Because my field study site is a private collection and can only be viewed through a reserved tour, I couldn’t really hang around and count people or actions. I also realized that the people who view the exhibition really don’t really matter – it will exist no matter what demographic the audience is or how often they come. The objects in the collection are what really matter, and I thought that by looking at them quantitatively I could get some idea of the what and why behind private collecting.
There are 150 pieces present in the current exhibition at Bunker, though Christian Boros owns some 700 works in all. Some of the remaining 550 works may be displayed in his private residence or in other locations, but the majority exist only in storage. Of the 150 works on display, 58% are sculpture, 17% are photography, 2% are video, and 23% are other 2D works (drawing, painting, collage). A reason for the majority of the works being sculpture could be that the majority of the works are by Olafur Eliasson and John Bock, artists that use sculpture as a large part of their practice.
When taking the tour through Bunker, there are certain artists that stand out and make a large impression. These are often the artists that, though they may not have the most number of works in the collection, take up the most space in the exhibition. Anselm Reyle, an artist who has 9 works present (just over the average for each artist) in 9 rooms, has just one less room than Olafur Eliasson, who has the most works present at 20. This makes Reyle seem like a large presence in the collection. Conversely, Florian Slotawa has 18 works in only 2 rooms. On the tour, one will hear Reyle’s name nine times, but Slotawa’s only once or twice.