The aliens are back at the HKW: For the exhibition O Quilombismo, the Shadow Museum is staging a performative game in the HKW. From the perspective of aliens of the species Caelius Juvenilis, it juggles with different perspectives, takes biographies of artists, members of the Shadow Museum and their family archives, as well as from further interviews. The result is an interactive game in which visitors are invited to adopt different, new perspectives, to engage with “foreign” and fictitious biographies, and to move through the game in the process. Artistic framing is provided by a spoken chorus and interactive dialogues of the aliens, documenting the research results of the Shadow Museum as a collage of fragments from interviews, archival research, literary texts, contents of the Quilombismo exhibition, etc.
What will the world look like in 30 years? Who decides on the measures to combat climate change? What role do money or human or children’s rights play? What would I change if I had something to say?
GOAL 17 is a project by and with two mixed 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes of the Nürtingen primary school in Kreuzberg, Berlin. As part of a creative research project, 45 children examined the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and associated global and social problems.
In the first project phase, different thematic and methodological approaches were developed in the context of an interview workshop: The students approached the 17 goals and developed questions, researched their environment, conducted interviews with experts and exchanged ideas with adults, i.e. the generations that are currently setting the agenda for their future.
The interviews became the basis of a large three week artistic play workshop, in which the children increasingly became experts themselves, imagining a possible future together. Accompanied by five artists from the fields of music, theatrical improvisation, visual arts, stage and costume design, they became curators of their own research material, designing their own visions of the future and means of involvement in it. They employed the diversity of the group and the potential this provided to understand the global situation, its power relations, its definition of knowledge and their participation with it.
Video Interview Workshop GOAL 17:
The final presentation of GOAL 17 – Children make the world! was a creative vision of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, exhibiting living and negotiation spaces, global communication structures and fictitious forms of coexistence for all citizens of the world . The children celebrated their collective proposal, presented to the public performatively and interactively as a large manifesto created by children for children and adults.
As participants in the House of World Cultures (HKW-Berlin) program “All Life. An Archive Project”, in which topics such as collective memory and accessibility of knowledge were discussed, the Shadow Museum proposed an intervention that addressed the memory of the institution itself. The Youth Committee used science fiction as a framework in which new institutional questions could be discussed, with the intention of making HKW the focus. The members of the Shadow Museum regarded the HKW as a spaceship and reinvented themselves as aliens on planet Earth. In the position of the ultimate stranger, they examined life on Earth, for example on issues such as decolonization, equality and diversity, offering a critical perspective on the institution’s approach to these issues.
This interactive performance was performed five times at the House of World Cultures (HKW-Berlin), taking the film “Caelius Juvenilis – An Extraterrestrial Encounter” as its point of origin.
Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg 36 – for some a district to give a wide berth but, for many others, a place of acceptance where culture, religion and individuality converge. The exhibition “K36 – Kotti at a second glance” shows the urban space from the perspective of young people and presents various approaches to vanquishing prejudices and getting to know ‘Kotti’. Last year, the Shadow Museum Youth Committee conducted urban research around Kotti, putting it under real scrutiny; the exhibition is like a second, closer look.
The project developed for the Berlinische Galerie was another part of the Shadow Museum ‘s programme. Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg, a challenging and stigmatised urban space, became a focus for the Shadow Museum Youth Panel which, through its on-site research, proposed an anthropological change of perspective. In the public eye, Kottbusser Tor is associated with images and discourses of social disorder. However, most residents and passers-by experience this urban space as one of permanent negotiation toward a mutual respect – a hidden social reality made apparent by the intensive dialogue between the Shadow Museum and the residents.
The result was 7 collectively developed videos, hundreds of photos that were processed into a 5x5m wall collage and a memory wall by means of which visitors could approach Kotti in an interactive way.
“Hey Siri! What is a curator?” is a test lab investigating creative freedom between museum and school. For a month, 50 children and young people examined the Berlinische Galerie from their perspective, coming to terms creatively with the collection of the Berlinische Galerie via the questions, “ What would my museum look like?”, “What would I exhibit, how and for whom?” and “How can I approach a work of art in a fun way?”
As part of this field of experimentation, they designed installations, texts, museum models, videos and performances referring to the collection of the Berlinische Galerie which were implemented and enacted both there and in the school: as an interactive exhibition in which the processes and artistic treatments were brought together.
Eight museum designs from the perspective of children and young people meet a multitude of experiments concerning the artistic approach to pieces. The experiments were summarized in the SIRIBOX.
In August 2019, the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee and sideviews were invited to exhibit the SIRIBOX experiments in the Berlinische Galerie. The exhibition opened in December 2019. At the finissage of the exhibition, those interested could receive one of forty SIRIBOXES in exchange for an idea.
