Kunstverein München is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in Germany. With its spaces located in the historical arcades of the Hofgarten, it is not only an essential part of the Munich art scene since its founding in 1823, but way beyond the city's limits, it is also internationally recognised as an innovative and discursive platform for contemporary art and its discourse. Originally created to compete with the “Königlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste,” the Kunstverein, in accordance with its founding notion, initially served as a form of and forum for self-organisation of a newly emerging civic public, which in the early 19th century explored new territories not only politically but also culturally. Kunstvereins [art associations] were thus not only spaces for presenting contemporary art but primarily also spaces for social exchange, where through active contemplation of current art the critical consciousness of a temporary collective could develop. It is precisely this central notion of a vital and social exchange on uncertain cultural terrain that, up until today, defines the Kunstverein's work as an indispensable force in the network of cultural institutions - even though, naturally, the political and societal conditions have changed significantly.