ifa Gallery’s new central platform ifa Agora makes its art collection accessible to all

May 9, 2022
Rebecca Horn, Paradies Widow, 1977.

ifa—Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen is pleased to announce the new central platform for its network, collection and archive in the field of art — the ifa Agora. Now, for the first time, ifa’s significant art collection is made accessible to all, bringing it together with ifa’s international activities in the digital space. The new online platform provides a place for transcultural exchange.

The ifa collection currently comprises some 24,000 contemporary artworks (20th and 21st-century) from the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic and beyond. Built up over five decades, this collection provides the basis for the ifa Agora, a knowledge repository that presents ifa’s past and current work and provides access to external knowledge, reports and reviews. The platform provides space for ifa’s transcultural networks, which are made accessible worldwide in digital form and are constantly being expanded.

The launch of the Agora will see the publication of an initial selection of international touring exhibitions with fascinating information about their content, project partners and itineraries—the first time that a large part of the collection has been displayed online. As the Agora grows, various touring exhibitions past and present as well as ifa’s activities in the art sector will gradually go online. The ifa Agora offers snapshots of current artistic and curatorial processes and access to a wealth of ifa knowledge and experience in global artistic communication and exchange.

The ifa Agora provides detailed information on works, artists and the corresponding ifa exhibitions. All content is connected: every time a new artwork is made available in digital form and examined in its context, the Agora changes, as do the research possibilities it offers. Over time, the Agora will provide a more detailed understanding of the works that have emerged from touring exhibition runs and collaborations all over the world since 1971, and that have been bought or borrowed for such exhibitions. The ifa Agora will gradually be able to recall and relate more than 50 years of international art and cultural relations from many different perspectives. One of the stories—or histories—will be that of the artistic representation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic.

Today, the Agora features 1,840 works, 20 exhibitions—including 18 exhibitions from the current touring exhibition programme and two from the archive (Hannah Höch and Joseph Beuys)—and 258 artists. More exhibitions, works and artists will be added in the years to come, drawn from the activities of the ifa galleries in Berlin and Stuttgart, ifa funding, the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and the collection of the GDR Centre for Art Exhibitions. The ifa Agora makes the collection accessible to all, including museums, cultural institutions and ifa partners worldwide, along with universities and researchers interested in contemporary art or international cultural relations.

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