Forster – Humboldt – Chamisso – Ottinger

State library Berlin | December 02, 2015 – February 27, 2016

Ulrike Ottinger developed the exhibition from her plans, 200 years after the poet and natural scientist Adelbert von Chamisso (1776-1838) traveled the world, to rediscover Siberia, Kamchatka and the Aleutian Islands from today's perspective and to record them on film.
The logbook of imagination and the logbook of reality create a new creation of reality, a cinematic reality. The exhibition shows four films of different lengths, which provide both sensual and direct insight into four important thematic areas of these regions of the northern hemisphere: landscapes, animals, people and plants.
Ulrike Ottinger links the past to the present a. a. also by continuing the tradition of extensively reporting trips based on stories, drawings, models or measurement tables using the modern means of film and photography.
Ulrike Ottinger's film recordings and travel notes encounter historical documents of famous world travelers from the 18th and 19th centuries in the exhibition. The confrontation of the artist's contemporary filmic observations with unique historical manuscripts from the State Library and objects from the holdings of the Ethnological Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Museum creates an exciting story, from the first preparations for an expedition to the return of the travelers enough. Your knowledge, impressions and ideas span the gap between past and present. In addition to the films, the focus of the exhibition is therefore on the diaries, letters and drawings of Alexander von Humboldt, Reinhold Forster, Adelbert von Chamissos and Ulrike Ottingers.
The exhibition is designed as a traveling exhibition, it will go on a world tour itself. It will never remain the same, but will show a new selection of exhibits there at each new location.
“Weltreise” is one of two parts of the joint project of the artist Ulrike Ottinger and the State Library in Berlin, which is generously supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. In parallel to the exhibition, the second part is the film "Chamissos Schatten", which is produced as a film documentation of the trip for the cinema.

For further reading

→ Chamisso’s Shadow (Film)
→ Weltreise (Publication)

Photographs of the Opening
Photographs of the Exhibition

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