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Ongoing cooperation

Cultural Education

From 2023

Jugendgremium Schattenmuseum, Caelius Juvenilis, 2022

Jugendgremium Schattenmuseum, Caelius Juvenilis, 2022. Photo: Anja Scheffer


The Schattenmuseum (shadow museum) understands itself as an alternative approach to conceptualizing a museum, and as a network it develops proposals to assist institutions in engaging with communities, collections, and educational possibilities. Content, methods, and artistic formats are generated and implemented collaboratively with young people and adults. The Schattenmuseum is oriented towards the concrete structures, needs, and goals of the respective institution. In the process, it opens up a testing ground that enables questions to be asked, providing space for dialogue or an experimental set-up that involves various visitor groups and integrates their perspectives.

The Schattenmuseum is steadily growing as an experimental set-up. Since 2021 it has observed the language(s) of the city from the perspective of aliens and explored its possibilities. A research object is HKW itself. Together with the artists’ collective sideviews e. V. and students from the Nürtingen primary school, the Schattenmusuem embarks on an artistic research expedition, exposing social barriers, hierarchies, and meanings and develops artistic-performative and interactive formats based on this research.

These formats oriented around the development of HKW’s programme, which extends beyond the building itself as an exhibition site in Berlin’s urban space. As a collaboratively developed, continually growing project structure, it can incorporate different programmes, creating corresponding artistic settings that are interactive, cross–generational spaces, within which and from which all participants can learn from each other.

At the O Quilombismo exhibition, the Schattenmuseum stages a performative game. Seen through the eyes of the alien species Caelius Juvenilis, the project plays with different perspectives, drawing on materials such as the biographies of artists and members of the Schattenmuseum, their family archives, as well as other interviews.

Within the framework of the performance these diverse biographies and perspectives are realized dialogically and artistically. This generates an interactive set-up which is accessible to anyone aged ten and above and is offered in German. Visitors are invited to adopt other, new perspectives and engage with ‘alien’ and fictional biographies and thus move through the game.

The artistic setting is provided by a spoken chorus of the aliens, which documents the Schattenmuseum’s research results as a collage of fragments from interviews, dialogues, literary texts, contents from the O Quilombismo exhibition, etc. The choir is made up of members of the Schattenmuseum and invites guests to participate.

The Schattenmuseum is composed of thirteen young people ranging in age from eleven to twenty-one who speak a total of six languages between them. It has been in existence since 2008 and, in addition to HKW, has also cooperated with other institutions including: Jewish Museum Berlin; Berlinische Galerie; the First Children’s Biennale (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden); KW Institute for Contemporary Art; and the Berlin Biennale.