September 21, 2017 – September 24, 2017
Once again the Basel Puppet Theatre Festival brings life to the Hedi Keller Hall, this time with the installation “Animachina” created by the Basel artist duo “undef”. Visitors are invited to develop their own figures and animate them on site in short sequences. The creations will then, mirror-like, emulate the movements of their creators. Collages made from these works are then shown as large-scale projections and recorded.
> Link to Project
June 29, 2017 – August 6, 2017
Die Ausstellung «Kongo am Rhein» zeigt Werke zweier zeitgenössischer kongolesischer Künstler. Bildhauer Freddy Tsimba sammelt Abfallprodukte der Konsumgesellschaft und verwandelt sie in Kunst. Nach Basel bringt er seine über zwei Meter grossen Löffelmenschen. Der Löffel ist dabei das Symbol für den ewig knurrenden Magen. Tsimba beschäftigt sich auch mit der Grausamkeit unserer Zeit: Die Hüttenskulptur, die zu sehen sein wird, hat er aus Macheten gefertigt. Fotograf Sammy Baloji ist bekannt für Fotografien und Videoinstallationen, die intensive Einblicke in das Land und seine Geschichte geben. Seine Installation dreht sich um ein zehnstöckiges Gebäude im Zentrum von Kinshasa. Der Bau soll die ideale Stadt darstellen, doch darin wohnt nur die Besitzerfamilie.
Die Ausstellung ist Teil des Projekts «Kongo am Rhein», das kulturelle Aktivitäten aus dem Kongo nach Basel bringt. Sie entstand in Zusammenarbeit zwischen der Dozentin für frankofone Literatur Isabelle Chariatte und dem Schriftsteller und Kurator In-Koli Jean Bofane.
Heavenly fragrances from all corners of the world
November 18, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Christmas biscuits are not only about cacao and candid orange peels, they also rely on an array of spices such as anise, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and cardamom. However, what we often tend to forget is that these spices are not home grown. The exhibition shows the history and significance of these fragrant ingredients and puts on display old spice boxes, hand mills and mortars, as well as beautifully carved moulds. It also addresses typical Christmas specialities such as Dresdner Stollen, Italian panettone and the famous Basel Läggerli.
Global Traces in local Ikat Fashion Design
October 21, 2016 – March 26, 2017
Ikat refers to the fascinating art and technique of creating complex patterns on hand-woven textiles. Since time immemorial women master weavers in eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste have embraced foreign ideas and motifs and integrated them in their own local designs. Thus they actively partake in the process of globalization and help to shape modern fashion trends. The exhibition presents a wide range of new and old creations by these weavers, adding to them contemporary interpretations by Ito Joyoatmojo and Susi Kramer.
Graduation Exhibition of the HyperWerk Institute
September 17, 2016 – September 25, 2016
Come along, up the stairs and into the land of plenty! A land where methods grow like fruit on trees, where new activities shoot up like mushrooms and where wage labour plays a minor role. A land built on the foundation of the industrial age. Here the streams run with honey amidst a universe of 300,000 objects – testimonies of cultural diversity and richness and artisanal skills and innovation. With the aid of objects and small interventions, the works shown here were created in line with the theme “We, we ourselves are the method”. Come and explore the land of unlimited opportunities!
September 3, 2016 – September 4, 2016
Cooking shows, food blogs, cookbooks and magazines are proliferating: cooking is hip and trendy. Right food, functional food, comfort food, love food – from vegan to omnivore – where do all these food styles come from, and where are they heading? The event deals with many interesting aspects of food and looks at them from a wider cultural perspective.
Experience food and drink at the crossroads between healthy diet and gluttony, between love for meat and veganism, between mass consumption and fine foods.
WELCOME TO A DELICIOUS WEEKEND!
Installation und Performance im Museum
June 13, 2016 – June 19, 2016
Die Art Basel wird wieder viele Kunstinteressierte in unsere Stadt führen. Neben der Kunstmesse gibt es auch dieses Jahr wieder den Art Parcours mit Skulpturen, Interventionen und Performances auf dem Münsterplatz.
Das Highlight bei uns an der Parcours Night ist die Performance „Music for Chameleons“, ein Projekt des Iren Pádraic E. Moore.
Wir freuen uns während der ganzen Art-Woche eine Installation „The Shapes Project: Shapes Spinoffs, 2005–2016“ des amerikanischen Künstlers Allan McCollum zu zeigen. 144 handgedrechselte Holzobjekte, präsentiert auf 24 Tischen.
