Frankfurt’s Museum für Kommunikation, on the Main riverbank, was founded in 1958 as the Federal Postal Museum (Bundespostmuseum) and its remit covers a pretty broad spectrum of all modes of communication. It’s currently undergoing a major refurbishment so much of the museum, including the permanent collection is currently off limits, but while I was in Frankfurt, I spotted a poster for a very tempting exhibition that I just couldn’t resist.
It’s ‘‘ Oh Yeah! Pop Music in Germany’, charting the history of popular music in Germany from the 1920s to the present. 😀
On entering the expo, I was giving a pair of headphones and directed to the first lot of listening stations for some modern German pop. This was pretty awful, but I’m not deterred by such things as it’s in the nature of pop for a lot of it to be pretty awful.
This was one of those exhibitions that’s a lot of fun, as well as being informative. There were loads of listening points to plug into, going back in time from the present to the 1920s, with cases of pop-star outfits and memorabilia, instruments, films, pop videos and posters.
The displays are grouped by genre/subculture as well as time period and there’s a whole section on Goths, with a handy guide showing images and detailing the key characteristics of the various sub-groups.
The stories of some of the musical movement are told in relation to the political and social upheavals of the 20th century and, clearly, Germany in the 20th century had some pretty notable political and social shifts. Some of the displays you can’t help but think of seriously. Nazi pop anyone?
With others, it’s a little more difficult to get past the terrible hairstyles and over-acted pop videos in order the reach any serious commentary on the politics of the day lurking beneath the froth.
I think that my favourite sections were the ‘build-up to the-fall-of-the-berlin-wall’ 1980s, the section on electronic music and the Krautrock. These included artists and songs that you just couldn’t leave out of an exhibition on pop music in Germany. Who could forget the time when nuclear armageddon was triggered by accident?
And here’s Nena is a slightly frothier guise.
Ahhh, the eighties *snigger*.
The section on electronic music had some great artefacts on display, and the most obvious exponents on the screen.
And then there was Can.
This was a very fuzzy film of them performing ‘Spoon’ in 1972, with Damo dancing around in a red catsuit 😀
I was having such a good time listening to all the good, and terrible, music, that I ended up having to run like the wind to catch my train 😀 The exhibition runs until 25th February 2018, so if you happen to be in Frankfurt with an hour or two to spare, give it a whirl.