Play / Stop

27th January — 9th April 2007

between1969—73 at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Chronicle of a non-exhibition

In February 1969 the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf inaugurated a new series of exhibitions entitled between. The central idea behind these events was to utilize the gaps between successive exhibitions for
short, additional, experimental shows. Karl Ruhrberg's deputy director at the Kunsthalle at the time, Jürgen Harten, was henceforward to be responsible for co-ordinating the programme of events. The initial impetus for between came from the English artist and then Düsseldorf resident Tony Morgan, who was on the look out for openings for contemporary artists to stage exhibitions of their work.
A further controversial stimulus was provided by the radical protest group Politisch Soziale Realität (PSR), who demanded more co-determination for the public in matters of programming at the Kunsthalle.

In commemoration of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf's fortieth anniversary, a retrospective will be held of the seven between exhibitions that took place from 1969 to 1973. The main difference between these events and conventional exhibitions was above all the fact that the origination, implementation and use of the artworks formed the central focus of attention. Many of these actions and performances were unique, some of the artworks exhibited lasted only for the duration of the respective between show. It is all the more significant then that the Düsseldorf photographer Bernd Jansen documented several of the between exhibitions, and that this considerable treasure-trove of material, comprising a wealth of hitherto unpublished photographs, can now be displayed. Alongside a diverse collection of films, exhibits and contextual documentation from the between series, reconstructions of some of the exemplary artworks-undertaken in conjunction with the artists-will be on show once more. The painter Gotthard Graubner will reconstruct one of his rare environments in the shape of his »Nebelraum«: a walk-in, spacious enclosure in which thick fog plays heavily with one's powers of perception. The spectacular »Giant Billiard« by Haus-Rucker-Co will also be available for use.
In October 1970 this gigantic inflatable mattress was famously responsible for inducing visitors to between 5 to cavort in uninhibited, childlike fashion.


The between events set the course for future innovative exhibition practice. They provided the impetus to place the debate surrounding the need for socio-political commitment

in art and concomitant new approaches in its dissemination into an artistic forum. Furthermore, they were able to make concrete the much vaunted opening-up of art's institutional sector. Pioneering impulses were generated by many of the participating artists, including Marcel Broodthaers, Robert Filliou, Gilbert & George, Gotthard Graubner, Klaus Rinke, Ingrid Schreiber,
Günther Uecker, Timm Ulrichs and Franz Erhard Walther amongst others. This retrospective of the actions and performances that took place under the auspices of the between series amply reflects the central role played by the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in the art scene of the 1960s and 1970s.

A Kunsthalle Düsseldorf exhibition in collaboration with Renate Buschmann.


A newspaper will be published to accompany the exhibition (German/English) with several illustrations, an introduction by Renate Buschmann, as well as the transcripts of interviews with Jörg Boström, Gotthard Graubner, Jürgen Harten, Tony Morgan and Karl Ruhrberg. Published by DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag. ISBN: 978-3-8321-7786-7

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