Christoph Westermeier has produced a series of photographs for Westfälischer Kunstverein, which relate to the common history of both the Kunstverein and the LWL-Museum. By permanently lending its extensive art collection to the LWL-Museum in 1908, the Kunstverein contributed significantly to the Museum’s establishment and in return received domiciliary rights in the museum. To this day, the Kunstverein and the Museum enjoy a close bond on account of this permanent loan.

Westermeier researched the historical facts, sifted through the documents in the archives of the Art Association and visited the depot at the LWLMuseum. The title “Das schielende Archiv” (The squinting Archive) is a formulation borrowed from the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, who referred to the art of the nineteenth century as “drastically cross-eyed art” because the artworks require a kind of perception that is incompatible with our everyday perception of reality: a “dual view” is imposed upon the viewer, so that he is compelled to “squint”.

On the one hand, Westermeier’s prints depict the analogue archive of the Kunstverein’s collection, and on the other, they feature individual paintings from this nineteenth- and early twentieth-century collection. The tradition and long history of Westfälischer Kunstverein is made visible, but also the relevance and the aspiration of an archive to be complete and represent the truth. To what extent have the characteristics of quality changed over the centuries? Who decides upon the canon of art worth preserving and how does this choice influence our contemporary understanding of art? How does this tradition influence the Kunstverein’s image and understanding of itself?

The installation of the photographs in the foyer, open to the city side, picks up on a practice from the early years of the Kunstverein: individual paintings that came about in the overall context of the Düsseldorf School, were presented at different points en route to their final destination for the delectation and admiration of a curious public.

Kristina Scepanski, 2013

Eric Baudelaire, Nanna Debois Buhl, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Theresa Himmer,
Maria Loboda, Benjamin Tiven, Jeronimo Voss, Christoph Westermeier
April 20-June 23, 2013, Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster
Curator: Kristina Scepanski

four double sided mounted inkjet prints
each 105x265 cm. 2013
Installation view Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster