Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art is a museum for contemporary art and the newest art forms from the 1950s up to today. The museum was founded in 1991 and became state recognized in 1994 and has as its primary mission to document, collect and communicate contemporary art.
The museum’s original logo includes the words “Word, Image, Sound”, which refers to the museum’s basic idea of working with art that transcends the classical art forms: visual arts, theater, music, literature and film.
The idea of placing the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde arose in the mid 1980s. After some years of preparatory work, the museum opened in 1991. The museum was state recognized in 1994 and operates today by grants from Roskilde City Council and the state.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in the Royal Palace (The Yellow Palace) in Roskilde.
The fusion of arts was just the starting point for many new forms of artistic expression that emerged in the late 1950s in Denmark and abroad. In Denmark it was among others the Danish artist Poul Gernes who tried to create an interdisciplinary fine arts academy NORDAK, which later became the Experimental Art School. In the US it was the art school Black Mountain College, which was one of the breeding sites for the new art.
The international Fluxus movement also knew its starting point in the late 1950s, and made up with the classic art forms and stated, inter alia, that ‘”we play music that is not music ..” They made scandal hit concerts, controversial happenings and much more. The Fluxus movement’s anarchistic approach to things meant that you had to establish an entirely new conception of the work. For the work was not to be there forever.
The ephemeral art is an important basis for the Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the foundations of the museum collection is also a Fluxus Festival held in Roskilde in 1985. This festival named “Festival of Fantastics” contained numerous performances, concerts and other happenings, which were documented in photographs and moving images. See more here: www.festivaloffantastics.com”.
The museum today
The museum is now giving priority to sound art, performance art and video art, as well as other art forms breaking the boundaries of a particular art category. This clarifies the fusion of arts, given that these art forms are inspired by both visual art, music, theatre, dance and literature.
New media has also influenced these art forms, particularly where video and sound art’s digital and high-tech production is significant. Performance art also covers a very wide field: from the analog performance on stage to the technologically-based performance, where new media is used.
The museum is the only museum in the country having this focus as its core activity.
The museum’s mission is to provide a space for the contemporary art that breaks boundaries of art categories and clarifies the fusion of arts. The museum will create a meeting between these art forms and a wide audience, thereby raising awareness of the latest art and its media.
The museum’s vision is to become the leading museum in Northern Europe for education and research into new art forms after 1950.