The HMKV puts on large thematic group exhibitions as well as experimental solo exhibitions (i.e. Antoni Muntadas 2003, Barbara Breitenfellner 2011, Suzanne Treister 2012, Artur Zmijewski 2012, Eran Schaerf 2013, Axel Braun 2013–14, Hito Steyerl 2016, Dan Perjovschi 2016, Korpys/Löffler 2018.
The HMKV places great value on the cooperation with external curators and art educators and mediators. The most important exhibitions have come about in the form of collaborations, for instance The Wonderful World of irational.org (2006 – 2012, with Jacob Lillemose, Copenhagen), “Awake Are Only the Spirits” – On Ghosts and their Media (2009, with Thibaut de Ruyter, Berlin), Arctic Perspective (2010, with Marko Peljhan, Ljubljana/Santa Barbara and Matthew Biederman, Montréal), Sounds Like Silence (2012, with Dieter Daniels, Leipzig), INDUSTRIAL (Research) (2013, with Thibaut de Ruyter, Berlin), Requiem for a Bank (2013, curated by Fabian Saavedra-Lara), and Whistleblowers & Vigilantes (2016, with Jens Kabisch).
Another format is the HMKV Video of the Month, which presents current, particularly remarkable video works by international artists for the duration of one month each (since March 2014). In 2013–14, performative projects in empty spaces took place in the context of Requiem for a Bank in the inner city of Dortmund: Hedge Knights of machina eX made a guest appearance in the former AOK building, Jens Heitjohann’s I Promise, I Am The Future took participants on a three-hour tour through the Union Quarter adjacent to the Dortmunder U (accompanied by twelve residents), and Utopia Stock Exchange of Invisible Playground invited the citizens of Dortmund to make their wildest dreams public to the city and to trade them live in a stock exchange of utopias.
Today, the communication of contemporary art is taking on increasing importance. It’s a matter of creating access to contemporary art and of showing that artists do not merely sit in their ivory towers, but address themes that matter to everyone. Of course, it’s initially the exhibitions themselves that are the instruments of communication. This could be seen recently in the exhibitions His Master’s Voice and INDUSTRIAL (Research), which included (everyday) material that went far beyond the area of art, but remained closely tied to the exhibition’s themes. In its communication work, the HMKV makes use of the tools of the digital age in a playful and participatory way to create a new understanding for our media world and its patterns of perception and action. In addition, the HMKV works with ‘info trainers’, who are instructed to communicate the themes of current art to visitors. Bilingual volumes are published for almost all of the HMKV’s exhibitions. The HMKV also, of course, offers free guided tours on a regular basis and organises international conferences and workshops (i.e. ISEA2010 RUHR – 16th International Symposium on Electronic Art, 2010, or more recently the international New Industries Conference: Money and Debt in the Post-Industrial World, 2014).