My last visit at the old Völkerkundemuseum was admittedly a couple of years ago. I was simply overwhelmed by the huge amount of exhibits. And yet, the collections of the new Weltmuseum could still fill three little museums without any trouble. But it allows a much more open and more engaging access: Apart from critically dealing with its own history, selected issues are now highlighted, for deepening insight there are interactive points, and by making the connections between past and present visible the museum manages to pose questions of cultural identities afresh.
Another innovation is the invitation for contemporary artists to engage with different aspects of ethnographical collections. Rajkamal Kahlon´s exhibition „Staying With Trouble“ (until 30.9.2018) is part of this panel. The US-American artist used some of the Weltmuseum´s historical photographs based on then contemporary concepts of „primitives“ and „savages“, and overpaints them. In this manner she shows again how cruel and disrespectful these pictures really are; but she manages, too, to return to the pictured persons some kind of rehabilitation in a light and often humourous manner.
1: Einblick Saal "Sammlerwahn. Ich leide an Museomanie!" © KHM-Museumsverband
2: Sonderausstellungsansicht Rajkamal Kahlon Staying with Trouble Copyright: KHM-Museumsverband
3: Einblick Saal "Benin und Äthiopien. Kunst, Macht, Widerstand" Copyright: KHM-Museumsverband
4: Einblick Saal "Im Schatten des Kolonialismus" Copyright: KHM-Museumsverband
5: Einblick Saal "Südsee: Begegnungen mit dem verlorenen Paradies" © KHM-Museumsverband