Every thing has a life of its own – but can things tell their own stories?
A proud teapot and a homeless drum, a belligerent chamber pot and an antique gold coin, Goethe’s shoe buckle and Lou Reed’s wax doll, a depressed mobile phone, Kafka’s Odradek, Bernd the Bread and 50 other things provide answers in the exhibition „The Story of My Life. Object Biography as Concept, Method, and Genre.“
Countless object stories arise between production, use, loss or repair. Objects are gifted, sold and auctioned, loved and kept, collected and exhibited, they disappear and are found again, they are stolen and sometimes returned. They travel around the world or lie in drawers and depots for years. They get broken, thrown away, restored and recycled. Things - in other words - have a life. Researching and narrating them is of interest where things are produced and consumed or collected and stored.
The concept of object biography makes it possible to connect different stages, events and relationships in the life of a thing into a narrative. In this process, what is not yet known about materiality, whereabouts or ownership is also revealed.
This playful and experimental exhibition tells the story oft he object biography in four chapters, uses multiple examples to explore its applications and shows what we see with it, what would otherwise remain hidden from us, who it benefits and why it appeals to us. This way, a varied and critical "story" of object biography emerges.
The exhibition was curated by Ann-Sophie Lehmann (University of Groningen) and Imke Volkers (Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge).
Curatorial assistance: Alexander Renz (Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge).
With loans, projects, and works by a.o.:
Museum August Kestner
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Museum der Unerhörten Dinge
Haus der Geschichte
With texts by:
In cooperation with