Nothing Permanent

A collaborative event between the Henry Moore Institute and Skulptur Projekte Münster.

The Skulptur Projekte Münster have been taking place every ten years since 1977, inviting international artists to investigate the relationship between art, the public space and the urban environment and develop new place-specific work. This symposium discusses the challenges of permanence and public art.

“Make nothing permanent.”

Kasper König

Following his lecture at the Henry Moore Institute in 2012, on the history of Skulptur Projekte Münster

This was the response given by König when asked what advice he would give someone thinking of setting up a city-wide sculpture project.

Since 1977, Skulptur Projekte Münster has been a temporary exhibition format with a focus on the idea of projects. Although planned to be temporary, debates rising around the preservation and social engagement of some works now and again led to acquisition and, over the years, a ‘public collection’ has gradually come into being, which has grown continuously.

The Henry Moore Foundation was also established in 1977, and over the last forty years has been working to support the production, exhibition and study of sculpture. This collaborative event continues this shared interest in sculpture and develops the conversation about its public life.

In Münster, as in other urban locations, questions are asked about urban development, historic or social change and their relation to sculpture: such as ‘How can there be engaged social interaction with works which might be ‘outmoded’ or not seem directly to be relevant to contemporary concerns?’ and ‘To what extent is art in public spaces resistant to collection?' The frame of the exhibition is also an issue, and the idea of a changing temporary display is part of our discussion too.

The statement ‘make nothing permanent’ is above all a call to think about art in public spaces as a changeable situation - whether across collection, exhibition and/or conservation - and this provocation serves as the starting point for this event. For it, we have asked four speakers - artists, curators and writers - to respond to the idea, each addressing it from their own experience in the field of sculpture, and each with different understandings of the urgencies and exigencies of these issues.​


This symposium takes place in the auditorium at LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster. The event is free of charge and open to all, no booking required.

  • Introduction: Dr Jon Wood (Henry Moore Institute) and Dr Marianne Wagner (Skulptur Projekte Münster)
  • Un-Monuments: Prof. Brandon Taylor (Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University)
  • Being Part of Somewhere, Belonging to the World: Marilyn Douala Manga Bell (Co-Founder of the contemporary art center doual’art, Douala)
  • The Accumulation of What Is and What Isn’t: Nancy Adajania (Cultural theorist and independent curator, Mumbai)
  • Why Non-Permanency Persists: Thomas Hirschhorn (artist)


See more on Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 at

Venue details

Venue address

LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur
Domplatz 10
T: +49 251 5907 01
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Opening times

Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays: 10am - 6pm

During Skulptur Projekte:
Monday to Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 10pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 8pm