MMK Talks ::: Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main

Review MMK Talks 2017 – Art & Body

The MMK is continuing its MMK Talks series in the second half of 2017 with a focus on art & body. Within this context, artists, stage directors, filmmakers and curators will talk about themes and questions related to the human and institutionalized body and con­cepts of identity. Yet they'll also shed light on aspects of the reception and distribution of knowledge in conjunction with the respective societal outlook. The audience is cordially welcome to participate in the discussions on current topics of society.

Free admission. 

Supported by:



Will Benedict & Leilah Weinraub

Thursday, 14 December, 7 pm at the MMK 1

The current exhibition at the MMK 2 features, among others, Will Benedict with his music video "I AM A PROBLEM (T.O.D.D.)", produced for the Detroit noise band Wolf Eyes. The show takes its title from this work. Benedict is a multimedia and interdisciplinary artist who works in the mediums of painting, adver­tising, TV and performance and is also active as a gallery owner and curator. This autumn he is hosting a TV show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

In conversation with:
Leilah Weinraub is an artist, CEO of the Hood by Air streetwear label, and filmmaker. She directed the documentary Shakedown shown at this year's Whitney Biennial in New York City. The film documents a strip­tease club in Los Angeles run by African­American lesbian. In her projects, Weinraub concerns herself with contemporary identity concepts that depart from traditional gender categories.

in English 

Attention: The location has been changed. The talk will take place in the MMK.

Marcelo Rezende & Susanne Titz

Wednesday, 29 November, 7 pm at the MMK 1

Researcher and curator Marcelo Rezende was the director of the Museo de Arte Moderna in Bahia, Brazil from 2012 to 2015. In 2008 he was on the curatorial team of the 28th São Paulo Biennial and in 2014 the artistic director of the 3rd Bahia Biennial. He has served as a curator at the Johann Jacobs Museum in Zurich and is currently on the directors' team of the Archiv der Avantgarden at the Staatliche Kunst­sammlungen Dresden.

In conversation with:
Susanne Titz has been the director of the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach since 2004. From 1997 to 2004 she was the artistic director of the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, which was awarded the Adam Elsheimer Prize for European art societies in 2000. Titz's concept in her present position calls for a new look at the intellectual history and identity of the Museum Abteiberg since its opening in 1982, in part by way of site­specific projects as well as cul­tural historical and institution­historical framework programmes.

in English 

Ersan Mondtag & Susanne Kennedy

Thursday, 2 November, 7 pm at the MMK 2

Theatre director and set designer Ersan Mondtag's staging of the exhibition I AM A PROBLEM at the MMK 2 provided the occasion for this talk. Mondtag's works wander the realms of theatre, dance, music, performance and installation. He produced his play "Die Vernichtung", which earned him an invitation to the 2017 Berliner Theatertreffen, in 2016. Likewise in 2016, the specialist journal "Theater Heute" singled him out as emerging stage director and set designer of the year, and in 2017 as costume designer of the year. Mondtag has already staged works at Hamburg's Thalia Theater, Schauspiel Frankfurt, the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin and the Münchner Kammerspiele.

In conversation with:
Susanne Kennedy studied stage direction at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam. With her productions at the Nationaltheater in The Hague, which are distinguished by their installation­like character, she has repeatedly been invited to participate in the Nederlands Theater Festival. For "Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt" (2013) at the Münchner Kammerspiele, Kennedy received the 3sat Award within the frame­work of the 2014 Berliner Theatertreffen. In collabora­tion with the Ruhrtriennale, she realized her walk­in opera installation "Orfeo" in 2015, and "MEDEA MATRIX" in 2016. Susanne Kennedy is now a stage director at the Volksbühne in Berlin.

in German 

Teresa Margolles in conversation with Rein Wolfs

Tuesday, 23 May, 7 pm at the MMK 1

Teresa Margolles frequently explores death in her works, and uses materials that come from or have been in contact with corpses. Having initially studied communications, the Mexican artist developed this interest while working as a forensic pathologist. In 2004 the MMK presented her spectacular exhibition Muerte sin fin. Her work Banco (2004) is currently on view in the show Primary Structures: Masterworks of Minimal Art at the MMK 2.

