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 part of the anniversary weekend of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee occupy three rooms of the project 37 Rooms REVISITED with Room 38-40, Back to ME and a new edition of our Game of Life.
For Kunst-Werke Berlin, the year 1992 was distinguished by the realization of the 37 Rooms exhibition. Taking place parallel to the opening of documenta IX in Kassel, it drew in at short notice a large number of Berlin-based artists, curators and critics who staged 37 Rooms along Auguststrasse.
Today, 37 Rooms can be regarded as a prototype for the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. On September 18 and 19, 2021 the concept of 37 rooms was reanimated in the neighbourhood, as visitors were led through the courtyards of the Scheunenviertel to Auguststrasse 69. Both days featured a program of performance and music, including interventions by Schattenmuseum Youth Committee collective, playfully confronting the (archive) structures and inception processes of a contemporary art institution.
Room 38: KW Archives x Schattenmuseum Youth Committee: Room 38-40
Taking its spur from the KW archive and early projects, the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee infiltrates the KW by means of an interactive intervention, central to which is the photographic slide. Visitors are invited to develop and curate exhibition concepts for their own spaces, accompanied by the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee. Guided tours, experiments and performative workshops form the framework for an archive and slide workshop for all visitors.
Room 39: Schattenmuseum Youth Committee: Back to ME
Back to ME is an installation curated by the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee on the occasion of KW’s 30th anniversary. The young people open up an interactive space that invites visitors to engage with themselves. Here, the prejudices of others can be separated from the perception of self. The space offers an intimate atmosphere for self-reflection which, in turn, functions as a space for silent communication.
Room 40: Schattenmuseum Youth Committee: Game of Life
In the Game of Life, visitors use various event cards to go through a fictitious curriculum vitae dedicated to questions of identity, community, love, gender and migration. For the 30th anniversary, the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee presents an updated version of this game, originally created in 2018 as part of the exhibition A for Jewish as a cooperation between the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Schattenmuseum Youth Committee.
The Berlinische Galerie archive’s collection of fashion photos, clothing and accessories and also its works of art with and about fashion were taken as the jumping-off point for research by a 456 grade class on fashion, clothing, history, society and sustainability.
Design drafts were created in a five-day workshop and presented in a fashion show. The designs were then staged photographically. The photos are on permanent exhibition in the Nürtingen elementary school.
Parallel to the artistic-educational fashion project, the SILHOUETTE catalogue was designed by Moritz Scheffer (Schattenmuseum Youth Committee).
The curator Marcelo Rezende was invited to write an introductory text on the fashion designs created by the students for the catalogue.
The fashion project took place in May 2021 with the students Ritta, Enna, Pawel, Nilcan, Gustav, Bella, Milena, Lula, Noel, Emir, Lamia, Rüstem, Zümra, Hafsa, Semih and Emilia from class 456D, their teachers Claudia Merz and Isolde Binsteiner, as well as the artists Anja Scheffer and Daria Kornysheva with their creative assistant Zahraa Abdul-Hamid.
All designs were designed and produced by the students from recycled material in a 5-day workshop. Zahraa Abdul-Hamid (Schattenmuseum Youth Committee) staged the photos of the models in collaboration with the artists Daria Kornysheva and Anja Scheffer.
Which plants live in the urban space of Berlin and how do you detect them? Are they poisonous? Or edible? Can they even heal? How do we use them? Where do they live and how do they survive there? The city pharmacy goes in search of old, almost lost knowledge. The urban space becomes an object of research and a laboratory. What can a plant say about itself and its environment? About the city and its wounds? What does the term migrant plant or pioneer plant mean? Which artistic translations are suitable? How can a living archive be created?
For more than a year, the Stadtapotheke has been conducting intergenerational research: with the Nürtingen elementary school in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the artists Anja Scheffer and Seraphina Lenz, the retired pharmacists Tomma and Heino Luxa and a 456 grade class and their teacher Wiebke Janzen, accompanied by Silke Ballath. The project deals with the research and dissemination of knowledge and seeks to develop new forms of transmission, with research methods alternating between scientific and creative-performative approaches. All of the materials produced is archived and presented in the House of World Cultures as part of “Schools of Tomorrow”.
Arising from its year-long research process, the Stadtapotheke has also forged contacts with various partners in the context of Global Roots, an Erasmus+ project. Its approaches, strategies and procedures reflect and develop ideas and suggestions and the experiences are shared with other participants. In addition, the Global Roots project participants are jointly developing a tool for the drawing together and reflection on the respective experiences. Similarities and differences of the respective processes are made visible and negotiable. Proposals for project ideas, collaboration between artists and elementary schools, as well as diverse areas of interest between art and science are published. The collaboration of the participating teams from the different countries informs the way in which the Global Roots project is documented.
The aim of the Global Roots project is to highlight how arts and culture can encourage teachers in primary education to create a sustainable learning environment in which children can reflect and develop their relationship to today’s world. Partnerships between people from art / culture and primary school education challenge the mind-set and working processes of both professional groups and develop new approaches to convey to children notions of active global citizenship and sustainable development.
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.
Shadowmuseum (Schattenmuseum) can be regarded as an alternative approach to the concept of a museum and has grown out of several years of cooperation between sideviews, the Jewish Museum Berlin and a group of schoolchildren from Kreuzberg in Berlin. Schattenmuseum is a structure for developing proposals for museums on how to interact with communities, collections and educational opportunities. Content, methods and artistic formats are developed and implemented collaboratively with young people and adults. Schattenmuseum is based on the actual structures, needs and goals of the respective museum. An experimental field unfurls, accompanying an exhibition for example, in which questions are asked, a space for dialogue is created or an experimental arrangement is set up involving different groups of visitors and including their perspectives in the exhibition. Schattenmuseum has been developing as an experimental arrangement in the Berlinische Galerie since the beginning of 2019. Since mid-2020, Schattenmuseum has also been collaborating with the Berlin Biennale, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the House of World Cultures.