Rilke and Russia

A research and exhibition project by the German Literature Archive in Marbach, the Swiss Literary Archives in Berne and the State Literature Museum of the Russian Federation in Moscow.

The German Literature Archive in Marbach has made a name for itself in recent years by organising innovative exhibitions which surpass conventional literary exhibition concepts. In this project, it aimed to present an extensive and detailed portrayal of Russia’s influence on the German poet Rilke who had taken two extended trips to Russia and Ukraine. The joint project between the Marbach archive, the State Literature Museum of the Russian Federation, the Swiss Literary Archives and the Museum Strauhof Zürich together with numerous loans from private collections, brought together a wealth of historic material unlike any before in its arrangement and preparation. To what extent did Rilke serve as a cultural mediator and bridge-builder between the cultures?
As could be expected, the project surpassed the traditional frame of a literary exhibition in that it included current photographic works by Barbara Klemm and Mirko Krizanovic. Krizanovic, along with the writer Ilma Rakusa and filmmaker Anastasia Alexandrowa, followed Rilke’s path through Russia and Ukraine and presented a contemporary, atmospheric panorama of that which strongly shaped Rilke’s attitudes and left evident traces behind in his work. By integrating the works of these artists, the project hoped that viewers would regard the literary-historic items in the archive as pieces of art themselves. With their project, the organisers aspired to create an entirely new type of literary exhibition of extraordinary expressive value.

Artistic director: Thomas Schmidt
Photographer: Mirko Krizanovic, Barbara Klemm
Writer: Ilma Rakusa (CH)
Film director: Anastasia Alexandrowa (RU)

Additional Venues:

Exhibition: Moscow, Feb. - Apr. 2018
Conference: German Literature Archive, Marbach: May 2017;
Conference: Swiss Literary Archives, Berne: Sept. 2017;
Conference: Russian Literature Museum, Moscow: Jan. 2018;


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 13 September, 2017 to 10 December, 2017: Exhibition

    Museum Strauhof, Zürich

  • 13 September, 2017 to 10 December, 2017: Exhibition

    Swiss Literary Archives, Bern

  • 3 May, 2017 to 6 August, 2017: Exhibition

    Literaturmuseum der Moderne, Marbach


Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach

Schillerhöhe 8-10
71672 Marbach am Neckar (external link, opens in a new window)