Date unknown, 1987:
Permanent Collection, a conceptual work by three West German artists intended as a commentary on the confrontation between past and present, will be on view at The Brooklyn Museum from November 8, 1987, through January 4, 1988. The work is a site-specific project comprising three individual sculptural pieces installed in different locations in the Museum’s third floor Court and surrounding ambulatory, which displays Egyptian and Classical art. The artists, Bogomir Ecker of Dusseldorf and Raimund Kummer and Hermann Pitz of Berlin, were inspired by both the variety of the Museum’s vast permanent holdings and its distinctive architecture.
Ecker, Kummer and Pitz, who have collaborated on a number of site-specific works in Germany, including pieces for the former Hebbeltheater in Berlin, the Kunstforum Lenbachhaus in Munich and Jenisch-Park in Hamburg, first became interested in The Brooklyn Museum as a project site about three years ago. “We perceive the Museum as a time trap, a time tunnel which brings together the witnesses of different eras,” they write. “This collision within the Museum demands the presence of the present.”
The three sculptural works are an oversized pair of cast aluminum opera glasses; a large, triangular table meant not only to be used as a visual vantage point but to be viewed as a formal abstraction; and a piece entitled Ear-Plugs that comprises two large, pillow-shaped objects and a vitrine containing a mock art object.
According to Laural Weintraub, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art for the Museum and co-coordinator of the project, Permanent Collection, despite its title, is about temporary conditions, lightness, humor and impermanence as opposed to monumentality, solemnity and eternity. This dynamic confrontation between the weighty past and the evanescent present will no doubt spur some serious thought about the role and significance of contemporary art.
This project is co-sponsored by the Goethe Institut of Munich, the Berlin Senate of Cultural Affairs and Lufthansa German Airlines as part of Berlin Events, a program of Goethe House in October and November 1987.