Masterpieces of the Frieder Burda Collection in Dialogue with Artificial Beings
10. DECEMBER 2022 – 30. APRIL 2023

Rarely have museums been as full of life as now. This exhibition transforms the museum into a place where visitors can meet avatars, human machines that are able to move, talk, and learn; observe the richness of the movements, language, and responses of these transformed beings; witness how an animatronic white mouse speaks to a candle; and be seduced by a figure that provokes subjective and objective reactions, equally stimulating and repelling the viewer.

Progress is being made in the automation of life and a transformation of our social environment. Artificial intelligence is taking over and has the potential to create lifelike forms of existence. While humans are pushing for technological progress, they are on the verge of being replaced. With the exhibition Transformers, the Museum Frieder Burda is breaking new ground by participating in an experiment that transforms the museum into a hybrid and utopian arrangement. This show presents artificial beings that critically inspect the museum and its classic masterpieces. This fiction is a new dialogical situation that plays through the what-if scenario of a radically changed future.

Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke were all influential in changing the traditional expectations of a work of art in their own eras. The juxtaposition of masterpieces by these artists from the collection of Frieder Burda with artificial beings creates multidimensional rooms of experience in the museum to which visitors will have to adjust. This brings life into the museum, and we come one step closer to the metaverse – even if it is not real, it reflects our increasingly artificially transformed world.

The participating artists – Louisa Clement (b. 1987), Ryan Gander (b. 1976), Timur Si-Qin (b. 1984), and Jordan Wolfson (b. 1980) – are all digital natives. Their biographies and work reflect the growing spheres of influence held by virtual possibilities.

Unser Medienpartner:


Exhibition Film


The audio guide of the Transformers show delves into the experimental and animated nature of this radical exhibition. In four in-depth conversations, exhibition curator Udo Kittelmann investigates aspects and issues regarding artificial intelligence. These stimulating and inspiring conversations explore often surprising thoughts on “what if” scenarios in a radically changed future.
Louisa Clement (b. 1987 in Bonn, Germany) graduated from Düsseldorf art academy in 2015. Will machines become our doppelgangers? In this conversation, Udo Kittelmann and Louisa Clement speak about digital footprints, adaptive AI, digital networks, and isolation, sharing thoughts equally intriguing and disconcerting about three-dimensional likenesses.
Annemie Vanackere is a Belgian festival curator and theater director. Since 2012 she has been the director and CEO of the theater Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin. In addition to discussing the impact that the technologization and digitization of our lives has on the performing arts, Kittelmann and Vanackere talk about multiple intelligences and empathy.
Dr. Clara Meister is an international curator. Her curatorial work focuses on topics of translation, language, and music. In this conversation, Udo Kittelmann and Clara Meister explore the relationship between technology and nature, questioning technological progress and advocating more space for plant and other nonhuman intelligences in handling technological progress.
“Why are humans not content with themselves?” Alice Lagaay is a philosopher who is actively involved in developing performance as an interdisciplinary field of research. In this conversation on Jordan Wolfson’s animatronic sculpture Female Figure, Kittelmann and Lagaay discuss issues such as technological self-manipulation, the alluring and overwhelming qualities of machines, and the misogynistic aspects of the work.


Masterpieces of the Frieder Burda Collection in Dialogue with Artificial Beings

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