Electro. From Kraftwerk to Techno: An exhibition in Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast Museum


Electro. From Kraftwerk to Techno: An exhibition in Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast Museum

Electronic music has been mainstream for some time now, but serious critics have often overlooked the movement’s many cultural contributions to everything from music to art to fashion.

However, that’s all begun to change recently, as we’ve seen a wave of exciting new projects designed to bring critical attention to the EDM world. From Arjan Rietveld’s Trance encyclopedia to Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Electronic Music, this feels like the beginning of a new appreciation for this popular music genre and following trend, Düsseldorf’s Kunstpalast Museum have recently launched their electro exhibition.

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It is bringing together over 500 exhibits, including Electro. Kraftwerk to Techno is an exciting multi-media project combining audio, visual, and physical elements to create a compelling interactive experience.

The exhibition will feature both historical exhibits–focusing on the various subgenres of the ‘80s and ‘90s, such as hip-hop, Chicago House, and rave culture–and explorations of how modern advancements in technology are changing the way we make music.

What should you know before visiting the exhibition?

Tickets to the exhibition can be purchased on sight at the Kunstpalast Museum, for 14€ per adult and free-entry anyone below the age of eighteen. Opening hours are 11 am-6 pm Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am-9 pm on Thursdays, and the Museum is closed on Mondays.

Alongside the exhibition, you’ll be able to purchase a 100-page catalog filled with text and illustrations from various contributors. That being said, the catalogue is only available in German so, for any non-German speakers, you’ll have to buy a dictionary or get your German friends to take a look.

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In terms of COVID rules, according to the Kunstpalast website, the 2G rule is still in place for all adults, while only the 3G rule applies to children. That means that adults will have to be fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID, while for under 18s, a negative COVID test will do.

But why does it matter that critics and museums are taking Electronic music seriously?

In many ways, it’s easy to dismiss the attention of media critics. After all, why should any establishment get to tell you what makes for good or bad art? Art that works is the art you enjoy, the art you relate to or just any kind of art that compels you to seek it out.

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Most artistic movements did not begin with critical attention but gained mainstream popularity. That being said, this kind of attention can be precious because it encourages people to learn more. Whether you like it or not, the fact of the matter is that there is a history to this subculture. In addition, some styles and themes are unique to electronic music and are worth studying and learning about.

All too often, there is a tendency amongst many to view EDM as a transitory genre, as music that will come and go and be forgotten. Indeed, because of its close relationship to clubs, many see the genre as almost commercial, but projects like this exhibition can change that.

We create a space where this music can last by telling the story of electronic music, preserving instruments, and encouraging people to learn about it.

While the Kunstpalast exhibition will be closing its doors on the 15th of May 2022, perhaps its legacy may live in on those who saw it. With any luck, future generations of musicians will continue to be inspired by the stunning level of artistry on.

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