Humboldt Lab Dahlem

Programme for future presentations of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art

Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Ausstellung "Prinzip Labor", Foto: Sebastian Bolesch, © Humboldt Lab Dahlem

Located in the historic heart of Berlin, the Humboldt Forum is set to become an internationally renowned centre of art, culture, science and education by the end of this decade. Its aim is to promote dialogue between the cultures of the world and address a highly diverse range of perspectives on both historic and contemporary issues of global relevance.

From 2012 to 2015 the Humboldt Lab Dahlem served as an experimental venue, supporting and enriching the planning processes of both Dahlem museums for the future Humboldt Forum. This intensive collaboration was made possible by museum curators, designers, artists and researchers who developped and shared new experiences with the public and experts by means of concentrated, quickly executed projects in a playful and practice-oriented manner.

The Humboldt Lab Dahlem combined theoretical, self-reflective aspects with application-based elements. It examined methodical issues with regard to exhibitions and develops exemplary methods of developing them using specimens provided by the Dahlem collections, whereby strong emphasis was placed on experimenting with non-museum-like forms of visualisation and design. The projects aimed to answer the question of how a museum today can present non-European art and culture in a both vivid and comprehensive fashion. In addition to critically reviewing the collection history, the Humboldt Lab Dahlem also strived to establish cooperative projects with various partners, preferably from non-European countries.

A Projekt by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes in Kooperation with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Symposium "Historical Collections and Contemporary Art: A Discussion on Curatorial Strategies", 2 - 3 July 2015, Dahlem Museums

Thu, July 2, 2015, 10 am - 6 pm / Fri, July 3, 2015, 11 am - 5 pm
Dahlem Museums, Lansstraße 8, 14195 Berlin

The spectrum of artistic and curatorial strategies in the context of the planning for the Humboldt-Forum is diverse: some artistic positions work directly with historical collections, others deal critically with the history of colonial collections. Moreover, certain artworks emphasize contemporary global issues. It is also planned to exhibit artistic works according to issues that play a role in contemporary art as well as in the historic collections.

With this in mind, there is a greater need for discussion on the following issues:
What different strategies can be detected in the collecting and presenting of contemporary art together with historical collections in the current museum landscape? What criticism is there of these approaches – and in general of the use of art in this context? What strategies can be developed for the Humboldt-Forum?

Those invited included curators from museums that have exhibited contemporary art in the context of historic collections, as well as academics, who have undertaken critical analyses of this complex of issues.

Anke Bangma, National Museum of World Cultures, Amsterdam / Jaqueline Berndt, Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto / Lena Fritsch, Tate Modern, London / Ursula Helg, Freie Universität, Berlin / Viola König, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin / Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA / Julia Orell, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles / Kerstin Pinther, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München / Lisl Ponger, Artist, Vienna / Angela Rosenberg, Curator, Berlin / Klaas Ruitenbeek, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin / Britta Schmitz, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin / Agnes Wegner, Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Berlin / Tobias Wendl, Freie Universität, Berlin / Elena Zanichelli, Leuphana University, Lüneburg


Humboldt Lab Dahlem
Museen Dahlem

Lansstr. 8

14195 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)