Vom Zeigen und Schauen

On Invitation by the GRASSI Ethnological Museum Leipzig, participants of the master program “Cultures of the Curatorial” at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig delve into the development of ethnographic exhibition display within the temporarily empty spaces of the renovated Africa galleries.

© Museumsgeschichte, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
© Museumsgeschichte,  GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

Taking as point of departure the museum’s photographic archive and including works by the Leipzig photographer and long-time museum staff member, Karin Wieckhorst, the exhibition “On Showing and Looking” investigates various modes of display and reception. How do the presentation modes develop when meandering between public education, cultural mediation and perceived “window to the world”?



Karin Wieckhorst © Museumsgeschichte,  GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

Karin Wieckhorst (born in 1942 in Holzhausen/Sachsen), museum photographer from 1965 to 2007, documented the museum’s activities in various formats including exhibition documentation, object and travel photography. From 1969 until 1973, she completed a photography degree at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, where she developed personal projects, which gained her artistic recognition outside of the museum’s context. In her works she investigates societal groups, with series such as “Portraits of Women” (1991-92) or “STRANGERS. Asylum in Saxony” (1992-93), and seeks to capture “distant” countries, which she has been able to visit since the 1990’s (i.e. Tunisia, 1993 or Iran, 2000).


© Museumsgeschichte,  GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

The exhibition “On Showing and Looking” juxtaposes her works against categorisation and educational formats, including various display systems, floor plans and exhibition catalogs, as well as with the question of viewing habits in ethnological museums.

A cooperation of the GRASSI Ethnological Museum Leipzig and the master program Cultures of the Curatorial at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig.


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