It's normally an event in a museum or a gallery where they show pieces of art like sculpures, paintings or (depending on the type of museum) other things like special old cars or whatever.
The definition of Ausstellung in this case is "exhibition." Another definition for Ausstellung is "showed." Can anyone explain why a word can mean two completely different things?
"showed" IMO doesn't make sense.
But "a word meaning two completely different things" is not that uncommon:
German "Bank": bank (financial institution); bench.
English "tear": watery secretion from the eyes; verb: to rip, to crack
English "kind": noun: sort; adjective: nice, friendly
How commonly is genitive used in German? My understanding is it's mostly restricted to formal written/literary German these days.
Would this be: Das Thema von der Ausstellung in coversational German?
"Das Thema der Ausstellung" is just as much genitive as "das Thema von der Ausstellung". You could say both, no problem. I'd actually say that the second might be more common in conversational German, like telling your friends about it, the first one could be considered more elegant and would be more common in literature.
Gramatically, "das Thema von der Ausstellung" isn't genitive. It is dative because the preposition "von" needs "der Austellung" to be in dative. The description of the application is correct, though.
Thank you for correcting me. And that should be a lesson to all who are learning German: Even a lot of Germans can't distinguish their own grammatical cases ;-)
"Die Professorin kennt alle Ausstellungen." was translated as "The professor knows all the fairs." Here it won't accept "The subject of the fair."