Spezielle Öffnungszeitzeit der Installation 13.06.-19.06.2016:
Montag – 'Parcours Opening': 19.00 – 22.00
Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, und Freitag: 11.00 – 21.00
Samstag – 'Parcours Night': 11.00 – 00.00
Sonntag: 11.00 – 19.00
> Link zum Art Parcours
Single objects in series
April 29, 2016 – May 28, 2017
Series are omnipresent: in art, the production of series is a commonly encountered method; philosophers analyse the serial nature of our everyday life; mass consumption is based on serial production; crime series often focus on serial killers; and for “soap junkies”, TV series have replaced the novel. And what about anthropology? The exhibition “Staying in Line” explores the nature of series and shows why it is often worth viewing single pieces in a series.
Aztec deity figures, incarnations of the god Vishnu, masks from Papua New Guinea, you name it – our collections contain numerous examples of seemingly identical objects. It is only when you place them next to one another in a row that the differences show up. This wealth of variants contains information on style development and it can tell us something about social conventions and ritual protocols. But often it merely reflects the pleasure of creating subtle aesthetic nuances or the desire for singularity on the part of the maker. Producing the details that make the difference is a matter of creative skill. In the end, no two pieces are exactly alike.
Coming of age in Zurich, Ouagadougou and Bamako
April 10, 2016 – June 5, 2016
No matter whether in West Africa or Switzerland – the future belongs to us young people? But what future are we talking about? Our circumstances and prospects couldn’t be more different. Nonetheless, we have a lot in common: We’re in the process of reaching adulthood, trying to find our place in society and shape our own future. Our dreams oscillate between euphoria and apathy, hope and reality – we’ve given them expression in words and images at the Museum der Kulturen Basel for you to view and talk about.
Collecting and Showcasing Europe
November 20, 2015 – September 4, 2016
It was an ambitious task the fledgling Museum of Ethnology (today's Museum der Kulturen) set itself when it opened its European department in 1904. The idea was to systematically collect and document peasant artefacts from all parts of Europe. For its time this pan-European focus was a groundbreaking approach.
The European department has remained true to its principle of not only assembling collections from rural Switzerland ever since, although the curators realized from the start that covering the whole gamut of European cultural artefacts in the collections was practically out of the question. Also very early on they decided not to limit themselves to peasant and pre-industrial artefacts.
The exhibition Tallies, Pots and Costumes presents a rich array of European folk culture, focussing not only on the artefacts but also on the people who helped to build up the collections from 1904 onward. It not only allows for national comparison, the objects also provide "wondrous” accounts of the creativity of our forebears, everyday culture, work and belief, the old way of life, and moments of joy as well as grief.
Sicilian Folk Culture
November 20, 2015 – January 17, 2016
Sicily is distinct, especially as far as culture is concerned. The Museum der Kulturen holds an extraordinary collection of Sicilian folk culture. Worth special mention are the large and small ceramics (incl. the cribs), the opera dei pupi (puppet figures), and the brightly coloured donkey carts, which one actually no longer finds in the streets but in all shapes and sizes as motifs on a large range of products, instead.
Among the Sicilian landscape's typical features are the extensive orange and mandarin groves. The fruits' provenance is often revealed by the wrapping paper they come in which usually features, next to the producer and the brand name, a colourful picture. The Sicilian "orange papers” serve as the ambassadors of the respective region of origin and, together with the donkey carts on which the fruits are transported, they provide an ideal starting point for a fascinating journey through Sicilian folk culture. Among other things, the Christmas exhibition makes clear how symbols of regional identity are created, reinforced and conveyed.
The Story of an unknown Alchemist
September 16, 2015 – September 20, 2015
Das internationale FigurenTheaterFestival Basel lässt 2015 seine 8. Ausgabe über die Bühnen gehen. Die Möglichkeiten des Figurentheaters werden nicht nur in den Grössendimensionen ausgelotet, sondern auch in den transdisziplinären Beziehungen zu anderen Künsten. So verbindet die Licht-Installation «SchattenSpielAutomaten – Die Erzählung eines unbekannten Alchemisten» der RaumZeitPiraten Schattenspiel und Installation. Das Künstlerkollektiv aus Deutschland ist bei uns zu entdecken.
Die Arbeit „SchattenSpielAutomaten – Die Erzählung eines unbekannten Alchemisten“ ist ein Automatenexperiment. Analog zu den Kameratechniken aus der Filmkultur werden selbstentwickelte, motorisierte Apparaturen mit Lichtquellen statt Kameras versehen, um ein raumgreifendes Schattenereignis in Bewegung zu setzen. Verschiedenste Objekte, Fundstücke und Alltagsgegenstände werden von den kinetischen Lichtmaschinen in Szene gesetzt, animiert und mit Exponaten aus der Sammlung des MKB verflochten. Die Raum, Zeit, Subjekt und Objekt überbrückende Klammer des Werks bildet das unscharfe Feld der Alchemie. In immer wiederkehrenden, sich ineinander verflechtenden, überlagernden und gegeneinander verschiebenden Narrationsschleifen entfaltet sich «Die Erzählung eines unbekannten Alchemisten». Es entsteht eine begehbare, kinetische Rauminstallation, die den Besucher einlädt, in ein surreales Universum aus Licht und Schatten einzutauchen und dem unbekannten Alchemisten in seine geheimnisvolle Gedankenwelt zu folgen.
