Please note: The exhibition site of the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden is currently closed. Current events you may find under “Program”.

to whom did you belong?

Even in museums, the implementation of organizational systems is complex and constantly changing. No system of order is perfect or is permanently anchored historically and culturally. For Prolog # 5 "TaxoMania" a surrealistic chamber of curiosities has emerged that shows the mania of arranging. A universe of objects is opened, subordinated, subordinated, categorized, loaded with curious meanings and values.

 

 

[Translate to English:] Zu wem hast du gehört?

More than 600 objects of the collection from all corners of the world are presented in a small studio. What does a fishing spear, a crown of feathers, a lady's shoe, a rattle, a necklace of manillas, a piece of gold jewellery, a paint can, a figure of a bird, an ostrich egg, a necklace, a pair of glasses, a talisman or a pith helmet tell us about our mania for collection and our need for order? According to which criteria are objects classified and can there ever be an end to any order?

Discover the seemingly smallest objects of the museum, a collection of combs and scissors, sticks, red and blue objects, light and heavy, as well as fragments.

© Mo.Zaboli

the "time of the others"

For a long time, the classification of the so-called ethnological objects was based on an evolutionary principle: scholars argued that every culture was at a certain stage of human development, trapped in its own time bubble and condemned to replicate itself indefinitely. As the philosopher Hegel claimed, these cultures are hardly able to step out of their own selves to inscribe their lives in history.

 

 

[Translate to English:] die zeit der anderen

Ethnological objects were classified on a scale of “general human development", with European civilization representing the final stage of the scale and therefore the peak of progress, describing itself as the model of all cultures. The intervention of the West in civilization should enable “backward" societies to advance. Time and space, technological progress and human development were confused. Ethnologists became specialists for the “time of others".

The so-called ethnological objects, which were massively collected by museums over the past 150 years – these objects of the “others" from a “different time" – were assigned a place outside history.

Meanwhile, it is recognized that all cultures have the same time and that globalization is an integral part of human nature and not a relatively recent chapter in its history. As a result, the aim today is to set new clocks on the basis of a common time, so that the hands no longer

© Jan Tschatschula
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