Scientific Serendipity and the Museum Without Objects

The 3rd Weber World Café in Berlin Dahlem

“Every question is allowed.” – This was the guiding principle. In the foyer of the Ethnologic Museum in Berlin Dahlem, about 95 people had come together for a special format of exchange. But rather than a symposium, it was more a kind of scientific speed dating, as there was no audience. All participants were about to take part in a discussion about “Museum, Power and Identity”, the title of the 3rd Weber World Café (WWC), held by the Max Weber foundation, the Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with ArtHistories and the Staatliche Museen Berlin.

In the opening of the event, the hosts used the metaphor of speed-dating to illustrate their motifs: While speed dating in general is about friendship and love between humans, this particular dating experience was about the relation between humans and objects and the museum. “Museums tell stories about these relations”, Viola König, director of the Ethnologic Museum, pointed out in her opening statement. Apart from the intention to reflect together on these relationships and establish new contacts, the Weber World Café intended to bring questions to the tables: What is the role of museums and aesthetic practices in society today? How can we display the scientific knowledge about objects on display? Why are we collecting?


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Preparing for the 3rd Weber World Cafe “Museum, Power, and Identity” this Thursday, June 11th in Berlin Dahlem. So many intersting guests hosting the different tables. Every table has it’s particular spin on this years topic. Floorplan will be represented by Christoph, Marie and Kristina. Very exciting!

Identity, Language and Museum | Cultural Heritage, Belonging and Ownership | Decolonizing Knowledge | Decolonizing Aesthetics |The Practice of Curating |Object Biographies and Theory of Things | How to display rituals |Artistic Intervention | The Archive and the Unconscious

The whole list including all guests/table hosts is online on the Weber World Cafe Blog at

»Anachronismus oder Vitrinendenken«

von Dr. Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll
Ein Vortrag im Rahmen des Kunsthistorischen Seminars an der Universität Basel.
“Es geht um neue Zugänge zur Kunstgeschichte anhand postkolonialer Ansätze und aktueller Erkenntnisse aus Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Anthropologie und Gender Studies. Ich konzentriere mich dabei auf zeitgenössische Künstlerinnen und Künstler, die mit historischen Sammlungen arbeiten. Kunstschaffenden wie zum Beispiel Doris Salcedo, Walid Raad und Kara Walker betreiben eine anachronistische Geschichtsschreibung, in der sie Objekte aus Archiven und Sammlungen in ihre gegenwärtige Praxis integrieren.”
Doris Salcedo: Shibboleth, Tate Modern, London 2008
Doris Salcedo: Shibboleth, Tate Modern, London 2008
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