Extensive Partnership between Volkswagen Group of America, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 Renewed through 2015

The opening of EXPO 1: New York on May 12 marks the apex of the long-term partnership between Volkswagen Group of America, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1. On the occasion of EXPO’s opening, Hans Dieter Pötsch, Member of the Board of Directors Volkswagen Group of America; Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art; and Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large at MoMA, have announced that the partnership will be extended through 2015. The partnership was established in May 2011, originally for a period of two years.

EXPO 1: New York is an exploration of ecological challenges in the context of the economic and socio-political instability of the early 21st century. It comprises components at MoMA PS1, MoMA, and the VW Dome 2 in Rockaway Beach, NY.

Based on its corporate values (“innovative, value retentive and responsible”), Volkswagen launched its “Think Blue.” initiative in 2010 with the aim of establishing a foundation for sustainable activity in relation to society and the environment worldwide – both within the company and for the consumer. The partnership between Volkswagen Group of America, MoMA and MoMA PS1 reflects this corporate commitment.

Hans Dieter Pötsch explains the decision to continue the cooperative relationship in the following terms: “Volkswagen is driven by responsibility. We are constantly seeking to broaden our horizon. The partnership is helping us do just that. It is both an investment in the communities that we work and live in, as well as in our own company. Therefore, we are very happy to announce that MoMA and Volkswagen Group of America will be extending their cooperation.”

‘Volkswagen’s tremendous commitment to both institutions helps us bring the very best in modern and contemporary art to our expanding global audience. This generous support will make possible some of the most respected and popular programs in the world, while offering unparalleled opportunities to connect with our millions of national and international visitors. We look forward to the exciting next phase of this important collaboration,’ said Mr. Lowry.

Mr. Biesenbach, who, together with Hans Ulrich Obrist and a group of curators, developed the concept of EXPO 1: New York, added: “The cooperative relationship with Volkswagen makes it possible for us to realize international projects like EXPO 1: New York. At the same time, Volkswagen respects the independence of curators and artists in exemplary style. I look forward to future projects under the auspices of the partnership.”

Partnership between Volkswagen Group of America, MoMA und MoMA PS1

Volkswagen Group of America, MoMA, and MoMA PS1’s extensive multi-year partnership supports exhibitions, with the highlight being EXPO 1: New York, education initiatives, including the expansion of MoMA’s online course offerings and a series of installations in MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

As part of EXPO 1: New York, Volkswagen has donated the VW Dome 2, a temporary geodesic relief and culture dome, located in Rockaway Beach (one of the areas most impacted by Hurricane Sandy). The dome will serve as a center for cultural exchange and education, and will present ideas from the community about the future sustainability of cities and the waterfront. In 2012, Volkswagen generously donated the first VW Dome, which serves as the centerpiece of the MoMA PS1 courtyard, housing the weekly Sunday Sessions series—an amalgam of artistic programming from light, sound, and music installations to lectures and special performances. The music band Kraftwerk also appeared here with a widely acclaimed multimedia-based concert.

Since 2010 MoMA has been offering art and culture courses via the Internet. Making it possible for an international public to directly access the prestigious art institution’s works and knowledge is an outstanding service in the field of art. Online courses are based around the concept of using a variety of media channels to provide the international public with an art experience stretching beyond the boundaries of the museum’s rooms. The new partnership with Volkswagen has allowed the MoMA team to significantly expand the number of courses on offer and increase the number of participants tenfold. Courses are now attracting participants from over 70 different countries. The sponsoring of cultural interaction employing this innovative method is a central element of the long-term cooperation between the Volkswagen Group of America and MoMA.

The partnership also sponsors exhibitions in MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Designed by Philip Johnson in 1953, the sculpture garden is one of the most popular outdoor areas of the city. At present the first installation, Figure in the Garden, is on view there – an exhibition consisting of 18 sculptures from the museum’s collection, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Joan Miró.

In 2011, Volkswagen supported an important exhibition of Francis Alÿs, which was on view at both MoMA and MoMA PS1, and subsequently donated two works from the exhibition—Tornado (2000-2010) and Mirage (A Story of Deception) (2003-2006)—to MoMA. In 2012, Volkswagen supported Kraftwerk – Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, the first live retrospective of the German electronic music pioneers. Kraftwerk performed live at MoMA for eight consecutive evenings in April, and also created a special eight-channel video installation specifically for the VW Dome at MoMA PS1.

“Think Blue.”

Guided by its “Think Blue.” philosophy, Volkswagen has the goal of becoming the leading eco-conscious car brand worldwide by 2018, and is committed to making efficient and sustainable mobility accessible to everyone.

In the USA “Think Blue.” was launched in 2011, at the start of the partnership with MoMA and MoMA PS1. Also in 2011, Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant became the first and only automotive manufacturing plant to receive the renowned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum Award for outstanding energy efficiency.

The challenge of the future lies in making efficient and sustainable mobility accessible to everyone. This calls for a holistic view and a holistic approach. As an attitude going beyond products and technologies and leaving room for creative solutions, “Think Blue.” gives an important signal to this effect, both within the company and in relation to the outside world. Volkswagen intends to play a pioneering role in this context.