Cindy Sherman, Untitled (MP# 408), 2002, Reydan Weiss Collection
Exhibition | 21.05.2016 - 26.02.2017

I Prefer Life

Reydan Weiss Collection. Exhibition on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Weserburg
The exhibition “I Prefer Life” brings together more than 100 pictures, sculptures and video works that investigate in a quite sensual and convincingly provocative manner issues of identity, the assignment of social roles, and also existential areas such as life and death. Highlights and previously undisplayed works from the Reydan Weiss Collection will be presented. The collector was born in Istanbul, grew up in Jordan, went to school in Jerusalem, and came to Germany as a young woman. The fact that she has access to several cultural contexts turns the exhibition into an experience that extends its perspective far past the bounds of Europe out onto the world. In addition to renowned artists such as Cindy Sherman, Nathalie Djurberg, Bettina Rheims as well as Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Robert Longo, the exhibition presents many surprising new works, including African, Oceanic, Chinese, Japanese, Latin American and Caribbean positions.
Charles Fréger, Cerbul (Stag), Corlata, Romania (2010-2011), Reydan Weiss Collection
Charles Fréger, Cerbul (Stag), Corlata, Romania (2010-2011), Reydan Weiss Collection
Kate MccGwire, Skein, 2012, Reydan Weiss Collection © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2016
Kate MccGwire, Skein, 2012, Reydan Weiss Collection © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2016

The handling and enduring of cultural and individual differences, of tradition and modernism is a fundamental theme of the exhibition.  Examples of this are changing photographic identities of Cindy Sherman, exceedingly strange shapes by Charles Fréger, and the not only initially threatening figure of Mircea Suciu concealed in a burka. But also issues such as life and death, beauty and old-age resonate in a convincing manner in many of the works on display. Mat Collishaw's photographic series “Last Meal on Death Row” shows composed still lifes that turn out to be prisoners' final meals before execution. Manabu Yamanaka presents photographs of naked, extremely old women who have been deeply marked by life. Through his death portrait, Andres Serrano is able to convey insights into the normally closed-off area of pathology.This collection includes some surprises never seen before in northwestern Germany.

The large number of outstanding, in some cases abstract paintings is remarkable. If one examines the pictures a considerable cross-section emerges of what is relevant and valid as painting in the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to works by Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, as well as by Jonas Burgert, Norbert Schwontkowski, and the Lebanese artist Etel Adnan, there are works by the Australian painter  Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, who up to now is not so well-known in Europe. His works are hung coequally alongside those of Bernard Frize and Peter Halley; precisely in spite of their contextuality and direct connection to the aboriginal culture of Australia, they are able to assert themselves in juxtaposition to many works marked by the European-American tradition. In other words: Tjapaltjarri is not assigned any “ethnologically” influenced special status, but takes his place in this collection as an international artist alongside many others whose works are on display here.

Ausstellungsansicht mit Werken von Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri und Imi Knoebel, Sammlung Reydan Weiss © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2016, Foto: Michael Ihle
Ausstellungsansicht mit Werken von Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri und Imi Knoebel, Sammlung Reydan Weiss © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2016, Foto: Michael Ihle
Manabu Yamanaka, „Gyahtei #11“, 1995, Reydan Weiss Collection
Manabu Yamanaka, „Gyahtei #11“, 1995, Reydan Weiss Collection

The focus is repeatedly on the question of how the diversity, sometimes even the exclusivity of intellectual claims and manners of thinking can continue to exist alongside and among each other. Transferred into the sphere of art, this means: whether and in which way an interconnection between aesthetics and ethics exists and can be experienced in the work of art. It is a matter of learning processes within the framework of an international exchange which are relevant to a broader and younger audience. It is also a matter of attaining another and new perspective onto a world that to some extent has become unhinged, of revising fixed concepts, and of attaining one's own standpoint in the world, alongside and together with other persons. 