In conversation with:
Rein Wolfs is a Dutch art historian, exhibition curator and, since 2013, director of the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. The founding director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst worked in Zurich from 1996 to 2001. In 2002 he was appointed director of exhibitions at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and in 2003 curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. From 2007 to 2013 he directed the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, where he staged the solo exhibition Frontera with works by Teresa Margolles.

Ed Atkins in conversation with Thomas Oberender

Tuesday, 25 April, 7 pm at the MMK 1

The British artist Ed Atkins is considered a pioneer of an emerging generation of artists who reflect critically on the rapid development of the digital media and the fundamental changes it has brought about in our perception of images and our own selves. In his digitally generated filmic works, he creates a world of imagery as hyperreal as it is artificial. Corpsing, the title of his current show at the MMK 1, describes the instant in which the difference between an actor and his role becomes apparent.

In conversation with:
Thomas Oberender is a German author and dramatic adviser who has directed the Berliner Festspiele since 2012. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, he organized a lecture series on the future of the political that ran for four years at the Schauspielhaus Bochum. He served as dramatic director of the Salzburg Festival from 2007 to 2011.

Zinny/Maidagan in conversation with Frank Barkow

Wednesday, 15 March, 6 pm at the MMK 1

Taking places, their functions and their histories as a point of departure, Dolores Zinny and Juan Maidagan develop collages, sculptures and installations. In 2009, the MMK presented the Argentine artist duo in a solo exhibition and purchased works of theirs for the collection. Zinny/Maidagan have also had exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The talk will mark the dedication of the bronze sculpture Hippocampus which is situated at the Campus Westend of the Goethe-University Frankfurt.

In conversation with:
The American architect Frank Barkow pursues a discursive approach to design according to which the concrete planning process integrates new findings and developments in the research on digital and analogue production methods and innovative material applications. Barkow heads an architectural firm in Berlin and has been teaching at the Princeton University School of Architecture in the U.S. since 2016.

Review MMK Talks 2016 – Art & Politics

In the sixth edition of the event series MMK Talks the focus will be on the relationship between art, society and politics. In view of the profound and existential changes in these times of global crisis, contemporary art and exhibition praxis also faces new challenges. Artists and curators are invited to talk with a discussion partner of their choice about the role of art in an era of major transformation processes.

Admission free of charge.

Funded By

Willem de Rooij and Philippe Pirotte

Wednesday, 7 December, 7 pm at the MMK 2

On the occasion of the running exhibition 'Willem de Rooij. Entitled' the headmaster of the Städelschule Frankfurt, Philippe Pirotte, and Willem de Rooij will talk about the artist's work and exhibition at MMK 2. Additionally the accompanying catalogue – containing three volumes – will be presented.

Willem de Rooij, born in 1969 in Beverwijk, Netherlands is one of the most influential artists of his generation. He studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. The artist is professor for fine arts at Städelschule Frankfurt am Main since 2006.

Philippe Pirotte, born in 1972 in Antwerp, Belgium is an art historian and curator. He is the headmaster of Städelschule Frankfurt am Main and director of the Portikus in Frankfurt. He is a freelance Senior Curator at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Pirotte curateted this year's Montréal Biennal.

Walter Grasskamp in conversation with Hans Haacke

Tuesday, 6 September, 7 pm at the MMK 1

On the occasion of the Final Weekend of the exhibition „An Imagined Museum“ (10/11 September), Walter Grasskamp – a renowned art historian and art critic specialised in museology and cultural policy – meets Hans Haacke, an internationally esteemed artist who is also represented in the exhibition.

For three decades Hans Haacke like almost no other artist has been initiating the public discourse about the sociopolitical dimensions of art. The internationally renowned conceptual artist investigates the amalgamation of economic, political, social and ecological systems and illustrates their far reaching sociopolitical impact.

Haacke realised a huge number of projects and exhibitions and was involved in several Documentas. His spectacular contribution „Germania“ in the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993 was awarded a Golden Lion.

