Atmosphere of Change:
Interview with Britta Färber
and Dr. Ariane Grigoteit on the exhibition “From a German Perspective” at
the Pushkin Museum
Pushkin Museum, Moscow
cultural activities in Russia look back on a long tradition. Since more
than a quarter of a century, the bank has been active there, putting on
exhibitions and sponsoring culture in the country. Now, the
German-Russian Cultural Encounter 2003/2004 has offered the
opportunity to present German masterpieces of the 20th century from the
largest corporate collection worldwide in a comprehensive exhibition in
Moscow: in the
From a German Perspective offers insight into the development of the
Deutsche Bank Collection, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary
next year. In the following interview, the exhibition’s curators
Dr. Ariane Grigoteit and Britta Färber comment on the
development of this visionary collaboration, in which mutual understanding
and dialogue play an important role and art becomes a new type of currency.
Britta Färber at the press conference of "From a German Perspective"
How did the idea for the exhibition From a German
Perspective at the Pushkin Museum come about? Can you tell us something
about the initial stages?
Britta Färber: In the
beginning, we had the idea of contributing something to the
German-Russian Cultural Encounter 2003/2004, which is presented under
the aegis of the former German president
Johannes Rau and the president of the Russian Federation,
Vladimir Putin. While the Cultural Encounter of 2003 was concentrated in
Germany, in 2004 the accent in Russia is on German culture. And so, of
course, Deutsche Bank – and particularly
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, the board member responsible for Deutsche
Bank’s global cultural and social activities and business interests in
Russia – were very pleased when
Christina Weiss, state minister for culture and media, invited us to take
part. Especially because the bank has been active in Russia for over a
quarter of a century with its corporate collection, its numerous
exhibitions – most recently in 2002 with
Man in the Middle – and its efforts in the area of cultural
sponsorship. The cooperation with the Pushkin Museum was excellent for the
exhibition, not only because of its important collection of Classic
Modernism, but also because their "Museum for Private Collections" is
perfectly suited to this show.
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck and Irina
Antonowa at the press conference
Deutsche Bank have a relationship with the Pushkin Museum previously?
BF: Yes, although in the beginning it was on a much more personal level.
We’d already visited the director of the Pushkin Museum, Irina Antonova,
in 1997 together with
Georg Baselitz while we were in the process of preparing his large solo
exhibition from our collection in Moscow’s New Manege. That was very
impressive, because she herself is a highly extraordinary person. The way
she stands there – she’s 82 now and still going strong with her alert eyes
and excellent German – and brings things right to the point. She’s a
brilliant personality, and it’s like experiencing living history right
before one’s very eyes. At this point in time, however, there were no
concrete plans for a project such as the exhibition From a German
Exhibition view with works by Imi Knöbel
From the Deutsche Bank end, you curated the exhibition together with Dr.
Ariane Grigoteit, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Art. What was the
collaboration with the curators of the Pushkin Museum like? How is the
"German Perspective" different from the "Russian Perspective?"
BF: It was a matter of developing a course the 20th century that led
through seven rooms with respective areas of thematic concentration. The
Russian curators received catalogues and other material from us, and Dr.
Gorjainov was our guest here in Frankfurt to view the collection in
person. After that, we received proposals from our Russian colleagues, who
from the very beginning placed the most exceptional works from Classic
Modernism in the foreground.
Vernissage: Dr. Ariane Grigoteit, Britta Färber and exhibition visitor