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Artists have always gone hand in hand with the time they lived in, making use of the tools and advantages that each era provides. Thus from the 1920s, they started to use photography and video cameras to create their artworks. In the 1960s and 1970s performances and happenings also flooded the art scene. All these new categories involve time and space, movement, that is why the German collector Julia Stoschek calls, very adequately, her collection time-base art collection.
The photography, and after, the image in motion were the great “discoveries” of the beginning of the 20th century. At least in the field of images. And images are inherent to the artistic representation since the very beginning of the times. Everything changed when men could do photographs and films. Artists using traditional mediums as painting and sculpture started to question the need to reproduce “reality” or what the eye could see. Avant-garde artists began to develop new artistic languages in favor of more emotional and expressive languages. Walter Benjamin, talked about “auratic” characteristics of unique artworks and speculated with what will be the role and importance of technology —especially photography— and reproducibility in art images. Once all this and more have been assimilated, photo, film, and performance are part of mainstream art representations and nowadays artists use all kinds of technology and digital media to approach their productions.
In line with the times we live in, times of isolation and online exhibitions, the Julia Stoschek art collection, one of the largest private collections time-based media art in the world, strives to advance the consistent democratization of this art form making its collection of over 860 works by 282 artists available online for free and without any restrictions. The collection’s spectrum ranges from early works, such as by Barbara Hammer, the pioneer of queer cinema in the 1970s, to recent works by Jon Rafman, who grapples with the depths of the Darknet.
Front photo: From left to right/top to bottom line: 1: the Estate of Barbara Hammer. 2: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme. 3: Cao Fei. 4: Christian Jankowski. 5: Jen DeNike. 6: John Bock. 7: Jon Rafman. 8: Kate Gilmore. 9: Lutz Mommartz. 10: Manuel Graf. 11: Monica Bonvicini. 12: Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg. 13: Peter Fischli & David Weiss. 14: Tobias Zielony. 15: Beatrice Gibson. 16: Wolfgang Tillmans.
Julia Stoschek was born in 1975, the daughter of Michael Stoschek, a German billionaire businessman, chairman of Brose Fahrzeugteile, the German car parts company founded by her great grandfather Max Brose, a military in Nazi Germany. Stoschek first began buying art in 2002, mainly European and US artists working from the 1960s onwards. Her collection includes video, multi-media environments, sound, computer and internet-based installations, and performance.
Very connected to Klaus Biesenbach who is the former director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and also the founding director of Kunst-Werke (KW) Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin; Julia Stoschek is a Member of the Board of Trustees at MoMA PS1; Member of the Board (since 2015) at Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art. When Biesenbach moved to California as director of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), the art collector since 2018 became also a Member of the Board of Trustees at MOCA. In addition, she is a Member of the International Council (since 2015) at Tate London.
Patron Julia Stoschek and her collection co-sponsored two exhibitions in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale: Fabrik (2015) curated by Florian Ebner and Faust (2017) by Anne Imhof.
About the Collection
The online collection catalogue can be used to search all the works and the artists in the collection for research purposes. The individual works are presented against a black background that is reminiscent of the black-box situation of a gallery. Additional information on the works is provided including illustrations and introductions in German and English. Installation shots also give an indication of how the artists intended the works to be presented in an exhibition. The website creates a presentation space beyond a visit to an actual museum.
To date, over 68 film and video-based works by 25 artists from the collection can be viewed entirely in the online catalogue on the web page www.jsc.art. Viewers can already experience over 15 hours of film and video art on our website. Among the works in this first selection are pieces by Colin Self, Peter Fischili & David Weiss, Meriem Bennani, Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, John Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Keren Cytter, Jen DeNike, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Cao Fei, Kate Gilmore, Christian Jankowski, Jesper Just, Lutz Mommartz, Elizabeth Price, Wolfgang Tillmans, Andro Wekua, Sophia Al-Maria, Sigalit Landau, Taryn Simon, and Tobias Zielony.
Over the next months, videos and films will be continually uploaded and made accessible online. They are accompanied by explanatory texts about the works. As a maximum of 15% of the collection can be displayed at the same time at the collection locations in Düsseldorf and Berlin, this online initiative allows the works to be seen.
Due to the audiovisual component, time-based media art is predestined for viewing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The aim of this initiative is to reach people who are still unfamiliar with this art form. The collection’s long-term goal is to make the entire collection available online, thus creating a platform for time-based art that supports the accessibility and engagement of time-based art.