Burger Collection is a private collection of contemporary art. Monique Burger and her husband have been developing the collection, which unites many media, since the early 1990s, with emphases in Euro-American, Indian, and Asian art. Currently, it includes more than 1100 works by some 200 artists. Since 2005 the works of Burger Collection have been available for view online on the website http://www.burgercollection.org.
Since 2009 and in the years to come, temporary exhibitions loosely based on the aesthetic key ideas of subjectivity, narration, history, and language are held at different locations around the world. This marks a new phase in the Burger Collection, to the extent that it involves turning towards a broader public with a new curatorial concept of its own. With the exhibition/research project, Burger Collection manifests itself in different regions around the world, and in so doing places the works in specific geo-cultural zones. It oftentimes re-introduces works in their initial cultural context of production, and sometimes it creates new site-specific works. Research on-site, co-operations with institutions, exhibition sites, and additional local and international partners deepen the knowledge about the artworks in the collection and illuminate some of the transcultural dimensions of contemporary art. The aim is to generate different perspectives on both the existing and potential functions a private collection within the contemporary art system.
The global surge of private collections during the 1990s has put the question of how collections should position themselves in a period of heightened cultural and economic globalization. What is the private collection’s role in the present art system? How does the collection define its relationships to artists, intellectuals, art institutions and audiences? As art collections work with the premise that art—and artists’ ideas—represents one of the vital ways to relate to people and society, how does a collection itself advocate the perspectives of artists and cultural practitioners?