Tägl. 10.00 - 17.00 Uhr
Eintritt (gemäss Tarifstruktur)
> Link zum FigurenTheaterFestival
> Link zu den RaumZeitPiraten
May 22, 2015 – October 4, 2015
What do we understand by the term mission? The religious mapping of the world? To mark the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Basel Mission, the exhibition "Mission possible? The Basel Mission Collection – Reflecting Cultural Encounters" wishes to shed some light on the life and work of the missionaries abroad.
The exhibition takes you on a journey through Ghana, India, China, Cameroon and Indonesia – former Basel Mission work areas – showing what the missionaries’ tasks were and highlighting successes as well as failures. The purpose of the objects collected by the missionaries was to render "an authentic picture of the conditions abroad, especially of the religious condition of foreign peoples".
April 11, 2015 – February 28, 2016
For just on a year the Museum der Kulturen Basel is hosting key works from the Collection of Old Masters of the Kunstmuseum Basel.
The choice selection of old masters opens with works by Konrad Witz dating back to the first half of the fifteenth century. Coming to Holbein’s father, Hans the Elder, famous for his portraits and altarpieces, we already stand at the threshold of the modern age, a boundary that his son crosses masterfully: his “Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb” as well as his “Artist’s Family” are milestones in the history of art. The line-up continues with Mathias Grünewald’s “Crucifixion”, sacred and profane paintings by Hans Baldung Grien’s as well as Lucas Cranach the Elder’s “Judgement of Paris”. The prominent role Swiss artists played in the emergence of the Renaissance is borne out by the Bernese painter Niklaus Manuel Deutsch and the widely-travelled Tobias Stimmer from Schaffhausen. His unique, full-size portraits of a Zurich banneret and his wife bear witness to the efflorescence of city culture at the end of the epoch under review.
March 20, 2015 – January 24, 2016
Ritual symbol, medicine, popular drug, poetic source of inspiration, foreign filth, cause of war, brown fairy, sacred smoke, satanic devilry, poison – there is hardly an epithet that has not been awarded to opium.
The exhibition Opium follows the trail of the sticky brown mass through the changing perceptions and valuations and sheds light on opium’s mythical, poetic, repulsive and inspirational dimensions across times and cultures.
“Admittedly, here the state prosecutor steps in. But I do not stand as witness. I defend nothing, nor do I judge. I merely contribute exonerating and incriminating evidence to the trial on opium.” Jean Cocteau, 1930.
NIGHT OF THE HEARTS
January 16, 2015 – January 17, 2015
Enjoy a laugh with Clown Roli and smile about one or the other selfie. Modern, committed, a bit narcissistic? Cultural products are always an expression of heart’s blood, on the part of the artist, the collector as well as the viewer. In the courtyard there’s music that goes to the heart.
Tickets are available at the information desk:
CHF 30.- (incl. shuttle bus)
CHF 24.- Adults
CHF 12.- With Museumspass MPM
Free for children and young adults up to 25 years
> Show a heart
Hedi Keller-Saal | 6.00 p. m. - 12.00 midnight
Make a heart from paper, colour, feathers and glitter and then go out into the night with a glowing heart. Workshop for kids.
> Selfie Deluxe
Everywhere in the museum | 6.00 p. m. - 1.00 a. m.
Is the place full of narcissists or do people just like who they are? Take a selfie and get a few tips from an expert. Professional photo-shoot in top setting and light.
Food in the courtyard: Chilli, soup and curry come together with a love bar.
> A heart for Basel
Floor 4 | 6.30 p. m. – 10.30 p. m.
Lend a hand in sewing the Basel kesa (Buddhist monk’s robe) under the guidance of an expert.
> A hearty laugh
Everywhere in the museum | 7.00 p. m. – 1.00 a. m.
