The Power Plant

Make Your Own Life: Artists In & Out of Cologne

Bernadette Corporation, Cosima von Bonin, Merlin Carpenter, Stephan Dillemuth, Michaela Eichwald, Roe Ethridge, Andrea Fraser, Kim Gordon, Charline von Heyl, Gareth James, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Jutta Koether, Michael Krebber, Louise Lawler, Hans-Jörg Mayer, Lucy McKenzie, Nils Norman, Albert Oehlen, Christian Philipp Müller, Stephen Prina, Josephine Pryde, Blake Rayne, Reena Spaulings, Josef Strau, Rosemarie Trockel, Filmgruppe West, Christopher Williams, Christopher Wool, others

Past Exhibition

Sep 21 – Dec 02 2006


Michael Krebber, Untitled, 2006. Vitrine with books and ephemera, installed dimensions vary. Courtesy of the artist and Institute of Contemporary Art University of Pennsylvania


Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


BMO Financial Group


Bennett Simpson

This groundbreaking exhibition looks at the mythic and art historical significance of Cologne, Germany, bringing together three generations of highly influential European and American artists.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Cologne was one of the most important centers for contemporary art in Europe, if not the world. With its many galleries, artist-run spaces and artist bars, the city assumed an almost mythological dimension as a place where artists showed, sold, socialized, and distinguished themselves and their work on levels both symbolic and real. Highlighting the work of more than twenty-five artists from Cologne, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Berlin, Make Your Own Life explores one of the defining legacies of this time: the privileging of the artist's life and context as a basis for understanding artistic practice. How to make art in relation to a set of communities, histories, market conditions, and social attitudes was at the core of the Cologne scene. Fiercely debated, dramatized in exaggerated behavior, art works and exhibitions, the performance of an artistic persona contributed to Cologne’s aura as a city of extreme self-consciousness and audacity.

Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

Felt curtain, maitre d’ stand and menus. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

Mixed media, dimensions variable. Includes work by various artists. Courtesy the artists and Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne. Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

Courtesy the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York. Photo: Rafael Goldchain.

About the Artist

Stephen Prina

Stephen Prina is an American artist, musician, and composer, born in 1954 in Galesburg, Illinois.