Walter Grasskamp has been teaching and publishing for many years about museology, cultural policy and art in public spaces, theory of modern art, theory of consumption and popular culture. His latest publication „Das Kunstmuseum. Eine erfolgreiche Fehlkonstruktion“ (The Museum of Art. A successful Misconstruction) opens a discussion about the function of art museum as an institution in it’s current sociopolitical context. Grasskamp published numerous text about the work of Hans Haacke. The artist and the art historian are linked by many years of artistic exchange.

The talk is conducted in German.

Jimmie Durham in conversation with Dirk Snauwaert

Friday, 8 July, 7 pm at the MMK 2

The concept artist, poet and activist Jimmie Durham has been politically active in the American civil rights movement since the early 1960s. His multi-faceted oeuvre is concerned with the relationship between history and context, architecture and monumentality, and takes a critical stance towards political power structures and narrations of national identity. He has an international reputation as one of the most prominent artists of the present and has been honoured with a large number of awards and exhibitions, for example at the Venice Biennale (1999, 2015, etc.) the Documenta (2012, 1992) and the 29th São Paulo Biennale (2010). He is represented in the exhibition An Imagined Museum at the MMK.

Dirk Snauwaert has been the artistic director of the WIELS centre of contemporary art in Brussels since 2005. He has organized a large number of exhibitions internationally; at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) he curated the Belgian pavilion. In 1993 he staged the first Durham retrospective at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels.

Banu Cennetoğlu in conversation with Vasif Kortun

Thursday, 30 June, 7 pm at the MMK 1

The artist Banu Cennetoğlu explores the political, social and cultural dimension of the production, representation and distribution of knowledge and asks how it feeds into a society’s collective thought and becomes part of its ideology. Cennetoğlu has participated in major international exhibitions such as the 10th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) she and Ahmet Öğüt represented Turkey. She is represented at the 13th Fellbach Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture (2016) and currently guest of the DAAD artist programme in Berlin.

The free-lance critic and curator Vasif Kortun is known as one of the most important critical voices in the discourse on Turkey’s radically changing cultural politics. He has organized numerous international exhibitions focussing on art production in Turkey, for example the 3rd and 9th international Istanbul Biennale (1992 and 2005) as well as the Turkish pavilions at the São Paulo Biennale (1994 and 1998) and at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007).

Kader Attia in conversation with Gerhard Kubik

Tuesday, 10 May, 7 pm at the MMK 1

Kader Attia has been considered one of the most influential artists of his generation ever since his startling
presentation at the documenta 13, if not before. Against the background of our globalized present
he investigates the impact of Western cultural hegemony on non-Western cultures. One of his key concerns
is the concept of “repair”, which he has been exploring for many years. The talk is taking place within
the framework of his comprehensive solo exhibition Sacrifice and Harmony at the MMK.

In conversation with:
Gerhard Kubik is an Austrian ethnomusicologist and ethnologist who devotes his research work primarily
to music, dance, totemism, oral tradition and cultural education in Africa and African-influenced cultures
in Venezuela and Brazil. Kubik is among the internationally most renowned name in the area of intracultural
research on African culture.

Review MMK Talks – The Artists 2015

Kostas Murkudis in conversation with Julia Voss

Tuesday, 1 December, 7 pm at the MMK 2

Artistic approaches and working methods have had a decisive impact on the oeuvre of the fashion designer Kostas Murkudis (b. 1959). In the context of the second exhibition at the new MMK 2, Murkudis will meet with Julia Voss, deputy director of the arts section of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", to talk about concepts and forms of display as well as the history of his collections.

William Forsythe in conversation with Mario Kramer

Tänzer: Jone San Martin, Ander Zabala, photo: dominik mentzos photography

Wednesday, 18 November, 7 pm at the MMK 1

(in English)

Hardly anyone has contributed more to shaping the international contemporary dance scene over the past decades than the choreographer and dancer William Forsythe (b. 1949). The conversation about dance, art, space and, not least importantly the humanbeing – as the chief focus of Forsythe's minimalisticworks – will be conducted by Mario Kramer, curator and head of the MMK Collection.