Meet Clown Roli and be ready for a surprise
> Short guided tours "Heart's blood" through all the shows with the curators
Every half hour | 6.30 p. m. – 00.30 a. m.
|6.30 p. m.||Blood-red – The Abelam Ceremonial House||Floor 2 at the Abelam House|
|7.00 p. m.||Diligence & Devotion – Producing Tibetan Thangkas||Floor 3 - StrawGold|
|7.30 p. m.||Fascination Fiesta||Floor 1 - Parrot's Chest|
|8.00 p. m.||Diligence & Devotion – Producing Tibetan Thangkas||Floor 3 - StrawGold|
|8.30 p. m.||Vedda Love||Floor 2 - Expeditions |
|9.00 p. m.||Passion du wax print (en français)||Floor 3 - StrawGold|
|9.30 p. m.||Blood-red – The Abelam Ceremonial House||Floor 2 at the Abelam House|
|10.00 p. m.||Wax Print Passion||Floor 3 - StrawGold|
|10.30. p. m.||Facianción Fiestas||Floor 1 - Parrot's Chest|
|11.00 p. m.||Wax Print Passion||Floor 3 - StrawGold|
|11.30 p. m.||Fascination Fiesta||Floor 1 - Parrot's Chest|
|12.00 midnight||Vedda Love (> in english)||Floor 2 - Expeditions|
|00.30 a. m.||Vedda Love||Floor 2 - Expeditions|
> Food in the courtyard and in the bistro | 6.00 p. m. - 2.00 a. m.
Chilli, soup and curry come together with a love bar.
November 13, 2014 – January 11, 2015
War shows no consideration for Christmas but it certainly has a strong impact on the way this emotional family feast is celebrated in wartime. The exhibition Sad Christmas addresses the separation of families at home from their beloved fathers, brothers and sons away at the wars or guarding the frontier – a sad event dominated by the hardships of wartime for the former, a brief moment of well-earned rest from the misery of war for the latter.
With the aid of photographs, drawings and numerous artefacts the show looks back on things such as the famous soldiers’ taverns in Switzerland, the small tokens of love and affection from home, as well as the role of the military postal service as the conveyor of “yearnings”. The show furthermore addresses the shortage of food and consumer goods at home, the military culture of remembrance and typical Xmas tree decorations. The focus of the exhibition is on the First World War.
September 12, 2014 – October 26, 2014
Next to our own contribution to the show, the exhibition gives you the chance of becoming a part of the project. “Homelands” is not only a title and the plural form of “homeland”, it’s actually a platform for exchanging ideas and making use of the Museum der Kulturen Basel to implement your own ideas and projects. In other words: Homelands is an invitation to become active! After all, it concerns us all. It’s about your homeland, my homeland, our homelands.
We’re going to turn the museum courtyard into a living space, our space. We’re homing in on our land, if only for a short time. Join the fun!
The Buddhist Monk's Robe
August 22, 2014 – March 22, 2015
In Japanese Buddhism, the monk's robe (kesa), pieced together from sundry patches, plays a significant role. Basically, the patchwork stands for the non-adherence to worldly things and for poverty. In Japan, the kesa is also regarded as a symbol of Buddhist teaching and is bestowed upon a pupil by his master to mark that he has gained full understanding of the teachings. The robe also played an important part in politics. It was given by the emperor to an abbot of a monastery as a sign of clerical power and brought with it a range of secular and fiscal privileges.
On display in the exhibition are Buddhist textiles and statues from the museum's collections supplemented by a few extraordinary loan pieces. The layers of meaning that the robe conveys reach from being a symbol of Buddhist teaching to representing the monastic ceremonial life, implying power and influence and constituting the foundation of contemplative practice.
Folk Art of Latin America
May 16, 2014 – January 18, 2015
Travelling in a mysterious chest, over 5,000 folk art items have found their way from Latin America to Basel since 1960. Carefully and full of respect, Valentin Jaquet assembled a collection of precious folk-art objects on eighteen longer and shorter trips to Latin America, from Mexico to Chile. The exhibition “The Parrot’s Chest” is an homage to Latin American folk art, to the gifted men and women who created the works, to their skills and knowledge, and to the poetry the objects radiate. They embody joys and fears as well as dreams and hopes of numerous people in Latin America. The exhibition presents numerous pieces bearing witness to a lively tradition and a vivid imagination.
or unlimited desire
March 28, 2014 – September 7, 2014
What kinds of desires are embodied in objects? And how do these desires differ in objects made for a consumer market and objects made within other types of economies? The exhibition "Semiwild – or unlimited desire" is made up of six chapters where the artist Ania Soliman asks these questions in different ways by confronting and arranging artefacts from the museum's collection with her own artwork. The viewer is taken along an unexpected journey and experiences the emotional economies of possession and desire by looking at how objects are made, used, exchanged and discarded.
Winged Beings between Heaven and Earth
November 22, 2013 – January 5, 2014
“Driver had a guardian angel!” How often do we read this in newspaper headlines, or at least hear about it? Recently a Japanese car company even launched an advertising campaign using the slogan “guardian angel fitted as standard”.
Although we today live in a rational and increasingly secularized world, many of us still believe, or at least hope, that guardian angels are watching over us. This does not mean that parents still decorate their children’s room with oil prints depicting guardian angels in action, for example, preventing flower-picking children from falling off a cliff face or guiding a young girl safely across a narrow, unstable bridge, as used to be the case in the past. However, such illustrations are now being shown in the exhibition Angels – Winged Beings between Heaven and Earth at the Museum der Kulturen Basel. The colourful lithographs, canvas images and reverse glass paintings featuring guardian angels bear impressive witness to the widespread belief in the potency of these winged beings.
