Interview with Denise A, founder and head-curator of the DENISEUM (via Skype due to current circumstances).

 

11th May 2020

 

DA.

 

It seems an amazing achievement to open an art institution of that size and scope during a time of global crisis and at least half of the world’s population being in lock down.Where did you take the energy and nerves for such a big move given this situation ?

 

Denise A.

 

First of all, the opening of such an institution was long overdue. Too much talent and great work have been hidden from the public eye and it seemed like the right time to take these works out of their closet and show it to the world. I have started doing yoga twice a day, which, since the beginning of the lockdown, has equipped me with the necessary focus and inner stability. Being so much inside, bringing art to the outside seems more important than ever.

 

DA.

 

Was there ever any consideration of postponing or even cancelling the opening since big events such as the Olympics and as we saw this week, even the celebration of 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, were either cancelled or postponed ?

 

Denise A.

 

No, not really as it seemed too urgent to leave it to another point in time and we have been investing already so much time and effort into the exhibition and the museum itself that it would have been unfair to our audience and employees to cancel the opening after so much anticipation.

 

DA.

Can you tell us more about the opening exhibition “Kunst Muss Riechen (Art Must Smell)!” ?

 

Denise A.

 

It was important for us to address the current issues of our time in the opening exhibition. The loss of senses and sensuality through, for example the increase of digital and online art, seemed to be one of the biggest urgencies from an arts but also societal perspective. During a period of time where we consume art isolated in front of our laptop screens and where the only sensual sensation we get might be the one from our keyboard – the appealing to our senses such as the one of smell, be it artworks or other people, seemed to respond to this urgency in the most immediate manner.

DA.

 

Now that the big opening has taken place, and “Kunst Muss Riechen!” will be on for a bit and maybe longer, the reviews so far have been very positive, what are the future plans for the DENISEUM ?

 

Denise A.

 

Currently we have a strong focus on enhancing our online presence and reach out to our visitors in different ways. Here the gift shop turns out to be a key point of interaction – hence the DENISEUM is working to expand its range of merchandise to be ready for future visitors and making them spend more time (and ideally money) in the giftshop. Other than that, the DENISEUM intends to be incredibly ambitious in its exhibition program so we are working on a show that may even appeal to senses that we are actually not aware of.

 

DA.

 

Thank you for the interview.