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Monika Sprüth on Kraftwerk

There’s really one central question at our galleristic point of departure: Which aspects of art could be of cultural importance for society? I’m a trained architect and urban planner, so the constant analysis of cultural, social and economical phenomena has always played a role in what I do. When Philomene Magers and I began thinking about Kraftwerk, we very quickly realized that “exhibiting” the band was far too large a project for a gallery space. I’ve known Ralf Hütter since 1968—he actually lived in the apartment under me in Aachen where we both studied architecture.


Of course today, representing them has to do with their colossal cultural relevance and unsurpassed ability to reduce sonic and visual elements to the essentials. Like Alighiero Boetti, Kraftwerk are able to differentiate between important and unimportant in a way that few artists can—which is an important part why their work has become so iconic. It became clear to us that a museum is really the only adequate place to present their Gesamtkunstwerk. And where better than the MoMA?

Kraftwerk not only invented electronic pop music, they also managed to give it its visual precision and beautiful form. Theirs is an all-encompassing cultural statement that can compete or even surpass many of the known video works that we see in the museums. It’s both timelessly modern and an embodiment of our era.~ Photo: Dagmar Schwelle


Earlier this year we where reporting from the Kraftwerk Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 at New York’s MoMa, where we collected a lot of interesting takes on the legendary techno innovators from the likes of Juan Atkins, Afrika Bambaataa, Klaus Biesenbach and more — read them here. ~

This text appeared first in Electronic Beats Magazine N° 30 (2012). Read the full issue on


Published November 25, 2012. Words by Monika Sprueth.