In Christian iconography and the tradition of religious folk art that grew from it, we encounter angels in many forms and functions. Adam and Eve were led from the Garden of Eden by an angel; it was an angel who announced to the Virgin Mary that should would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, and an angel also appeared to the shepherds in the field to tell them of the birth of Christ. We also have angels accompanying people on their various stages through life. What other forms of angel images are common, especially in the tradition of religious prints, you can now discover at the Museum der Kulturen Basel.
shaped for life?
September 27, 2013 – July 6, 2014
The exhibition “Make-up – Shaped for Life?” explores the practice of body modification in all its forms. Body decoration is a feature common to all cultures and ages. Making alterations to the body and skin appears to be something basically human. People do it to express belonging to a specific group, with the intention of matching an ideal or in the hope of re-inventing themselves and setting themselves apart from others. What do individuals do to their skin and bodies – how far are they prepared to go? The exhibition covers the full range of practices from make-up, body painting, tat¬toos, piercing, scarification to complete body transformation.
The world in a suitcase
September 14, 2013 – July 6, 2014
If you’re alien to me, you’ll be my unchartered territory. An expedition.
> With Laurent Ullrich, Linus Källstingen, Susanna Kemper, Salome Lützelschwab,
Vanessa Ries, Giuna Nichele, Jelisaveta Todorovskaaa, Celina Weidmann.
> Directors: Béatrice Goetz and Martin Frank. Junger Tanz am Theater Basel
in collaboration with the Museum der Kulturen Basel.
CHF 20.- for Adults
CHF 11.- for adolescents of 13–19 and trainees
> locality of the show: Museum der Kulturen Basel
Tickets for the opening performance only available at the ticket counter of Theater Basel!
June 6, 2013 – June 23, 2013
POPCAP ’13 presents on the Kleine Münsterplatz the works of five photographers who, each in his or her own way, deal with Africa and the African diaspora. Their focus is on everyday life and the rapid changes in urban space. They examine various forms of self-enactment and display the multifarious political, cultural and economic linkages between Africa and the globalized world. An international panel will revue the exhibited works.
At the Museum der Kulturen POPCAP ’13 is putting on a second exhibition featuring photographs that were shot at two locations in Basel and which reflect ideas about “Africa”. Students from the K’Werk Bildschule bis 16 visualize their ideas about the African continent by means of photography, while bblackbox shows photographs and collages produced in the “No-Border-Academy”. bblackbox is an art space on the outskirts of the city, located between slip roads and railway crossings in close vicinity to the arrival centre for asylum seekers and the local deportation prison. What does Africa stand for in these surroundings?
Free entry to the exhibition
Insurrection of Things in the Amazon
March 22, 2013 – March 30, 2014
Based on museum holdings that have served indigenous representatives and scholars over the last years as important cultural resources, the exhibition follows up the history of the Basel Amazon collection between 1950 and 2010, addressing historical as well as current issues and events. It traces the biographies of individual things on their journey from South America to Switzerland. Some of them are plain objects, others are things that are ascribed subjectivity, either permanently or on a temporary basis. These things are believed to have a life of their own, very similar to us human beings.
The Economy of the Divine
February 2, 2013 – January 19, 2014
Buddhist monasteries, temples for one of the numerous Hindu deities or shrines for spirit beings represent just some of the spatial manifestations of religious practice, frequented regularly by worshippers. In addition believers often define their own spaces of belief, for example, by circling a sanctuary, depositing sacrificial offerings or even erecting a shrine at home. All these forms of worship evidence the significance of spatial bonding and movement. Give & Take. The Economy of the Divine sheds light on how this works in various Asian religions.
November 17, 2012 – January 13, 2013
Unforgettable memories and moments of joy associated with Christmas presents are best told by a personal story. We invite you to “bring along” to the museum your personal story and make your special Christmas present part of the running show.
We look forward to:
A story of your choice, however moving it might be.
A Christmas present, however odd it might be
Large objects (more than 1m x 1m) are unsuitable; the same goes for foodstuffs and valuable objects (in terms of money).
Of course we will return your loan when the exhibition closes – including a small “thank you” keepsake.
Looking forward to your surprise!
Blessing or Burden?
November 16, 2012 – January 13, 2013
The exchange of Christmas gifts between old customs, commercial interests, and brotherly love: The range of motives for exchanging gifts at Christmas is probably as wide as the scope of gifts itself. The exhibition ‘Christmas Gifts – Blessing or Burden?’ sheds light on the historical and cultural background of gift exchange at Christmas. On display are gifts from the past as well as modern types of presents.
