ABOUT Klaus Wehner and the Museum Clausum:

The name, Museum Clausum, which translates as ‘enclosed’ or ‘sealed’ museum, is adopted from Sir Thomas Browne’s 17th Century pamphlet, ‘Musaeum Clausum’, an inventory of fantasised objects that form a fictional collection. This ironic treatise on the Early Modern novelty of assembling objects in the manner of a wunderkammer is hence a comment on the questionable artificiality of museum-type display, as old as the museum itself.

Klaus Wehner is a visual artist whose work has focused on the museum for a number of years. He also completed a practice-based PhD in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, based on his museum work (2012). His thesis focuses on issues around museums and photography. Initially used for two exhibition projects, Klaus has adopted the name Museum Clausum as a general artist's pseudonym. By adopting this 'corporate','institutional' identity, Klaus presents himself as collector and presenter of artefacts rather than as 'artist'. He has photographed museum interiors for a number of years in his distinct style, which is created mainly 'in camera', and which he considers as matching thus unmasking the museum's own curatorial artificiality. Presenting his own photographs under the umbrella title Museum Clausum: Wundercamera as a 'collection', emphasises Klaus' dedicated questioning of concepts such as curating, collecting and art making.


One aim of the Museum Clausum remains to produce temporary exhibitions that reflect on our relationship to objects and the importance of the role and function of museums for our culture and self-awareness. Museum Clausum exhibitions reflect on the culture of exhibiting by putting museums on display. By emphasising the artifice in which objects are staged, the Museum Clausum aims to draw attention to the relative transparency of the institution when constructing and presenting narratives. This, by default, creates room to question those very narratives on display whilst exposing the museum’s complicity in perpetuating desired narratives and concealing others. Whilst the work of the Museum Clausum is a critique of the institution it is also a homage and an acknowledgement of the museum space as a possible medium for critical art practice as proved through a long tradition of artists who have worked on or with the museum. It is hence one of the aims of the Museum Clausum to foster and promote increased critical ‘museum literacy’, as current changes in museums’ policies are in danger to remain inadequate and superficial if these are not additionally supported by changes in museum visitors’ way of perceiving or ‘reading’ museums. Otherwise the museum will continue to simply 'tell' stories – only that the stories told have been altered to suit current political trends.

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