Here, we would like to introduce some projects that are particularly close to our hearts; some examples which give you an idea of our work. These are some major projects from recent years, most of which were carried out over a lengthy period of time. The aim of these projects is to use the media of art to see what we think of as familiar from an unusual angle (examples include the town of Halle, or unusual experiences with lesser-known art forms such as comics, street art or performance art), or to go behind the scenes at the art museum.
We generally carry out projects of this kind in cooperation with partners and / or sponsors; we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their collaboration and trust.
2018 | PLAYING UP: performance art for children and adults
For the Halle-Leipzig Museums Night, Moritzburg Art Museum, Halle an der Saale organised a very special art project. The PLAYING UP project, which took place from 4 to 5 May 2018 in cooperation with the Theatre of Research in Hamburg, ran a workshop showing a team of young people how to work with culture-lovers of all ages attending classical performances at various spots in the castle courtyard and the museum, and how to help these visitors join in and become action artists themselves.
PLAYING UP turns performance art into a game that brings children and adults together on a different footing to usual. Just one thing is required – DO IT. DO IT YOURSELF: lie down on car roofs, dance with animals, have a ketchup fight, follow a random passer-by through the city, operate adults by remote control, invent your own sport, search for miracles, take apart electrical devices, build a “what happens next machine” and much more.
The interactive game “Playing Up!” invites families to discover the history of performance art, which has as yet rarely been the subject of educational programmes. “Playing Up!” was developed jointly by the Theatre of Research in Hamburg, the Tate Modern and the Goethe Institute in London. In April 2016, public “play-ins” were held at the Tate Modern and met with a very positive reception. After Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Moritzburg Art Museum, Halle an der Saale was the third stop for “Playing Up!” in Germany.
2017 | CICERONE – local museum assistants
As part of the special exhibition “Alexej von Jawlensky | Georges Rouault. Seeing With Closed Eyes”, Moritzburg Art Museum, Halle an der Saale offered its visitors a new and very special service: from February to April 2017, the museum’s art education department trained more than twenty young people between the ages of 12 and 18 as “Cicerone – local museum assistants”. The teenagers came from various schools in the town of Halle and could apply for a place.
Even before they started work, the schoolchildren demonstrated high levels of commitment, meeting at weekends for the necessary training. At the two-hour seminars, the “Cicerones” were taught to deal professionally with visitors and answer questions about the permanent and special exhibitions and how the museum was run. A “look behind the scenes” gave them detailed knowledge about the museum’s operations. Under professional guidance, the participants became experts in the subjects of the exhibitions, practised their presentation techniques and got used to speaking in front of people. As a result, the schoolchildren were able to work as “Live Speakers” answering people’s questions at the museum and offering reliable information about Moritzburg Art Museum and the exhibitions.
One key aspect of the course was learning to talk to visitors about art appreciation and to share their own views, insights and feelings. In addition to direct guidance, the project thus offered visitors the opportunity to discuss art with young people and to learn how they saw art and the world.
The long-term goal of integrating the young trainees into events at Moritzburg Art Museum, Halle an der Saale after the special exhibition, thanks to the skills they had learned, met with an enthusiastic response from the participants. Since 2017, the “Cicerones” have been regularly involved at the museum, supporting the art education department’s work and projects.
2016–2017 | Culture is strength
As part of the project “(H)alle inclusive – a creative tour of discovery”, from August 2016 to March 2017, youngsters aged 10 to 12 were trained as “museum experts”. They got to know the historical castle complex and the art museum, which is firmly established in the cultural landscape of the town of Halle as a place of learning and adventure. On the project, the children gained a comprehensive insight into the collections at Moritzburg Art Museum, with an intensive focus on a selection of works. They learned interesting facts about art and artists and were able to delve deeply into work at a museum. Afterwards, they themselves passed on their experiences at the museum and with individual works of art to their peers by taking them on their own tours. These museum ambassadors’ activities were accompanied and supported by the artists and art educators Mark Hornbogen and Franziska Wolber.
Special attention was paid to the works of the painter Lyonel Feininger. His pictures of the cathedral, Liebfrauenkirche church and Red Tower in Halle, exhibited at Moritzburg Art Museum, took the children straight into the town centre and sparked questions about Halle’s history and development. As they explored the town, they adopted the strategies which the German/American artist used as a means of artistic appropriation, roaming Halle with a pencil, sketch pad and camera. Subsequently, they consolidated their experiences by taking part in practical workshops in the museum’s creative workshop. There, they painted, drew and printed pictures, designed storyboards, developed animated films and edited their own photographs. The practical experience they had gained was then used to create a joint portrait of the museum in the form of a flyer or a short film. The six-month project at the museum’s KinderKunstKabinett – the children’s art area – culminated in a public presentation of especially impressive works.