September 28, 2012 – September 29, 2012
The scientific debate on the concepts of "Cultural Heritage" and "Memory Culture" is more relevant than ever. The conference will address questions concerning the definition of cultural heritage, strategies of remembering, and the responsibility of European museums for the preservation of Latin American cultural heritage.
Swiss Society of Americanists, Red Europea de Estudios Amerindios, Corpus Americanensium Antiquitatum, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel
Organized with the financial support of the Swiss Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Federal Department of Home Affairs, Federal Office of Culture
Presentations in Spanish, English, and German
CHF 80.–/ 40.–/ 20.–
Prospects Through Design
September 16, 2012 – September 23, 2012
The show features diploma projects carried out in 2012 by students at the HyperWerk, the Institute for Postindustrial Design at the Basel University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The focus of their work was on developing new goals and approaches in design in the age of globalization, with the aim of determining criteria for a new design practice in view of promoting cultural diversity. In the course of their work they dealt with a diversity of issues such as experiencing self and alterity, intercultural collaboration, and design as a basic human condition.
Rediscovering slow travel
September 14, 2012 – July 21, 2013
Pilgrimages are booming – so is the pilgrim industry, and the prospects are looking good. Today there is a lot of talk about the inner search for peace, contemplation, and truth. Santiago de Compostela welcomes nearly 200,000 pilgrims each year and other pilgrim routes are also experiencing high growth rates. Travel agents offer spiritual packages, while cities and regions are eagerly developing their pilgrim infrastructure and opening new routes. But why do people go on a pilgrimage? Just because it makes you feel good? Pilgrimages, lodged between religious duty and the search for self, are not restricted to any specific religion or confession. They offer people the chance to find out who they really are and to feel the presence of God. Regardless of the fact that pilgrimage has a lot to do with commercial interests, ‘slow travel’ is very much in fashion. Reason enough for staging an exhibition on the topic.
The world in a suitcase
June 29, 2012 – April 10, 2016
Between the end of the nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century explorers from Basel conducted numerous expeditions, laying the foundation for the city’s extensive ethnographic collections. In the exhibition Expeditions. The World in a Suitcase the Museum der Kulturen Basel traces this history by describing four expeditions in detail, explaining the explorers’ motives and showing what they brought home with them in terms of collections and knowledge.
Measuring, salvaging, comparing, taking pictures
The visitors are taken along on a series of journeys: to Sri Lanka (Ceylon, 1883–1925) with Paul and Fritz Sarasin; to Vanuatu (New Hebrides, 1910–1912) with Felix Speiser; to Indonesia and East Timor (1935) with Alfred Bühler; and to Cameroon (1953) with Paul Hinderling and René Gardi.
Basis of world-famous collections
The exhibition presents roughly 540 objects, photographs as well as film and sound recordings, providing insight into the diversity of the Basel collections. The show is accompanied by a rich supporting programme that addresses issues concerning anthropology today and in the past.
Couleurs de l'Ombre
June 12, 2012 – June 21, 2012
For the third impression of "Pocket Squares as Works of Art" Hermès, a manufacturer of luxury goods, invited the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. This meeting between contemporary art and traditional craftsmanship was shown for the first time in the Museum der Kulturen during Art Basel. Hiroshi Sugimoto (1948) is a Japanese artist and photographer who lives and works in New York. In 2009 he received the "Praemium Imperiale", a prize awarded on behalf of the Japanese imperial family. It is regarded as the Nobel Prize for Art.
free admission to the exhibition during Art 43 Basel
May 20, 2012 – June 21, 2012
LANGUAGE 12 | CONCERT 11.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon
The trumpeter Marcus Wyatt has been called "a shining star in the sky of contemporary South African Jazz". On the occasion of the International Museum Day, he and his band "Language 12" will give a matinée concert in the Museum courtyard. "Language 12" plays future-oriented music that respects cultural roots, but is not afraid to push the envelope. Drum’n’bass, trip hop, rock and other stylistic elements current in contemporary South Africa blend to form a fresh, unique sound.
Marcus Wyatt (trumpet/flugelhorn/electronics), Siya Makuzeni (vocals/ electronics), Afrika Mkhize (Fender Rhodes), Fabian Gisler (bass), Christian Niederer (drums) – in collaboration with the Centre for Africa Studies.
The lightness of stones
April 26, 2012 – July 15, 2012
To what extent are myths and stories about ‘Becoming, being and passing’ connected to the folds in our museum roof? What do stones have to do with lightness? In the exhibition entitled “Suspended – the lightness of stones” ethnological topics and artistic statements are juxtaposed and shown to be suspended and light.
