give it meaning.
Herzog & de Meuron are the right people for the job
There is now a need for restraint on the part of the field, especially to assess costs and planning processes. In Hamburg, at Elbphilharmonie, a fundamental mistake was made: in a great euphoria, the ceremony of inauguration of the works has already taken place at a time when the planning was not yet complete.
Olaf Scholz was the first mayor to eliminate this error as part of a complex and overly difficult reorganization.
The fact that he now has his say in the projects of the Museum of the twentieth century should give courage to Berliners. In addition to the fact that one is involved in an architectural firm that has proven around the world that it can not only create iconographic buildings, but also become a living place of social exchange.
What this means in practice can be experienced day by day, not only at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, but also at the Tate Modern in London and many other cultural buildings. Houses of culture have the chance to change whole neighborhoods for the better and release unsuspected social forces.
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Long fought for the Elbphilharmonie, it's gone well
We have long struggled in Hamburg and have also suffered a lot, until Elbphilharmonie became a success we all look forward to today. More than eleven million visitors to the Elbphilharmonie since the opening and evening after night of sold-out shows have shown the city the cultural powers that are there and ultimately their self-confidence. But with all that, we have never lost sight of one thing: the goal of creating a building that is committed to one thing only: the freedom of the arts. This is the precondition for art and culture to develop their full potential.
The capital Berlin can do the same for the whole country. But it must also have the courage and common desire to bring their artistic treasures out of the repositories into attractive and newly designed public spaces, so that they can develop their cultural and social power. With all the risks that chaos can bring, it will inevitably go hand in hand with the art.