In 2020, the education department of the Berlin Biennale developed a toolkit for its mediation in a workshop with the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee, based on the SIRIBOX. Applications for the SIRIBOX are still being accepted: the best ideas on how to use the SIRIBOX are selected by the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee.
Between belief in progress and appropriation of the future
Where is Planet B? is a performative symposium in the Berlinische Galerie accompanying the exhibition “Fazit” by realities:united, a group that develops projects at the junction of art and architecture. On the occasion of the planned abandonment of nuclear and coal power in Germany, the large thermal power plants are to be modified – the steam from still active power plants will rise in the form of huge rings that can be seen from afar as a symbol of a transformation reverberating through the country.
The intervention Where is Planet B? poses critical questions about social changes and the role of art: From the perspective of Generation 200X. Special guests of the performative symposium are Jan and Tim Edler from realities:united and the curator Ruth Noack.
As part of the 1st Children’s Biennale of the Dresden State Art Collections schoolchildren created and performed an opera with the assistance of museum visitors. In 2018, the Archiv der Avantgarden (AdA) invited visitors to explore the question of the connection between art, design, performance and school. Schoolchildren from Dresden carried out research in the Japanese Palais in cooperation with the desarteur (Halle) and sideviews (Berlin) collectives. They dealt creatively and performatively with the “social space” and the importance of changing perspectives, from a framework formed by the ideas of Robert Filliou, Kurt Schwitters and Bruno Munari.
A question of perspective: An opera was staged as an interactive performance in the Albertinum, Dresden in 2019.
Where do I come from and where do I belong? Which group do I belong to and which not? And why? What does power and dominance mean? Accompanied by an ethnologist, a musician and a director, students from Kreuzberg went in search of social, political and family contexts and their dissonances. Voices and moods were captured in their topicality and explosiveness and honed through performance as a panopticon of the most diverse social attitudes. The Jewish Museum Berlin has adopted some elements to accompany the exhibition “A for Jewish”.
Based on the Torah mappah, a Jewish ritual object, sideviews collaborated with schoolchildren to develop a performative exhibition in the Jewish Museum Berlin on the themes of identity, community, love, gender and migration. Prompted by the questions “Who am I?” and “What aspirations do my parents have for me and how do I want to live?” the children sought their own formats for a narrative in the museum.
The result is an interactive game of life accompanying a jointly devised pop-up exhibition. Visitors were invited to grapple with changes in perspective and anomalous biographies.
In November 2018, the game was integrated into the program accompanying the exhibition “A as in Jewish” in the Jewish Museum Berlin and also invited to the Children’s Biennale in Dresden in February 2019.
An artistic research at the Jewish Museum Berlin, 2017-2019.
The goal is to develop an exhibition format together with young people. In a dialogue with people from different backgrounds, experiences and points of view, the Jewish Museum Berlin is both investigated in an open, dialogical process and simultaneously included in the curatorial work of the museum in order to create a dialogue with them. The “Schattenmuseum” takes its lead from the structures, needs and goals of the museum, looks for alternative approaches and designs an experimental set-up. Content, formats and methods are developed and implemented creatively in cooperation with schoolchildren, residents and museum employees.
First, ethnographic-aesthetic investigations in urban space (Measuring Jewish Berlin) as well as in archives and collections are carried out with the participants. At the same time, a blog is being created for workshops, campaigns, documentation and as a communication tool and project archive.
From mid-2017, sideviews have been involved in a collaborative exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Schattenmuseum / Growing – Jewish Life Today is a dynamic exhibition that focuses on the question: How can Jewish life today be portrayed vividly?
In the second step, workshops are conducted on the artistic realization of the research in various disciplines such as film, theatre, visual arts, model making, music, design and museum work.
On the basis of the resulting collection of materials, ideas and objects, a third workshop series will take place to realize the exhibition concept and architecture. Participants of the Schattenmuseum select exhibits together with the curators and the workshop results are processed through performance and installation. Various positions and stories on the topic “Growing – Jewish Life Today” as well as the process of dialogical discussion are depicted, brought to life and presented from November 2018 at the Ross Gallery in the Jewish Museum Berlin.
The exhibition “A for Jewish” poses questions, opens up space for dialogue and will continue to develop in a dialogical and dynamic way until the end of 2019: In workshops, participants can introduce perspectives and put down new layers of interpretation and design on the exhibition. Visitors are involved in activities, the performative design suspends any clear boundary between object and person, between narrator and story and invites you to participate in discussions, experiments, creative workshops, theatrical processes and film shoots. The participants of the shadow museum act as experts and present their specific forms of examination and presentation.
In September 2018, together with sideviews ten young people founded the Jugendgremium Schattenmuseum, in order to reflect on the work and to advise further museums and exhibition centres from their perspective. They also developed the accompanying program.