Press Release

Through its recurrent Here And Now series, the Museum Ludwig questions conventional ways of exhibition-making and examines its own work as an institution. The tenth project in the series, And Yesterday and Tomorrow, brings together selected contemporary and historical artworks with scientific material to explore our experiences of time and the places we occupy. Moreover, by including various disciplines, the exhibition provides a space for collective learning. This is also the Museum Ludwig’s first demonstrably climate-neutral show.



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Here and Now - And Yesterday and Tomorrow

Museum Ludwig, Cologne (Germany)

09.03 - 13.10.2024




Using a focused selection of works, materials, and texts, the here and now is related to yesterday and tomorrow. To experience “here,” we turn our gaze to the ground on which the museum stands. What does the soil under our feet reveal? How is “here” even defined when the tectonic plates we stand on move almost as fast as our fingernails grow?

With this in mind, Chargesheimer’s photographs of basalt columns can be read as more than abstract black-and-white configurations and Gerhard Richter’s paintings of the Alps as reminders of the continual fluctuations of the earth’s surface and human existence. Tacita Dean’s impressive work Sakura (Taki I), the image of a thousand-year-old cherry tree whose supported branches are in bloom, visualizes the ephemerality of our personal present. Like layers of earth, the growth rings of trees can be consulted as naturally formed archives that speak of events and conditions that existed before our own memories began. What will the future be like? Where can we find tomorrow already hinted at in our terrestrial here and now?

Below us, the Eurasian Plate, with all its strata and faults, constantly shifts, rises, and sinks, while overhead, clouds, whose forms are interpreted by meteorologists to forecast the weather, move across the sky. Historical photographs of impressive cloud formations by Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, and Alfred Stieglitz are shown alongside sketches for a new planting scheme developed by landscape architects atelier le balto especially for the roof terrace of the Museum Ludwig. With that the Museum Ludwig is responding to the Bischofsgarten, an eighteen-century garden once located on the present site of the museum. Here And Now at Museum Ludwig: And Yesterday and Tomorrow traverses both the inside of the museum and its roof, where visitors can sit in the new garden while watching the clouds pass by.

During its seven-month run, the exhibition will be periodically reconfigured, with individual works changed to create new ensembles. This transformation will be accompanied by Yoko Ono’s song I Love You Earth, in which the artist addresses our planet with the line, “You are our turning point in eternity”. And Yesterday and Tomorrow juxtaposes contemporary works with historical works and actual landscape architecture while scientific fields such as geology, dendrology, and archaeology play a visible role. A comprehensive accompanying program also provides learning opportunities through exchange forums, group activities, educational workshops, and much more.

Participating artists: atelier le balto, Chargesheimer, Tacita Dean, Gustave Le Gray, Charles Marville, Yoko Ono, Gerhard Richter, Alfred Stieglitz

The first climate-neutral exhibition

And Yesterday and Tomorrow is the Museum Ludwig’s first demonstrably climate-neutral exhibition. To conserve natural resources, the show runs for an extended period of seven months. The use of energy-saving LED illumination ensures a reduction in the overall consumption of electricity, which is sourced entirely from hydropower. Carbon dioxide emissions have been lowered by minimizing loans and concentrating on works in the museum’s permanent collection; any necessary transportation was undertaken in combination with shipments for other projects. As with Green Modernism: The New View of Plants (2022–23), our pilot project for a sustainable exhibition model, print material has been kept to a minimum and produced using mineral-free ink on paper certified by Blue Angel. A report on project-related greenhouse gases will be prepared with the goal of offering a demonstrably decarbonized, climate-neutral exhibition program at the Museum Ludwig in the long term. Our net zero target is not possible without carbon compensation for unavoidable emissions. This compensation supports an environmental protection project in Germany.

Yilmaz Dziewior, Director: “I am very delighted that this exhibition shows our development in sustainable exhibition making—not just as an institution but also as a team. However there is still much to learn. And art can certainly help us see things from different perspectives and inspire our further transformation.“

The exhibition is funded by the Zero program of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media).

Tacita Dean, Sakura I, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery New York/Paris/Los Angeles, and Frith Street Gallery, London. © Tacita Dean.

Tacita Dean, Sakura I, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery New York/Paris/Los Angeles, and Frith Street Gallery, London. © Tacita Dean.

Exhibition 09 March  - 13 October 2024. Museum Ludwig, Heinrich-Böll-Platz - 50667 Cologne (Germany). T +49 221 22126165. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm





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