Stone by stone
At the end of February, Justin Fiske, a young artist from Cape Town arrived in Basel. In his luggage he had countless screws, cedar wood and endless lengths of cord. Using these materials and thousands of stones collected along the shores of the Rhine, he created complex installations with fascinating mechanics – suspended stones, pure poetry and beauty. The filigree installations enter into a dialogue of the senses with objects from the Museum’s collections and the striking roof architecture about becoming, being and passing.
Indigo, Luster and Pleats
April 26, 2012 – January 20, 2013
With the exhibition “Iridescent Everyday Clothes” the Museum der Kulturen turns attention to a singular aspect within the unique clothing tradition of the Miao peoples, presenting select pieces of a textile collection that enjoys worldwide acclaim. The metallically shimmering skirts worn by Miao women represent artistry in perfection.
Dyed, beaten, pleated
The amazing fabrics feature three special tokens: the midnight-blue, almost black indigo hue, the many pleats that lend the fabric a sculpture-like stiffness, and the metallic sheen. The fabrics are produced by Miao women by hand; the knowledge concerning the many work steps is passed down from one generation to the next.
The exhibition was designed and realized by the guest curator Walter Bruno Brix, who is not only known for his work as an artist but also in his capacity as an art historian and textile specialist.
Vernissage: 25.4.2012, 18.30
Kleine Welten in der italienischen Weihnachtskrippe
November 24, 2011 – January 8, 2012
Dank der erstmaligen Ausdehnung des Weihnachtsmarktes auf den Münsterplatz sind es nur wenige Schritte zum Museum der Kulturen und seinem attraktiven Beitrag zur „Basler Weihnacht“. Und so bunt wie es allenthalben auf Märkten zu und her geht, so bunt und vielfältig präsentieren sich die populären italienischen Krippen – "il presepe" genannt. Es gehört zu den Eigenheiten der mediterranen Weihnachtskrippen, dass sie primär das Alltagsleben der Menschen abbilden. Natürlich spielt die Weihnachtsgeschichte eine gewichtige Rolle, doch ihre Figuren stehen nicht zwingend im Zentrum des Interesses. Es sind Szenen aus dem Alltag - Metzger, Handwerker, Fisch- und Obsthändler, Kastanienverkäufer, Pizzabäcker, Bäuerinnen, die ihre Waren feilbieten - die farbenprächtig zur Darstellung gebracht werden. Die Krippe schmückt das italienische Wohnzimmer schon zwei Wochen vor Weihnachten. Die Figur vom Christuskind wird jedoch erst in der Nacht vom 24. zum 25. Dezember in die Krippe gelegt.
Die Exponate stammen aus der Sammlung Robert und Cécile Hiltbrand (Basel), die 2011 als Schenkung in den Besitz des Museums kam.
The Art of Beijing Opera
September 7, 2011 – March 4, 2012
The Beijing Opera is a rich and complex musical theatre that developed in the course of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the old capital Beijing. Classical Beijing opera combines music, dance, song, drama, recitation, pantomime, acrobatics, and martial arts
In conjunction with costumes, make-up, and props, the genres allow the performers to convey time, location, and contents of the play. The characters and contents of the Beijing opera are taken from classical literature, old myths and popular legends, as well as historical events, but the intention is not to represent reality on stage. Typical features of the Beijing opera include enciphering and typecasting as well as allusions and abstractions.
Only very few aficionados still command the knowledge required for decoding the complex movements, gestures, and mimic features performed on stage. Today the Beijing opera stands between preserving the old tradition and modernising in order to reach a larger audience.
Opera festivals and competitions, television broadcasts, and overseas tours by famous opera troupes help to make this singular stage art more popular among the wider public.
September 7, 2011 – May 6, 2012
Chinatowns became the focal points for Chinese migrants, providing the necessary infrastructure as well as access to economic and social networks. Apart from that, they provide a link to Chinese home country. Already by the end of the 19th century the Chinatowns had become a tourist attraction. A tour could include a visit to temple or a Chinese theatre; it certainly meant stopping off at a Chinese restaurant.
Chinas's economic and political rise in recent years has also had an impact on the reputation of Chinatowns worldwide. Not only has the government of the People's Republic of China but also the political representatives of the host countires increasingly relied on their contacts in the respective Chinatowns when planning new joint projects. In fact, occasionally modern cities go to great lenghts to "institute" a local Chinatown because urban planners see in them a strong marketing impulse.
The dragon is one of the most complex symbols of Chinese culture. On several occasions every year he performs his dances in the Chinatowns of this world.
Inspiring Aspects of Anthropology
September 7, 2011 – February 3, 2013
What are the foundations on which a society functions? How do basic conditions and interdependencies create commonalities and differences in human societies? What makes us special as individuals and as communities?
The exhibition "Intrinsic Perspectives - Inspiring Aspects of Anthropology" stands for the Museum der Kulturen's new programmatic approach, focusing on the key concepts agency, knowledge, performance, and space. The selection turns our attention to the principles and opportunities that humans possess in shaping their way of life within existing systems and structures.
