The Way We Are 3.0

20.03.2021 - 21.08.2022
Amoako Boafo, Steve Mekoudja, 2019, Miettinen Collection

The exhibition brings together more than 190 works from different eras and contexts and addresses both contentual and formal issues. Seven thematic areas formulate artistic approaches to depicting the human being, develop a current picture of Germany, engage in multifaceted play with everyday life or the medium of the book, and investigate minimalist tendencies, photographic procedures or aesthetic contradiction. Moreover, spaces devoted to Kapwani Kiwanga, Joyce Pensato, Claudia Piepenbrock and Norbert Schwontkowski offer a dense array of insights into four artistic procedures with quite diverse emphases. And with Mel Chin an artist’s bar even makes an appearance.

One thematic area uses film, sculpture, audio, painting, photography or installation to formulate a polymorphic picture of Germany extending from National Socialism, atmospheres of the postwar era and migration past references to Romanticism, Brutalism and celebrity culture all the way to reunification, political power, the globalized economy and right-wing tendencies.

At another place in the exhibition, iconic positions of Minimal Art by Carl André, Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Fred Sandback or Charlotte Posenenske are complemented by current works of contemporary art and are revealingly brushed against the grain. Old encounters new and enters into a dialogue that discovers historical connections in the new and surprising novelties in the familiar. For example, Amoako Boafo appropriates “white” traditions of painting for his portrait depictions of People of Color, while Kasia Fudakowski uses a mop and bucket to take on the genre in a both humorous and clever manner.

Wolfgang Tillmans, on the other hand, frees himself from the traditional representational obligation of photography when he allows dust and streaks in the developing fluid to create a fortuitous and abstract image, while Monica Bonvicini confronts visitors with the exaggerated expectations of our society.

Curated by Ingo Clauß and Janneke de Vries


Exhibition on Levels 1, 2 and 5

With generous support of


Nevin Aladağ, Carl Andre, The Atlas Group (Walid Raad), Katja Aufleger, Viktoria Binschtok, Amoako Boafo, Monica Bonvicini, Carol Bove, George Brecht, Kaucilya Brooke, Trisha Brown, Peggy Buth, Jonathan Callan, Mel Chin und GALA Committee, Claudia Christoffel, Marsha Cottrell, Thomas Demand, Braco Dimitrijević, Cordula Ditz, Felix Droese, Teboho Edkins, Lars Eidinger, Cerith Wyn Evans, Exactitudes, Robert Filliou, Claire Fontaine, FORT, Kasia Fudakowski, Simon Fujiwara, General Idea, Paul Graham, Jan Groover, Raymond Hains, David Hepp, Sven Johne, Isaac Julien, Birgit Jürgenssen, Šejla Kamerić, Ellsworth Kelly, Annette Kelm, Iris Kettner, Kapwani Kiwanga, Barbara Klemm, Alicja Kwade, Zoe Leonard, Simon Lewis, Christian Marclay, Kris Martin, John McCracken, Isa Melsheimer, Jonathan Monk, Suzanne Mooney, Horst Müller, Henrike Naumann, Cady Noland, Jana Sophia Nolle, Oswald Oberhuber, Ahmet Öğüt, Roman Ondak, Stefan Panhans, Joyce Pensato, Claudia Piepenbrock, Agnieszka Polska, Charlotte Posenenske, Bettina Pousttchi, Puppies Puppies, Rima Radhakrishnan, Sebastian Riemer, Pipilotti Rist, Julian Röder, Ed Ruscha, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Michael Sailstorfer, Takako Saito, Fred Sandback, Karin Sander, Michael Schmid, Oskar Schmidt, Andreas Schmitten, Gregor Schneider, Wilhelm Schürmann, Norbert Schwontkowski, Richard Serra, David Shrigley, Laurie Simmons, Taryn Simon, Lorna Simpson, Slavs & Tatars, Andreas Slominski, Kathrin Sonntag, Daniel Spoerri, Sebastian Stumpf, Walter Swennen, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tatjana Trouvé, Kaari Upson, Marianne Wex, Rachel Whiteread, Erwin Wurm, Nil Yalter.

Participating Collections

Art Collection Telekom, Art’Us Collectors’ Collective, Sammlung Karl Gerstner, Sammlung Gräfling, Sammlung Haus N, Sammlung Haubrok, Sammlung Karin und Uwe Hollweg, Collection of R F Jefferies, The Estate Birgit Jürgenssen, Sammlung von Kelterborn, Sammlung Lafrenz, Miettinen Collection, Nieto Collection, Sammlung Norddeutsche Landesbank, Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Sammlung Reininghaus, Sammlung Ridder, Sammlung Maria und Walter Schnepel, Sammlung Schoppmann, Sammlung Gaby und Wilhelm Schürmann, Sammlung Christian Kaspar Schwarm, Sammlung Brigitte und Udo Seinsoth, Sammlung Elisabeth und Gerhard Sohst, Sammlung Dominic und Cordula Sohst-Brennenstuhl, Spiegelberger Stiftung, Sammlung Reydan Weiss, Sammlung Wemhöner, Sammlung Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst mit Zentrum für Künstlerpublikationen, Sammlung Ivo Wessel as well as loans from various galleries and artists.