Exhibiting and preserving as toxic paradigms. Can cultural institutions negotiate the environmental crisis?

A contribution by Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann

Director of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Bern

Lecture as part of the symposium
Yesterday. Today! Tomorrow?
From the museum of late modernism, its history and its future, monument protection, the “third place” or climate box versus climate crisis.
Part III, 27. October 27 + 28, 2023
Climate box versus climate crisis. Fit for the future: the climate-neutral museum

The lecture discusses the current question of the contribution of contemporary art in conveying a new environmental awareness. What opportunities and challenges does this present for the museum’s self-definition? In which formats can the audience’s new expectations become productive?

Four exterior views of museum buildings constructed in the 2010s and early 2020s. They can be seen in long shot and are all gray or beige and in strict geometric shapes.
Expansion and new buildings: Kunsthaus Zürich, Humboldt Forum Berlin, Kunstmuseum Basel, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts. Clipping from the presentation
A large fire at dusk. It eats its way through a construction of wooden slats that form a building.
The artwork Skoghall by Alfredo Jaar stimulated reflection on the question of the future of museums by constructing a temporary art gallery as a social space that was destined to be burned.
Two Extinction Rebellion demonstrators in front of Pablo Picasso
A slide from the presentation.

You can watch the recording of the entire talk here.

Portrait photo of a white, middle-aged man. He laughs, wears short hair, round glasses with black frames, white shirt and sand-colored jacket.
Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann

Director of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Bern and Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and History

Prof. Dr. Peter J. Schneemann has held the directorship since 2001 and the deanship since summer 2023. He currently leads the research projects Mediating the Ecological Imperative and Publics of Art. His research interests include methodological issues in dealing with contemporary art, perspectives on ecology, the education and identity formation of artists, historiographies of Abstract Expressionism, and cultural-political discourses since the 18th century.

Further blog posts related to the architecture symposium

The symposium is sponsored and supported by:

Black and white logo, the name of the institution flush left and the coat of arms of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia flush right.
Black and white logo, a black rectangle in which the name of the organization is written in capital letters.
Foundation logo, in green is written on the left in capital letters B & A with a circle around it. To the right is the foundation name written out in capital letters.


The poster advertising the architecture symposium with writing in the bottom left corner: Part 3, September 27 + 28.