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"MAMCO, from Memory": A Pioneering Exhibition at MAMCO Before Major Renovation

Geneva's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) is preparing for a groundbreaking exhibition titled "MAMCO, from Memory," set to launch before the museum undergoes its most significant renovation since opening. This unique exhibition, beginning on September 3 2024, will be the last opportunity for visitors to experience the museum's extensive collection in its current configuration, with the renovation slated to start in 2025.

MAMCO Lionel Bovier's portrait

Lionel Bovier's portrait

Photo credit/ Annik Wetter

"MAMCO, from Memory" is not just any exhibition; it is a collective curation by the museum's audience—regular visitors, Friends Association members, museum board members, partners, and the general public have all played a part in shaping the content. In an exclusive interview with Lionel Bovier, the museum's director, he emphasized the communal aspect of this endeavor: "It's the people's exhibition," reflecting the personal memories and connections that the audience has with the museum's offerings.


The exhibition is a novel initiative where the public was invited to vote on which pieces from MAMCO's vast collection they wished to see displayed. With over 6,000 works encompassing Minimal and Conceptual art, along with significant representations from various artistic and historical contexts, the selection process was both democratic and revealing.


"We've seen an impressive engagement, especially from our local audience," Bovier noted, explaining that the voting system, which opened just before Christmas last year and closed at the end of March, attracted a 1’000 votes and numerous suggestions. The final selection includes more than 300 pieces, a testament to the diverse and rich history of the museum's acquisitions.

MAMCO Adel Abdessemed (*1971), Habibi, 2003  Photo credit/ Ilmari Kalkkinen

Adel Abdessemed (*1971), Habibi, 2003

Photo credit/ Ilmari Kalkkinen

MAMCO Xavier Veilhan (*1963), La Forêt, 1998

Xavier Veilhan (*1963), La Forêt, 1998


The museum's collection includes influential works by artists like Siah Armajani, Sylvie Fleury, and Marcia Hafif, alongside recent acquisitions that touch on current issues like digital technology's impact on art, cultural diversity, and identity politics. The upcoming exhibition will allow visitors to revisit not only favorites but also lesser-seen works that have rarely been displayed.


This exhibition provides a snapshot of MAMCO's evolution over the years, capturing the essence of past exhibitions and the public's ongoing engagement with contemporary art. Julien Fronsacq, the museum’s Chief curator, and his team have meticulously arranged the requested works, ensuring a coherent narrative despite the diverse range of artworks.


As MAMCO prepares for a significant transformation, "MAMCO, from Memory" offers a poignant reflection on the museum's past and a celebration of its future. With free admission and a series of public activities planned around the exhibition, MAMCO aims to deepen its connection with the community, fostering a more interactive and engaging museum experience.


Bovier concludes, "It's about constructing narratives and doing research, akin to a university. We hope to continue engaging our audience, making them part of the conversation about art and its societal impacts."


As the doors open on September 3, "MAMCO, from Memory" promises to be a memorable event, marking both an end and a new beginning for Geneva's esteemed MAMCO.

MAMCO’s building   Photo credit : Annik Wetter

MAMCO’s building

Photo credit : Annik Wetter




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