Among the key thematic accents of my museum work are inter- and multi-media strategies since the 1960s that breach genre categories and institutional boundaries and whose impact continues to be felt in artistic practice today. With environment, minimal and land art sculptures, with installations and art in public spaces, artists have gained ground beyond the conventional boundaries of painting and sculpture. With actions, film works, performances, process and media art, they have also opened up the dimension of time and created (in part) transient works, which can only be passed down or made known by means of written, photographic and filmed documentation. Concept art fundamentally called into question the visuality of a work of art; interest was directed at the conditions affecting the production and distribution of art.
In presenting thematic exhibitions, collections and public events I seek to create a platform for artistic works balanced between art and architecture, art and music, art and theatre, art and film, art and poetry, art and philosophy, art and politics, and art and everyday life. The issue today concerns the kind of presentation that best reflects the intentions pursued by the artists of (now historical) positions from the 1960s to the 1980s; more research and public attention needs to be devoted to hitherto lesser known positions that nonetheless deserve to be recorded.
Given the now immeasurably prolific worldwide growth of artistic production and its global distribution I feel it is absolutely necessary for the museum to define the key focal points of its own collecting and exhibition strategy. This also concerns the question of the extent to which a “museum for contemporary art” should take account of a “post-colonial perspective” on the history of modernity and of the gradual disappearance of the boundaries between art and “cultural production”.
Gabriele Knapstein (2006)