Thomas Bayrle and Paul Maenz talk about the work of Peter Roehr

Peter Roehr, O.T. ( FO-28), 1965 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015 Foto: Axel Schneider

Wednesday, 23 September, 7 pm at the MMK 1

Paul Maenz, a collector and patron of Peter Roehr (1944-1968), donated the prominent Frankfurt conceptartist's entire archive to the MMK in 2011. The museum has meanwhile digitalized the documents in the Peter Roehr Archive, which number more than 2,500. Paul Maenz and the artist Thomas Bayrle, who was friends with Roehr for many years, will talk about the artist and his time.

Simon Starling in conversation with Katrina Brown

Simon Starling, Exhibition View Mass Moca, North Adams, MA 2008

Friday, 12 June, 7 pm at the MMK 1 

(in English)

In his artistic practice, Simon Starling (b. 1967) concerns himself with objects, their history, and their production conditions as shaped by science, ecology and economy. Katrina Brown, the director of "The Common Guild", a well-known institution for contemporary art in Glasgow, has curated exhibitions of Starling's in the past and is presently collaborating with him on a project. They will talk about his works.

Barbara Klemm, Anne Marie Beckmann and Barbara Basting talk about the work of Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus, Yaftal-e-Sofla, Afghanistan, September 2009

Wednesday, 29 April, 8 pm at the MMK 2 

The images produced by the photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus (1965–2014) over the past two decades in Albania, Bosnia, Iraq and elsewhere are part of the MMK's prestigious photography collection. Niedringhaus's powerful pictorial language will be the subject of the discussion conducted by the prominent German photographer Barbara Klemm, Anne-Marie Beckmann, the longstanding curator of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse, and Barbara Basting, a journalist and the director of the Department of Visual Arts of the city of Zürich. 

Anne Imhof in conversation with Isabelle Graw

Anne Imhof, Aus der Pranke den Löwen, 2012

Wednesday, 20 May, 8 pm at the MMK 2 

(in English)

Anne Imhof (b. 1978) develops her work in a realm where performance, installation and documentation overlap. This year she designed a "live event" of several days for the MoMA PS1 in New York. A work of hers is also presently on view at the MMK 2. The former Städelschule student will converse with the art historian Isabelle Graw, director of the Städelschule's Institute of Art Criticism and publisher of the magazine "Texte zur Kunst".

Dayanita Singh in conversation with Gerhard Steidl

Thursday, October 23, 7 pm

"How to make a book with Dayanita?" will be the basis of the discussion during the next MMK Talks. The publisher Gerhard Steidl will speak with the artist Dayanita Singh about the production of her artist books and their long-standing collaboration. Singh who defines herself as a "book artist" has been publishing her books with Steidl for many years. The talk will be moderated by the curator of the current exhibition, Dr. Mario Kramer.

Subodh Gupta in conversation with Germano Celant

Friday, 12 September, 7 pm

The series MMK Talks will be continued with the exhibition "Subodh Gupta. Everything is Inside". The Italian curator and art critic Germano Celant will speak with the Indian artist Subodh Gupta. Celant is the artistic director Fondazione Prada and coined the term arte povera.

Julie Mehretu in conversation with Chus Martinez

Wednesday, 14 May, 7 pm

Julie Mehretu lives and works in New York. She carries out cartographic drawings and paintings of urban architecture, into which current political developments are inscribed.

In conversation with:

Chus Martinez is a Spanish art historian, museum curator and art critic.  She was head of the curatorial department of documenta (13) in Kassel.

Kader Attia in conversation with Koyo Kouoh

Friday, 4 April, 7 pm

Kader Attia lives and works in Paris and Berlin. In his work he explores the influence of the culture and politics of Western capitalism on the Middle East and North Africa.

In conversation with:

Koyo Kouoh lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. She is the founder of the Raw Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar. 

Wangechi Mutu in conversation with Bisi Silva

Wednesday, 26 March, 7 pm

Wangechi Mutu lives and works in New York. Mutu deals with problematic issues such as violence or consumerism in a multidimensional Afro-Western context.

In conversation with:

Bisi Silva is a free-lance curator and the founder of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria. She lives and works in Lagos and London.