Museum Abteiberg acquired one of the most extensive Fluxus collections in the world in 2017 with support from the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Kunststiftung NRW, and the Hans Fries Foundation. Artists represented in the art collection, archive, and library of Erik Andersch (1940–2021) include both core members of the international Fluxus network and its extended milieu, as well as those who shared a concept of art that first emerged in the United States, Europe, and Japan in the early 1960s: art is tied to action, community, play, and chance; it is conceptual, transmedial, humorous, and ironically critical of museum- and art historical tradition. Artistic practice engages and incorporates social, societal, and political space.
As part of the program ‘Forschungsvolontariat Kunstmuseen NRW’ (‘Research Traineeship Art Museums North Rhine-Westphalia’), patronized by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Museum Abteiberg could extend one focus of activity of the collection department between July 2020 and June 2022: the research on the Fluxus compilation ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE, which the museum acquired in 2017.
The main focus of volunteer Denise Wegener‘s two-year research project was the systematical recording of the extensive accession and its scientific processing for the museum context. Alongside documentation and inventory, it was necessary to develop approaches for storage, research and mediation of art for the collection. Thereby, first insights in a new format at Museum Abteiberg emerged: a display storage (Schaumagazin). In ongoing ‘Field Tests’ changing artistic positions are presented in alphabetical order as set pieces for the planned display storage.
From January 2023 to December 2024 the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia grants another traineeship to Museum Abteiberg as part of the program ‘Research Traineeship Art Museums North Rhine-Westphalia’. Thus, Melanie Seidler continues the research on ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE. She is going to develop further ideas for a long-term display storage in form of the so-called ‘Field Tests’. Orienting on these alphabetical presentations, the inventory, research and mediation of ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE are an ongoing process within the collection department.
DISPLAY STORAGE (SCHAUMAGAZIN)
The museum is planning a long-term display storage format, in order to simultaneously conserve, exhibit, communicate and research the objects and materials by over 50 artists within ANDERSCH COLLECTION/ARCHIVE. Currently, Museum Abteiberg shows a preview of the future display storage (Schaumagazin) and offers a first look into the ongoing considerations through presenting rotating sets of materials, such as unique works of art, multiples, postcards, posters, photographs, audio and video documents, as well as books, newspapers and magazines.
Image 1: Erik Andersch at an exhibition of Robert Filliou (Galerie Magers, Bonn 1972), Courtesy Estate Robert Filliou & Peter Freeman, Inc., New York / Paris © Estate Robert Filliou, Photo: Dorothee Andersch
Image 2: Installationview Field Test #2: Brecht – Filliou, Photo: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf