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Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum: Situation Kunst featuring the Museum unter Tage

Ancient works of art from Africa and Asia meet impressive room installations from contemporary artists. The Situation Kunst – a spectacular underground museum, unique to the Ruhr area, that displays themed exhibitions which interconnect in exciting ways – in Bochum-Weitmar's beautiful palace gardens is always worth a visit.

Visitors not native to the area are regularly left open-mouthed after discovering the wonderful collection of museums which are to be found in the southern part of this city in the Ruhr area. It was founded in 1990. At the time, Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe expanded the Ruhr-Universität Bochum's art collection with a donation dedicated to art professor Max Imdahl. This ensemble of artwork was set out in the form of a permanent exhibition called Situation Kunst (für Max Imdahl) and housed in the district of Weitmar.


Art and Architecture

When it came to creating Situation Kunst, the view of art taken by art historian Max Imdahl (19251988) in his teachings was key. The entire complex is designed in such a way that art, architecture and nature are in constant dialogue with one another. This is expressed in Richard Serra's steel sculptures, exhibited in ruined walls that are open to the elements, or in Lee Ufan's boulders, displayed by the main exhibition building.

Both the Richard Serra room and David Rabinowitch's room installation – reminiscent of a cathedral in its architectural style – are just as worth seeing as the changing exhibits in the Museum unter Tage (MuT, Museum Underground), an architectural gem which was only recently added in 2015.

The final extension to the Situation Kunst, the Museum unter Tage was completed after only one year of construction – just in time for the Ruhr-Universität Bochum's 50-year anniversary. It is located completely underground and is accessed, and recognised, by two coal-coloured cubes in the park grounds.


Underground Landscapes

Extending over an exhibition space of more than 1,000 m², MuT's permanent exhibition – "Weltsichten" – displays different milestones in landscape art, with pieces dating from the 15th century to the present. The artworks on display range from classic oil paintings to video and sound installations which fill the entire room.

Insider tip: the Weitmar palace gardens are also a sculpture park. While taking a stroll past the works by Richard Serra and Lee Ufan described above, you can also come across sculptures from artists such as François Morellet, Erich Reusch or Guiseppe Spagnulo.

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