Textilien aus Westafrika
August 28, 2009 – May 16, 2010
Eine vergessene Bergregion neu entdeckt
August 22, 2008 – May 17, 2009
Wenn Farbe zur Täterin wird
August 31, 2007 – August 31, 2008
Was ist Heimat?
May 4, 2007 – July 8, 2007
Die spielerische Welt des Mario Grasso
November 10, 2006 – March 25, 2007
Reisefotografien aus Afrika und China 1883 – 1889
May 5, 2006 – November 12, 2006
Zwischen Handy und Koran
January 24, 2006 – September 17, 2006
Vom grossen Heiligen zur Ikone des Weihnachtskommerzes
November 12, 2005 – January 8, 2006
Die Schenkung Eggmann
June 17, 2005 – September 25, 2005
Religiöse Vielfalt in einer Stadt
November 7, 2004 – May 16, 2005
Goldene Fäden vom Meeresgrund
March 19, 2004 – June 22, 2004
Fasnachtstreiben & Maskentänze
February 13, 2004 – August 29, 2004
Begegnung mit einem Schweizer Phänomen
November 28, 2003 – January 4, 2004
Kunst und Schamanismus bei den Shipibo Amazoniens
August 22, 2003 – November 2, 2003
Magische Kunst aus dem Regenwald
March 28, 2003 – April 12, 2004
Hochzeitsdecken aus Mali
January 18, 2003 – April 12, 2004
Die Bilderwelt der Ida Bohatta
December 1, 2002 – January 20, 2003
Weihnachtsausstellung im Museum der Kulturen.
Jede und jeder von uns hat als Kind sicher jene oft kleinformatigen Bücher von Ida Bohatta in den Händen gehabt und darin geblättert. Man freute sich an den Idyllen, welche von Zwergen, Käfern und Vögeln bevölkert sind. Nur zu gern ist indes der erwachsene Mensch bereit, ihre Bilder und Texte als putzige Kindlichkeiten und als süssen Kitsch abzutun.
Wer sich aber etwas genauer mit dem umfangreichen Werk von Ida Bohatta (1900-1992) befasst und dabei die Beweggründe für ihr Bedürfnis erfährt, eine 'heile Welt' zu zeigen, wird zu einer anderen Sichtweise gelangen. Die Ausstellung im Museum der Kulturen bietet dazu anhand zahlreicher Dokumente und Originalillustrationen einen umfassenden Überblick über ihr künstlerisches Schaffen, das ihr über Generationen hinweg zu grosser Popularität verholfen hat. Ergänzt wird die Ausstellung mit Beispielen anderer Buchillustratoren, die vor oder neben ihr gewirkt haben, wozu auch der Schweizer Ernst Kreidolf zählt. Dass auch heute wirkende Kinderbuchgestalter von Ida Bohatta gelernt haben, soll ebenso augenfällig werden.
Kunst der Verführung
November 30, 2002 – April 21, 2003
Fotografien von Rama Surya
January 19, 2002 – November 3, 2002
Bali hat sich unter der Herrschaft des indonesischen Präsidenten Suharto innerhalb von drei Jahrzehnten von einem beschaulichen und kulturell faszinierenden «Paradies» zu einem hektischen «Global Village» entwickelt, über dessen mit Erst- und Drittweltproblemen befrachte Zukunft nachgedacht werden sollte. Die berechtigten Sorgen der Balinesen über die schleichende Zerstörung von Natur und Kultur, über die ungerechte Verteilung wirtschaftlicher Gewinne, über den Moloch Verkehr, Drogen, Aids und Kriminalität werden von Touristen auf der Suche nach dem exotischen Erlebnis gerne ausgeblendet. Sie dürfen jedoch in einer Ausstellung («Bali - Insel der Götter», ab 18. Januar 2002), die sich primär mit der grossartigen und farbigen Tradition der «Insel der Götter» befasst, weder verdrängt noch verschwiegen werden.
Das Museum der Kulturen lädt deshalb anhand von Fotografien des jungen indonesischen Meisterfotografen Rama Surya zur Auseinandersetzung mit diesen Themenkreisen ein.
Fürstliche Textilien aus Bali
January 19, 2002 – November 3, 2002
Schimmernde Seidenstoffe, mit Metallfäden und Blattgold verziert, galten einst als Inbegriff der raffinierten Kultur an den balinesischen Fürstenhöfen. Noch heute lebt dieser Prunk in Festtrachten weiter. Highlights aus unserer Textilsammlung werden historischen Porträtaufnahmen von Adligen in ihren kostbaren Gewändern gegenübergestellt.> Kalendereintrag
Insel der Götter
January 19, 2002 – November 3, 2002