Humboldt Lab Dahlem: Probebühne 5

09.11.2014 to 06.04.2015

What sound experiences will the listening space provide us with in the future Humboldt-Forum? How can the audio guide open up new contextual dimensions? How can issues of identity be filmically reflected and shown in the museum? How do contemporary and historical miniatures from Pakistan enter into dialog with each other? The new projects by the Humboldt Lab Dahlem, "Being Hmong. A Family Encounter," "Music listening," "Dahlem Karkhana" and "Audio Guide Special - Storylines," place their emphasis on international exchange and diverse collaborations. Additionally, from November 2014 the workshop series "Asking Questions" will be launched with the specific aim of examining the exhibition planning for the Humboldt-Forum. Together with the still running Probebühne 4 projects (until 02/08/15,) visitors can look forward to a polyphonic and multi-layered tour through the collections of the Dahlem Museums, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

The Humboldt Lab Dahlem (2012 through 2015) is a project of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation).

Dahlem Karkhana

The National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore is the oldest art academy in Pakistan. Since 1980 miniature painting has been available as a main course of study and, in a strict three-year course under a master (Ustad,) one is taught the old techniques. In 1991 an exciting movement was born at the NCA: some of the young artists began to take the old techniques and imagery and combine them with contemporary elements in order to address contemporary concerns. The School of Contemporary Miniature Painting was born. As part of the Dahlem Karkhana (Dahlem Miniature Atelier, from 09/21/14,) the miniature painter Waseem Ahmed, an outstanding representative of this art movement, spent six weeks at Dahlem as a guest. In dialog with art works from the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum) he created new miniature works of art. The closing exhibition shows newly created paintings from his time in Berlin as well as many of his subversive works, side by side with old paintings from the museum collection.

Being HMONG. A Family Encounter

Who are the Hmong? Once a minority residing in the south of China and in Southeast Asia, some of these people have been living in the West for over three decades. Fleeing from the Vietnam War, which also had terrible repercussions on bordering Laos during the 1960s and 1970s, some Hmong families sought asylum in Germany. Members of the Vang Family talk about their lives in the film "Being HMONG. A Family Encounter." Three generations are portrayed in their search for new identities. Whereas the grandparents are still completely rooted in the old culture and homeland, for the youngsters, Germany is their new home, despite them still identifying as Hmong. Their joys and sorrows are much the same as ours; not much in the way of exoticism remains. The film about this family, realized by the director Bettina Renner and the ethnologist Roland Platz, is part of the exhibition "The myth of the Golden Triangle" in the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum.)

Music listening

The focus of "Music listening" is based on the collections from the department of ethnomusicology, media technology and Berlin Phonogram Archive of the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum), which will be given a prominent exhibition space in the Humboldt-Forum. How can a sound archive and its very different content be exhibited and made audible and tangible? And how can sounds be linked to objects and photographic records in an interesting way? In order to answer these questions, scientists and artists have collaborated closely to prepare different themes as program elements. In part these programs are planned as a presentation within the planned listening space and in part they are to be integrated into other exhibition areas, in order, for example, to illustrate the construction process of musical instruments or to underpin exhibited photographs and archive materials with historical sound recordings.

Audio Guide Special - Storylines

How can non-linear texts best be imparted in an exhibition? What stories lie between and next to the objects? And how can an orientation system work when the eyes are meant to be free to wander? The artist duo Serotonin has come up with the "Audio Guide Special - Storylines" and, together with a team of experts, has been developing a pair of headphones that work through gesture recognition. In this way the visitors themselves could decide which acoustic paths to follow within the exhibition space. However these headphones are still in the development stages. So the possibilities are simulated in a mash-up and explained via directional instructions that allow you to imagine future uses. The mash-up was created especially for the exhibition "The myth of the Golden Triangle" in the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum.) Serotonin's audio guide takes us on an exciting acoustic journey through Southeast Asia.


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