THE WORLDWIDE FIRST MUSEUM OF MODERN ELECTRONIC MUSIC (MOMEM) IS NOW READY TO TAKE SHAPE: THE CITY COUNCIL OF FRANKFURT HAS SIGNED IN DECEMBER 12TH AN AGREEMENT FOR THE CREATION OF THE MUSEUM. WE HAD THE CHANCE TO INTERVIEW CULTURAL ACTIVIST ALEX AZARY, CHAIRMAN OF THE ASSOCIATION „FRIENDS OF MOMEM“ AND PART OF THE FRANKFURT MUSIC AND CLUB SCENE FOR OVER 30 YEARS
Exciting week, right? Which is the status of the project so far?
Actually, just last week, we have signed the contracts for MOMEM with the City Council of Frankfurt. The contract provides, that MOMEM will receive it’s future domicile at Frankfurt Hauptwache, in the heart of the city, by end of 2016. Also, the city will redesign the plaza in front of the museum according to our exposé.
Are you going to host just permanent or temporary exhibitions? What about events or music showcases?
In our concept, we already stated, that MOMEM will not become a regular museum. For sure, we will have a permanent exhibition, which will show the development of electronic music, “a journey from the beginning via today and into the future”, as we stated, and to the places where it happened. Besides our basic, permanent exhibition we will host temporary special exhibitions, that will highlight special themes, scenes, clubs, labels or artists. Still, it’s very important to us not to be a pure retrospective place, we want MOMEM to become a lively place in the here and now, so on top of the museological exhibition part, MOMEM will establish an academy, where workshops and seminars will be held by well known djs, producers and artists, where they will pass on their know- how to the young generation, we will host readings, lectures and panels, we will have a weekly movie night where we show movies, videos and documentaries and last not least, there will be club nights and live concerts taking place atMOMEM. Our aim is to present a continuos program on a daily basis.
Why Frankfurt and not Berlin for example?
Well, Frankfurt has played an important role in the development and for the worldwide success of electronic music in many ways, but the main reason probably is the fact that all of us, including Talla, who came up with this idea in the first place, as well as Stefan Weil from Atelier Markgraph, and myself, we are all born and raised in Frankfurt and have been actively involved in the electronic music and club scene here since the beginning of the 80s.
Why is not going to be a proper museum? How would you like us to call it?
As mentioned above already, MOMEM will be a museum, especially as we aim to become a researching archive of electronic music worldwide. Still, on top of this museological part, MOMEM is supposed to become a place where people have a reason to go regularly, maybe even twice or more often per week. With the academy, events (incl. club events), workshops, movie nights and so on, we want MOMEM to become an art and cultural center as well.
What’s the role of technology in this project?
In our presentation we have used a quote by Brian Eno, who once said “music is the key to technology”. and, i would add, vice versa. Electronic music and technology are a natural fit and the development which
happened in music and club culture would not have been possible without technology. So for sure, technology will play an important role in MOMEM, in various ways. On one hand, we will not only use technology for the exhibition design, but we will also present technology that has been used for creating the music, starting from old synthesizers like moog and others, via the rhythm machines from Roland (303, 808 etc.), the first samplers to Native Instruments and Ableton. On the other hand, MOMEM will be quite futuristic in design and exhibit a lot of it’s content by using all possible contemporary means of interactive exhibition design, like radar touch, touch screens etc.
We look much forward to see MOMEM next year!