Dr. Dirk Dobke, Dieter Roth’s “Mould Museum” between Installation and Museum Self-Staging

3.12.2019, Warburg House


In the 1960s, Dieter Roth expanded his concept of art by allowing the factors of time and chance to participate in the creation of the work through the use of organic material. In 1991-1994 he installed the so-called “Schimmelmuseum” (mould museum) in Hamburg Harvestehude, which remained in existence until 2004. His motivation for this installation is not to stage the processual, i.e. subjected to mould and rotting, early works in a museum-like manner, but to actively demonstrate their processes of change. Room-high towers of sugar and chocolate figures as well as rotting objects and spice boxes filled with fruit and vegetables are created. The viewer experiences the visible, continuous changes in the works in interaction with strong olfactory impressions and the insects living there. In this way Roth creates an installation between an independent processual work and a quasi-museum presentation.

The lecture took place as part of a lecture evening at the Warburg House / University of Hamburg. Organisers of the event: Prof. Dr. Uwe Fleckner, Dr. des. Ina Jessen. The event was supported by the Liebelt Foundation (Hamburg).