In 'Making the Connection’, students develop an audio guide for other young people – available in the museum now, free of charge

05.11.2015
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin

What makes an audio guide appealing to young people? What stories would young people tell their friends about art? In their opinion, what types of sounds suit the artwork?

Over the course of one project week in 'Making the Connection', 9th grade students from Schule an der Jungfernheide discovered their own personal connections to works of art by Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol, and told their own stories about the experience. Working with audio-play author Patrick Findeis, art educator Renée Rapedius, and teacher Franziska Sommer, students developed an audio guide for young people for the Nationalgalerie's collection at the Hamburger Bahnhof. Especially with regard to modern and contemporary art, viewers can feel uncertain about what art is and how to talk about it. The focus of this project lies in encouraging young people to share their personal views on art: 'Artwork that I used to think was boring is exciting now because I noticed that each picture tells a different story. It's also exciting to be philosophical about it, about what meaning each colour in the artwork has for me, or what a vacuum cleaner on a pedestal is supposed to mean', says Leon, age 14.

Through an in-depth exploration of works of art selected by the young people themselves, personal commentaries were developed, true as well as fictitious stories were created, and all of it was enriched with sounds. Audio guides are available now in the museum, free of charge for young visitors.

The project took place in the context of a cooperation between the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and Gewobag's 'Berliner Leben'. This marks the second consecutive year that students have created an audio guide for young people. This year, the focus lies on 20th and 21st century works of art in the Hamburger Bahnhof. In May 2015 under the title 'Your Own Story', primary school children developed an exhibition guide for other children. In 2014, both projects focused on the Neue Nationalgalerie's collection display.