The Moving Museum

Arrivals and departures. An installation

Project description

The process of moving the collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art into the Humboldt Forum at the future Berlin Castle is possibly one of the city’s largest museum-related undertakings in recent decades. The video artist Theo Eshetu will document and artistically accompany the moving process. Eshetu regards movement as a ritual and associates it with the “moving (compelling) history of the museum and its specimens. The video essay “The Moving Museum” presents various aspects of the moving project from multiple perspectives. In addition to art, politics and architecture, these include images of national identity which have been evoked by or reflected in the reconstruction of the Berlin Castle. What is the significance of reconstructing a building from Germany’s monarchical past to serve as a repository for objects of colonial origin? On one hand, “The Moving Museum” offers insights into the new architecture of the museum, and on the other, searches for the construct of ideas which comprises Germany’s cultural identity in the 21st century. It reflects the role of ethnological museums and their relationship to art, which has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years because of their alleged “Eurocentric canon”. Theo Eshetu merges interviews, anecdotes, ideas and documentary images together to form a multi-perspective collage which is bound by the central question: What does the Humboldt Forum project reveal about the future of our globalised world?

Artistic director: Theo Eshetu (GB)
Project director: Bettina Probst


Berlin: 11 Jun. 2016 – 31 Dec. 2019


Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Von-der-Heydt-Straße 16-18
10785 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)