The Berlin World Improvement Machine

23.08.2013 to 20.10.2013
Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

The BERLIN WORLD IMPROVEMENT MACHINEaims to encourage a discussion about the role of art and science in relation to the improvement of our present-day world. Architect and curator Friedrich von Borries describes his project with the following words: "The BERLIN WORLD IMPROVEMENT MACHINEis a secret research project whose origin dates back to the seventeenth century. It consists of a particular arrangement of artworks and artefacts, which together unfold effects to improve the world. Here the founding of the Academy of Arts (1696), the Academy of Sciences (1700) and later on the Royal Museums of Berlin (from 1830) all play an essential role. The academies were dedicated to the scientific and artistic research into the machine while the museums collected potential parts for its construction. The project fell into oblivion after the work on the WORLD IMPROVEMENT MACHINE was abandoned towards the end of the nineteenth century.”

Friedrich von Borries has created a curatorial intervention in sixteen Berlin museums where he marks around seventy objects in various permanent collections as components of the machine. A treasure map guides the visitors to places such as the ALTE NATIONALGALERIE and the MUSEUM FÜR NATURKUNDE. In addition, the HAMBURGER BAHNHOF - MUSEUM FÜR GEGENWART - BERLIN presents a ten-meter high model of the WORLD IMPROVEMENT MACHINEin its inner courtyard. It is intended less as a replica than a thought model.

The Merve Verlag publishes two accompanying catalogues.

The BERLIN WORLD IMPROVEMENT MACHINE is a cooperation between the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, the Museum of Natural History Berlin, the German Historic Museum, the Junge Akademie and the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg with funding from the Schering Foundation.

Curated by Friedrich von Borries

Invalidenstraße 50 - 51
10557 Berlin

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