The Wende Museum of the Cold War is excited to announce their participation in the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time, scheduled to open in 2024.
The Wende Museum is one of 45 cultural, educational, and scientific institutions throughout Southern California to receive support from the Getty Foundation for their projects, all of which will explore the intersection of art and science. Pacific Standard Time will include dozens of simultaneous exhibitions and programs focused on the intertwined histories of art and science, past and present, that together address some of the most complex challenges of the 21st century—from climate change and environmental racism to the current pandemic and artificial intelligence—and the creative solutions these problems demand.
Thanks to the Getty Foundation’s support, the museum will present Connected Dreamworlds from Fall 2024 through Winter 2025. Framing Cold War visual culture, art, and design in a new light, this exhibition will articulate the striking parallels in both East and West that emerged in response to the opportunities and challenges of modernization during that time.
Though separated by competing ideologies, the United States and the USSR, with their respective allies, both claimed adherence to a vision of progress rooted in the era’s belief in science paving the way toward a radiant future. Most Cold War art histories and exhibitions perpetuate a rigid binary, revisiting familiar stories of competing propaganda. Connected Dreamworlds will introduce a different approach, emphasizing the hopes, fears, and experiences that coincided on both sides of the Berlin Wall in response to the science and resulting technology that defined the second half of the 20th century.
Connected Dreamworlds will explore a wide variety of designs, artworks, and other visual material promoting or critiquing new technologies and pioneering science, focusing on cross-bloc exchanges of ideas, designs, and technologies. The exhibition will confront visitors with the continuities and ongoing relevance of the Cold War past. To a large extent, environmental issues and climate change, deep ideological divisions and alternative conceptions of reality, surveillance and the erosion of privacy, and the technological underpinnings of racial bias and stereotyping are consequences of developments taking shape during the Cold War period. The exhibition will point to the complexities, ambiguities, and grey zones of history, showing human connection where other perspectives have emphasized irreconcilable difference.
The project will be supervised by the Wende Museum’s Chief Curator and Director of Programming, Joes Segal and Exhibition and Programming Associate / Pacific Standard Time Project Coordinator, Anna Rose Canzano, in collaboration with project team members Ole Bouman (Founder and former Executive Director of Design Society, Shenzhen), Marieke Drost (science journalist, Utrecht), Olga Druzhinina (Development Director and Manager of International Projects, Moscow Design Museum), Ken Gonzales-Day (artist and Professor of Art at Scripps College, Claremont), Susan E. Reid (Professor of Transnational and Modern European History, Durham University) and Alexandra Sankova (Director of the Moscow Design Museum). The exhibition will be developed in coordination with partner institutions the Moscow Design Museum and the Archive of Modern Conflict in London and Toronto.
The Wende Museum joins a diverse community of Southern California institutions that will present exhibitions, publications, performances, and public conversations and programs in 2024 as part of Pacific Standard Time.