The Neukoelln Museum in Berlin has chosen to present 99 objects in its new permanent installation. Many people wonder why. Here is the answer: in the Chinese culture the number 99 represents infinity, defining also something that is incomplete and incorporating development with an open ending.
The contract between the Chinese Peoples Republic and Hong Kong for example lasts 99 years. With this notion of relating to something indefinite and unpredicable the new exhibition takes in account that history is not a given fact, but a process developing towards the future that is being effected by things that happen in every moment of our individual and collective reception of present times. That is why the museum has chosen to focus on 99 objects that are being reflected in depth by referring to their historical, sociological and present meaning.
These meanings are being reflected in a narrative context that is meant to evoke the visitor’s own perspective on the object of his special interest. Thus the visitor encounters an open space in which he can experience himself as well. Instead of suggesting that museums know everything, as they mostly do, the visitor realizes that he is part of a live experiment in which he can participate as he or she pleases.
In the web or at terminals in the exhibition the visitor is urged to write his or her story connected to one of the displayed objects. In this way the visitor becomes his own author of history and it doesn’t matter where he is from, if he lives in Neukölln, New York or Bombay. Check our website next week and enter your story to one of our 99 objects.
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