The Museum of Electronic Music in Frankfurt opened with a party in the Paulskirche and a party in the city center. Momem dedicates her first exhibition to the legendary DJ in Frankfurt Sven Phat.
I’ve traveled the world many times with DJ legend Sven Väth, and now more than 20,000 records are neatly arranged on the shelves at Germany’s first electronic music museum in Frankfurt. The Museum of Modern Electronic Music (Momem) officially opened on Wednesday at the Hauptwache in Frankfurt.
The space on the shopping street Zell, which had been cordoned off especially for the opening ceremony, was already full in the late afternoon. According to the police, about 3,000 visitors celebrated and danced enthusiastically when Sven Väth took to the consoles on stage in the evening.
The first exhibition in Momem is also dedicated to the music coordinator in Frankfurt. Curated by Frankfurt installation artist and Städelschule professor Tobias Rehberger. The 57-year-old made the scene once with his Frankfurt club “Omen” and later “Cocoon”. Frankfurt – along with other legendary clubs such as ‘Dorian Gray’ – was considered a techno stronghold, especially in the 1990s.
The Techno Museum now reminds us of a club with its black walls and light fixtures. It shouldn’t be a typical museum, says Mumim Museum Director Alex Azari. “I probably go to a museum twice a year,” he says. “But Momem is supposed to work like a club that people come to every week.” He envisions a “place to live” that is not only about retrospective, but also about current developments.
In the future there will be film evenings, workshops and discussions at the museum in Hauptwache. And of course there is also the DJ, for example when artists present their new albums. However, Momem is closed when the clubs open: it opens in the afternoon and closes at 10pm.
Festive starting signal at Paulskirche
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Ina Hartwig (SPD), Head of Culture in Frankfurt, welcomed the makers of Paulskirche’s Momem: in addition to Azary, co-founders Andreas Tomalla aka Talla 2XLC as well as Väth and Rehberger. “With Momem, there is a unique opportunity to showcase and follow a globally successful musical genre that has been highly developed in Frankfurt, emerging and shaping from the beginning to the present,” Hartwig said.
“There couldn’t be a better inaugural exhibition for Mumim, because both Sven Phat and Tobias Rieberger shaped electronic music and club culture in their own way and brought it to the world from Frankfurt,” Azari and Tomala emphasized during the opening ceremony.
Patron and Lord Mayor Peter Feldman (SPD) emphasized: “Frankfurt is closely linked to the history of electronic music, through legendary clubs such as Dorian Gray or Omen. But Frankfurt has been and remains the home of many music producers and DJs.”
Culture in the “hole”
The road to Momem was very boring, and there was little progress for a long time. The idea emerged in 2011. In 2015, the city announced the planned foundation of Musikmesse, and the opening was planned for 2017. But by that time no suitable site had been found. Eventually, the right location was found in the former Children’s Museum, but disagreements over funding ensued. Then Corona came.
Even in the lead-up to the opening of the museum with an exhibition area of about 500 square meters, not everything went smoothly. Originally there should have been a party before Momem, the low, stair-lined plaza – called “The Hole” in Frankfurt – would have been the perfect setting for a techno party.
“The DJ could be there, and there he would be dancing there,” Azari says with a slight wistfulness in his voice, explaining how he imagined the opening ceremony in the museum’s front yard. “This could have been small and neat.” But there was no permit for that, so the party was moved upstairs to the mezzanine floor. But that didn’t stop the party on Wednesday night. From Friday, the museum will be open to all.
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