Ensconced in doll’s houses, fairground booths, collections of curiosities, wherever, puppets and dolls have always exerted a powerful and fascinating appeal. Not only are they a prime figurative representation of humans, but they also manage to embody our innermost wishes, fears, and desires. They hold up a mirror to our society and its role models both past and present. We can see a similar ambivalence in the Sammlung Goetz by visual artists that take intriguing slants in their treatment of puppets and dolls. By combining their art, the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s Puppet Theater/Fairground Attraction Collection and associated historical photographs, we venture into an interdisciplinary dialog between these rich sets of works. Over 500 works by some 50 artists and artisans are displayed throughout the exhibition and can be visited following varied itineraries. It includes videos by Kara Walker and Nathalie Djurberg, photographs by Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons and sculptures by Andreas Slominski and Thomas Schütte.
It offers us a critical interrogation of the Puppet Theater/Fairground Attraction exhibition that was on permanent display in the Münchner Stadtmuseum between 1984 and 2022. The curators have disrupted its structure to offer exciting new perspectives and freedom of movement, simultaneously opening a window onto the Münchner Stadtmuseum, past and future.
Curators: Mascha Erbelding, Rudolf Scheutle (Münchner Stadtmuseum) and Karsten Löckemann, Pietro Tondello (Sammlung Goetz)