Mission Statement

Questioning the world with art.

We discover new impulses for our own actions and contribute to an open society. In doing so, art guides us with its potential to raise questions and inspire, change or touch us in our thinking and feeling.

Constant change: preservation through movement

Our collection reflects unifying and dividing world views, debates or values of our society. It thus forms an important part of our cultural pictorial memory. That is what needs to be preserved. At the same time, our society is in a constant state of change. This also affects their values and their view of their own heritage. The questions of identity and integration play a decisive role. Our dialogical exhibition concept sets works of art from the the twentieth and 21st century with each other in ever-changing relationship and movement. We conceive and convey both artworks and the museum itself as living spaces of negotiation, always in a state of flux.

Our scientific work is determined by curiosity and questions asked with relish, which allow different answers. Both critical reflection on the historical canon of art history and provenance research are of concern to us. In this respect, it is important for us to also make the processes of the institution visible. In this way, the institution of the museum becomes a dynamic laboratory that raises questions, tests theses and common narratives, and makes visible the value structure of our society, but also itself as the result of processes.

In dialogue: History, Present, Future

In the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, history and the present are in dialogue with each other. In temporary exhibitions, we not only present exemplary artistic positions and thus ever-changing current social issues, but the ideas and questions negotiated in them inspire us to see our own collection with a fresh eye and to give it space in a new compilation each time. We make connections between works from classical modernism to the present visible and show art as a place for critically questioning views of the world. This is the compass for our own actions, with the help of which we carry the critical, innovative or experimental approaches inherent in art into society and also cast glances into the future.

Museum as laboratory

How art is perceived is part of a process. We understand works and exhibitions as experimental arrangements that open up spaces of possibility rather than stating truths. New additions with a focus on previously underrepresented positions, especially female, are transforming our collection, allowing us to reexamine and discuss our history and values against the backdrop of current social issues. Through dialogues in art, we want to enter into a dialogue with people through which both they and the museum continually evolve. Not least in order to do our part to act sustainably for the benefit of future generations.

Our society is becoming more diverse. Museums must therefore become places that retain or acquire new relevance for as many people as possible. We would like to become a “third place”, a space that offers self-determined, non-binding and low-threshold encounters with art. We realize the design of the museum as a “third place” in participatory processes. In addition to people traditionally associated with the Kunsthalle, this also involves groups of the city’s population that have not been reached very much so far.

Anchor point for many

The world is changing. Issues such as sustainability, religious and cultural diversity, participation, anti-discrimination and gender equality demand our commitment. Because museums are part of these changes and actively shape them. As places of interpersonal encounters and cultural education, they contribute to local and global communities. We see it as our task to highlight different perspectives and thereby make an important contribution to the social debates that promote civil society and democratic forces. Our goal is to strengthen an engaged urban society and an open society.

To meet these challenges, we see education and outreach as fundamental to our work. We seek dialogue at eye level with as many and diverse people of all ages and educational backgrounds as possible and have a regional, national and international focus. At Kunsthalle Bielefeld, many voices speak, both in the team and in the artistic positions presented. We are convinced that with polyphony, which also brings contradictions to light and stimulates debate and discussion, we strengthen democratic processes and civil society.