Das Foto zeigt eine Installation im historischen Kaisersaal.
Reiner Leist: Window. Installation im Kaisersaal, 2006 | © August Haverkamp


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Museum für Fotografie
Postal address:
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266424183
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266424197

Research projects at the Museum für Fotografie

We apologize that this content is currently available in german only.

We apologize that this content is currently available in german only.

Experimental Exhibition Lab
Duration: starting 2013
Partners: Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK)
Funding: Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Curatorial team: Dr. Ludger Derenthal (Kunstbibliothek), Prof. Dr. Tanja Michalsky (UdK)  

The exhibition series “seen by” is a co-curatorial lab project set up in the Museum für Fotografie as a way of devising innovative curatorial and artistic strategies in art photography. The project will work with two strategies: either UdK staff select works for the exhibition, or curators prepare the exhibition with workshops, in which students develop a common concept. This not only establishes a new form of teaching, but also results in the productive intermeshing of the artistic work processes, which can subsequently take expression in very different forms of ‘publi­cations’: ranging from exhibitions and performances to readings and lectures. 

Link to exhibition

Archaeology, art history, and ethnology are all disciplines whose study was essentially object-based, although academics in all these fields also worked with representations and reproductions of objects, in the form of drawings, photographs, and casts. These disciplines played a leading role in the broad scientific application of emergent photographic techniques in the 19th century, used in producing photographic images of objects of study. At the same time photography has helped to shape the methodical and thematic practices within these discplines, by defining the objects of study through their visual depiction. As a result, photographs have become both the subject of research and the medium of its analysis.  

Photographs were involved in the processes of knowledge production; they served as objects in their own right, with their own material and spatiotemporal qualities. That said however, in scientific and academic practice, photographs were – and to a large extent still are – viewed in a dematerialised and decontextualized way, whereby the photographs are reduced to their visual content and used merely in reference to the represented objects. This phenomenon applies to all disciplines, and scholars and scientists are only gradually becoming aware of it now; the phenomenon has not yet been explored from an interdisciplinary perspective. And although the respective disciplines do not work systematically together, what links them is the subject-matter they use (photography), as well as reflections on the same (photography as medium, as object).  

Our project aims to make inroads into the topic, by providing a platform to help scholars and scientists make greater use of recent research on the materiality of photographs, archives, and photographic archives. The project aims to assess the extent to which the emergence of certain scholarly methods in the liberal arts, the development of photographic techniques, and the establishment of specialized photographic archives in the decades around 1900 were all mutually influenced by each other. The four institutions chosen to collaborate in this interdisciplinary project each maintain a photographic collection and conduct research of their own.

Project duration: 2015–2018
Partners: Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) SMB, Institute of European Ethnology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Max Planck Institute)
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in the field of ‘The Language of Objects’
Scientific team: Dr. Ludger Derenthal, N.N.

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Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin

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Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266424242 (Mon - Fri 9 am -4 pm)
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266422290

Postal address:
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266424183
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266424197

Director of the Kunstbibliothek: Prof. Dr. Moritz Wullen
Head of the Sammlung Fotografie: Dr. Ludger Derenthal

Café im Museum für Fotografie
Herr Gravemann
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 27874490

Buchhandlung Walter König
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 3276 6729