Permanent Collection by Manuel Pelmuș

Permanent Collection at MUNCH is a new work with six dancers by the artist Manuel Pelmuș.


In the purpose-built gallery dedicated to Edvard Munch’s monumental works, five dancers explore alternative ways of displaying artworks and building collections, and question whose stories get given a permanent place. The dancers enact famous and lesser-known artworks and cultural artefacts through movement with emphasis on those that deal with solidarity and togetherness. The work examines the construction of the new museum and the invisible stories of the international workers who built it; bodies who are otherwise not represented or celebrated at the museum. Permanent Collection considers the history of workers’ rights by incorporating the international anti-fascist anthem ‘Bella Ciao’, originally sung by female Italian seasonal workers. The song invokes a legacy of resistance and defiance, and the ongoing action explores ways in which histories of solidarity can become a part of a new, movement-based permanent collection at MUNCH.

Place: Floor 6, in the exhibition Edvard Munch Monumental

Free, with general admission to the museum.

Manuel Pelmuş was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1974, and is currently a research fellow at the Academy of Fine Arts Oslo (KHiO) with the project Permanent Collection. In 2012, Pelmus was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for performance arts, and in 2013 he represented Romania at the 55th Venice Biennale with a collaboration with Alexandra Pirici. His work has been shown at Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and the Van Abbe museum, among others.

Permanent Collection at MUNCH is a part of an ongoing series of actions by Pelmuș that explores the possibility of a performative permanent collection at museums. The action has previously been enacted at the Kunsthalle Vienna and the Museum of Public Transportation in Timișoara.

  • Concept:
    Manuel Pelmuș

    Ingunn Rimestad, Jens Trinidad, Ornilia Ubisse, Beniamin Boar, Elizabeth Ward, Manuel Pelmuș