Etel Adnan, Helene Appel, Emma Bennett, Bertozzi & Casoni, Nicole Bianchet, Jeremy Blake, Katharina Bosse, Ulla von Brandenburg, GL Brierley, Daniele Buetti, Jelena Bulajic, Jonas Burgert, Yoan Capote, Shen Chen, Patrick van Caeckenbergh, Mat Collishaw, Johan Creten, Tony Cragg, Keren Cytter, Nathalie Djurberg, Slawomir Elsner, Elger Esser, Inci Eviner, Paul Fägerskiöld, Famed, Claire Fontaine, Charles Fréger, Bernard Frize, Patrycja German, Rachel Goodyear, Paul Graham, Henriette Grahnert, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Peter Halley, Dan Halter, Mark Handforth, Flora Hauser, Julie Heffernan, Evelyn Hofer, Linde Ivimey, Du Jie, Bharti Kher, Anselm Kiefer, Joanna Kirk, Ragnar Kjartansson, Imi Knoebel, Shio Kusaka, Alicja Kwade, Thomas Lerooy, Graham Little, Robert Longo, Rosa Loy, Rosilene Luduvico, Alastair Mackie, Kate MccGwire, Alex McQuilkin, Olaf Metzel, Marilyn Minter, Mohau Modisakeng, Jean-Luc Moerman, Yasumasa Morimura, Wangechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Julie Nord, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Jacco Olivier, Catherine Opie, Claire Partington, Elodie Pong, Shannon Plumb, Ged Quinn, Till Rabus, Bettina Rheims, Gerhard Richter, Daniela Rossell, Dennis Scholl, Thomas Schütte, Grace Schwindt, Norbert Schwontkowski, Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson,  Andreas Slominski, Carolein Smit, Kiki Smith, Martina Steckholzer, Anett Stuth, Mircea Suciu, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, Sandra Vàsques de la Horra, Nil Yalter, Manabu Yamanaka, Zhou Yangming, Young-Jae Lee.

With the generous support of the Waldemar Koch Stiftung and the Museumsfreunde Weserburg. 

The media partner is Nordwestradio.

25 Years Weserburg. 25 Years Collectors' Museum

In its 25th year, the Weserburg is giving itself a present: With the Reydan Weiss Collection, Europe's first collectors' museum is enriching its already extensive partnerships with an illustrious collection of international contemporary art. Ever since 1991, important works of art from private collections have been displayed in the old warehouses on an island in the Weser River. Painting, sculpture, photography and video art from 1960 to today are on display on five floors. With their new discoveries, young collectors offer insights into current developments in art.

In the past as well, the Weserburg has received international attention for its special exhibitions conceived in Bremen. Among others, mention should be made of “Die Kunst und das schöne Ding” (1995) as well as “Minimal Maximal” (1998-2001), an exhibition that subsequently traveled to Spain, Japan, and Korea. Further highlights were “The Fondation Maeght” (2003), “Jörg Immendorff” (2007), “Farbe im Fluss” (2011), and most recently “Land in Sicht” (2015). Exhibition formats such as “Junge Sammlungen,” “Künstlerräume,” and “Meisterschüler der HfK” constantly expand and rejuvenate the ambitious program.

The Center for Artist Publications, also housed in the buildings, is an archive and research center. Its exhibitions present an internationally unique collection ranging from artist's books to radio art.


Filmprogramm zur Ausstellung im Kino City 46 u.a. mit Elodie Pong, Je suis une bombe, 2006, Sammlung Reydan Weiss (Videostills)


  •  Exhibition Opening: Friday, 20 May at 8:00 p.m. Free admission. Already opened at 7:00 p.m. at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst: the exhibition “Max Schaffer. The Power of Style.”
  • International Museum Day: Sunday, 22 May. Admission 5,-/3,- Euros. Guided tour through the exhibition with Meike Su at 12 pm Collectors' discussion: Director Peter Friese in conversation with Ivo Wessel, Dominic Brennenstuhl et al. at 3:00 p.m.
  • Long Night of the Bremen Museums: Saturday, 4 June 6:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Special admission fees, guided tours, concerts, actions for children and families.
  • Cultural Project and Exhibition for Children: Living DIFFERENTLY, November 2016 – January 2017. Groups of children from Bremen and Bremerhaven work with artists to develop their own works. Exciting questions are addressed concerning  identity and background, cultural characteristics and the assignment of social roles. A collaboration with  Quartier gGmbH,
  • film:art 75: Film program accompanying the exhibition at the cinema CITY 46, introduced by Christine Rüffert (Bremen University),

Further dates will be announced soon.


Free Admission for School Classes

  • The Weserburg offers free admission for school classes of all ages. The offer is valid during the anniversary exhibition “I Prefer Life” (until 26 February 2017). It has been made possible through the Waldemar Koch  Foundation. Registration is required!
  • Guided tours with and without a practical segment can be booked. They deepen and complement what is seen in a lively manner. A fee is charged.
  • Informational presentation for teachers: Friday, 27 May 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Visit to the exhibition, information material and description of the offerings for school classes. Registration by Tuesday, 24 May 2016.

Information, registration and booking of guided tours:
Telephone: 0049-(0)421-59839-0
E-Mail: sekretariat(at)

Free Admission for School Classes

The offer is valid during the anniversary exhibition “I Prefer Life”. It has been made possible through the Waldemar Koch  Foundation. Registration is required!


Gesprächszeit "2 nach 1"

Interview mit der Kunstsammlerin Reydan Weiss im Nordwestradio vom 22.05.2016


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