Bon voyage!
Travelling in contemporary art

07 October 2020 – 10 January 2021

Since the late Middle Ages and early modern times countless artists have travelled – embarked on a journey looking for exchange, artistic inspiration or just work. They met with their traditional clients, serving the Church and the nobility, and gradually started getting involved with a new kind of customer: the prosperous Bourgeoisie. The increase in trading and rise in productivity enabled the middle-class to live like nobles and commission pictures and sculptures from artists.

In the 19th century Italy was the main travel-destination for most northern European artists. This changed in classical modernity when they went looking for more exotic places like Africa or the South Sea islands – a true paradise. Some artists returned home with inspirational ideas that shaped their artistic practise. Others weren’t so lucky. If they came back at all, they were disillusioned and turned their backs on the world.

Nowadays, at the beginning of the 21st century, hardly any professional group travels as much as artists do: they accompany their works to exhibitions, fairs and auctions, build installations on site, hold performances or go on study and research trips. It is becoming more and more difficult to attribute national qualities to artists as they constantly are on the move; travelling, working and living in Berlin, New York or London. Digital globalisation is reflected in their curriculum vitae. And the limitless possibilities offered by digital exchanges have become a new source of inspiration.

Experiencing the reality of travelling

“Bon Voyage! Travelling in contemporary art” complements the main Dürer exhibition in 2020 with a selection of contemporary artistic positions. Displayed will be works that conceptually focus on travelling; that reveal paths between utopia and failure. The aim is to present artistic positions, which use physical movements in the real world instead of the omnipresent virtual ‘travel’ on the Internet; to show artworks that were produced to grasp reality in all its varieties, to engage with its challenges and difficulties and to interpret them aesthetically.

The exhibition invites you to see the world through the eyes of the artists, who often go beyond the beaten tracks. It’s about the Arctic and the Amazon, the Chinese Wall and Shenzhen, China’s Silicone Valley, about colonialism and rare earth elements, nomadism, migration and, finally, about how to find your way in a globalised world.
The exhibition conveys how meaningful and fascinating these artistic journeys can be, showing us their world through installations, videos, objects, photographs and graphics.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive side programme consisting of workshops, lectures, dance, theater and action days for everyone.


Myriam Kroll, Holger Otten


A catalogue will accompany the exhibition. It will be published in German and English containing numerous images.

Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst
Jülicher Str. 97-109 | 52070 Aachen
Phone +49 241 1807104