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Social Dancing: What Does It Mean to Be Distanced?


Due to the pandemic, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) at Köpenick Palace could no longer be used in recent months as an extracurricular learning site. It was against this background that the participatory art project "Social Dancing: What Does It Mean to Be Distanced?"took place. It playfully explored and developed other forms of togetherness away from the usual extracurricular learning setting of the museum and independent of the familiar paradigms.

The resulting special exhibition is based on a project carried out by artist Anett Lau, in collaboration with the Jugendkunstschule Treptow/Köpenick, the primary school Schule an den Püttbergen, and the Kunstgewerbemuseum, using artistic and aesthetic means to explore the effects of the pandemic.

The New “Normal”: Keep Your Distance

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, behaviour for protection of our health is governed by hygiene and social distancing regulations. These are newly prescribed rules of conduct that challenge our previously practiced patterns of behaviour. We are forced to keep our distance in unfamiliar ways. This requires that children, schools and cultural institutions constantly adapt to new regulations and develop creative means of dealing with the circumstances.

The new normal entails keeping your distance. This affects everyone, including children, whose lessons now include the topic “Keeping Your Distance”. The project explored and developed other forms of togetherness that differed from the familiar ones. The children participating in the project examined the behaviour prescribed by the new rules in a game format and compared it with the rules of board games such as Ludo, chess and checkers, taking the historical board games on display at Köpenick Palace as their starting point.

The exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Schloss Köpenick (Museum of Decorative Arts at Köpenick Palace) includes a comprehensive documentation of the project and features what was produced in its course. A catalogue about the project has also been published.

A special exhibition of Kunstgewerbemuseum – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Social Dancing: What Does It Mean to Be Socially Distanced? was funded by the Projektfond für kulturelle Bildung Treptow-Köpenick.