The abc of Pictures

27.06.2007 to 09.09.2007


"The abc of Pictures" is the Berlin National Museums' central exhibition contribution to the Year of the Humanities, the theme of which is "The ABC of Humanity". The main subject of the exhibition is the magic of language and scripture in the visual arts from ancient civilisations to the 21st century. Masterpieces from the art historical, archaeological and ethnological collections come together to form a century-spanning panorama which encompasses all media: painting, calligraphy, sculpture, photography, and video art.

Grouped into six sections, the exhibits bring to life the function of script in pictures in all its manifold aspects. In all ages and cultures, script has been not only an artistic fascination but also an integral part of pictorial narratives, messages and secret pictorial codes. The interplay of encrypting and decoding pictures by means of script is one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of communication. In comic strips, in television, in advertising, and in contemporary video art the correlation of picture and script forms the starting point of a new culture of reading and watching - it is both a continuation of the aforementioned tradition and a pointer into the future.

An exhibition of the National Museums in Berlin in cooperation with the Humboldt University Berlin.