The Art Collection Deutsche Börse is among the world’s most renowned collections of contemporary photography. It was founded in 1999 and has seen continuous growth. By now, the collection comprises more than 2,300 works by around 160 artists from 35 countries.
The collection is dedicated to photography since the mid-20th century. The visual languages and photographic approaches represented are as diverse as the background, age, or artistic method of the photographers, ranging from documentary to conceptual approaches. Each position offers its own perspective on the collection’s central theme, the “conditio humana”, the exploration of the conditions of human existence and its position in the world.
We are responsible for the further development and presentation of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse. Our website provides virtual access to the entire collection. Here you will find all the works we have acquired, including an introductory text as well as short and informative audio features on selected works.
25 Years of Art Collection Deutsche Börse
We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse in 2024. In the spirit of cooperation, dialogue and diversity - the three guiding principles for the anniversary year - our activities will focus on the diversity of voices within the collection and the exchange with artists and partner institutions from all over the world. To mark the occasion, we are presenting an extensive and varied programme of exhibitions and events, including presentations of the collection in The Cube, Eschborn, the publication of the seventh photo volume in the "XL Photography" series, awards and sponsorship and exhibition projects with international partners.
The media partner for the Art Collection Deutsche Börse anniversary year programme is MONOPOL.
Associate Curator for the Art Collection Deutsche Börse
During a two-year collaboration, Mariama Attah will advise us on acquisitions for our collection of contemporary photography and support us in further expanding the diversity of the artistic positions represented. Mariama Attah is a photography curator, editor, and lecturer. She is currently the curator for touring and loans at Autograph in London. With her experience in integrating diverse perspectives and narratives, Attah will help to strengthen our commitment to the visibility and promotion of underrepresented artist groups. Together with Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator of the collection and Director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Attah will develop an exhibition concept to present the new acquisitions on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Art Collection Deutsche Börse in 2024. The show will illustrate how the new artworks fit into and complement the existing artistic positions of the collection.
More information can be found in our press release.
Seeing the World through Different Eyes
On the creative dimension of photography and its mediation, extract from the XL Photography catalogues
The character of photography contains a lot more than simply reflecting reality. As if through a window, it allows us to see the world through the artists’ eyes and share their impressions and experiences. In this way, we get to discover amazing things – great moments and small encounters, events past and present, in strange or familiar places. Photography opens up perspectives that we would otherwise not be aware of. The images of the Art Collection attest to this creative power.
It presents works of conceptual art as well as images from the field of photojournalism and documentary photography. It incorporates groups of works from the early mid-20th century to the present day. The photographs point to the collection’s central theme: the artists’ examination of the changes wrought by social and political developments, and the traces these leave behind. The strategies they use to make this visible and perceptible in their work are as varied as their backgrounds, their age or their self-perception as artists, and range from a replicating and descriptive approach to artistic experiments. Each generation of artists makes its own discoveries and yet faces the constant challenge of how to decode the present. We see the younger generation of artists in particular dealing intensively with existing photographic material, which they then edit and alienate to elicit a new narrative. In doing so, they make it clear that each photograph is both a document and a contemporary account, but above all an interpretation of reality in which what is perceived is more important than what is actually shown.
The artists of the Collection prove that although photography always mirrors the past, it can also point to the future. By turning seemingly insignificant traces into beacons or even memorials, they occasionally not only reveal what has been, but also what has not yet been. Using different techniques and formats, they succeed in conveying something of the history of the world, of pictures and even of life itself, that shapes our perception and enhances our pictorial memory. In doing so, they take a stand against the increasingly short-lived media reporting struggling to assert itself in the economy of attention, and replace it with something that is more subtle, slower, but more sustainable.
Since its early days, the Art Collection has been committed not only to compiling works of the highest quality, but also to placing a special focus on making them accessible. Not least because the imaginative, constructive and manipulative potential of photography is still underestimated or even denied in many cases. It is all too tempting to see it as being purely documentary. Recognizing and understanding this and appreciating the creative dimension of photography requires a reflective approach – in other words, learning how to read pictures. If we succeed in this, the artworks will allow us to overcome the limitations of our perception and focus our attention. After all, whether an artist succeeds in highlighting what is superior in a document or fundamental in the individual depends not only on the photograph itself, but also on the observer’s canon of images and the associations and references he makes based on this experience.
Especially in a business environment, where art does not automatically have a place, it is important that we proactively and regularly encourage interaction with the artists’ work and make it accessible to a wider public in various forms. For example, by presenting them at Deutsche Börse’s international locations and organising regular temporary exhibitions. In addition, the fact that we collect comprehensive groups of each artist’s images allows us to delve deeper into their visual language than by looking at just one piece of work. Finally, displaying works by different artists side by side enables a deeper understanding of how the photographs relate to each other and helps the pictures to mutually reinforce and amplify each other. We frequently take exhibitions of the Art Collection as an opportunity to encourage interaction, not just with the photographs, but also as a starting point for dialogue, discussions, lectures and reflection. This concept of allowing our employees to share in the activities of the Art Collection is essential if we want the photographs to play a role in the company in the long term: They become an important part in the living corporate culture.