October 2019 marks 10 years since the reopening of the Neues Museum, which was rebuilt and restored in 2009 under the direction of the British architect David Chipperfield. To celebrate this anniversary, an art installation will foreground new and unusual perspectives on the collections on exhibit, featuring 160 objects arranged into 10 thematic groups, encouraging audiences to independently explore the Neues Museum.
In the Greek Courtyard, an ensemble of stelae and pedestals with reflective and refractive surfaces will be arranged. The continually shifting light from the sun and the installation lighting will produce impressive plays of light. The pedestals will hold art objects symbolizing a range of themes that create connections with the original objects within the collections of the Neues Museum. The various relationships and connections between the themes and objects will be revealed by the play of light reflecting off the surfaces. Visitors will explore the installation and the Neues Museum using little “treasure maps” featuring fascinating details on a range of objects exhibited on the stelae and the pedestals. These maps will guide the visitors into the exhibition space and to the original objects, inviting them to explore the connections between the objects.
The installation interrogates traditional concepts of exhibition-making and guided tours, and highlights the subjective character of every museum display, which is always shaped by its contemporary socio-cultural context, which contributes to the way it constructs its own particular “truth”. David Olbrich, the artistic director of the project, explains: “The structures installed in the Greek Courtyard for the 10-year anniversary investigate the question of whether the relationships that we have with other people, our surroundings and with nature are purely based on mastering pre-fabricated solutions, or if we can allow them to enchant us, to transform us, and open up new conceptual spaces for us.”