The Art of Flying

Exhibition in the House of World Cultures in Berlin

Human have long dreamed of flying. But is this dream of weightless, goal-directed movement through the air still more influenced by the idea of birds in flight than the emergence of technically developed flight apparatus? This exhibition at the House of World Cultures in Berlin examined the similarities and differences between magical and technical flight, flying as a physical technique and as a technical, instrument-driven type of propulsion. On the basis of ethnological and technical exhibits of fine art, the exhibition portrayed flying as a cultural world of imagination.
An interdisciplinary panel of curators connected knowledge from technology, neurobiology and history of sciences with historical, sociological, and anthropological findings.
Visitors to the exhibition could experience for themselves situations of flight, by trying out a space trainer for astronauts or by learning elementary aspects of the bird’s eye view through playful experiments. Visitors also experienced the links between mystical levitation, prehistoric cave paintings and the technology of the Montgolfière in the Baroque era. In addition to a ‘flying carriage’ from Baroque theater, which visitors were allowed to use, the exhibition also showcased theme-related historical artifacts.

Curators: Thomas Hauschild und Britta N. Heinrich
Co-curators: Jörg Potthast und Viktoria Tkaczyk
Exhibition architecture: Hansjörg Hartung

Participants / artists: David Altmeijd, John L. Carroll, Lisa D / Franz Schmuck / Wilfried Prantner / Sukandar Kartadinata, Julius Deutschbauer, Tomas Fitzel, Roland Fuhrmann, Carsten Höller, Andy Hope 1930, Res Ingold, Werner Neuhaus, Christoph Niemann, Michael Oppitz, Chi Peng, Christina Maria Pfeifer, Antonio Riello, Anina Schenker, Eva Teppe, Florian Thalhofer, Young Timothy Dempsey Tjungurrayi and others

Venues and schedule:
House of World Cultures, Berlin, 4 Mar. – 8 May 2011


The exhibition is accompanied by the publication, “Von Vogelmenschen, Piloten und Schamanen”, edition Azur, edited by Thomas Hauschild. EUR 17; exhibition price EUR 15.

ISBN: 978-3-942375-03-0


Haus der Kulturen der Welt

John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

10557 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)