Muttersprache. Ein Projekt im Hamburgischen Museum für Völkerkunde, 1994

With a magazine format the publication Muttersprache. Ein Projekt im Hamburgischen Museum für Völkerkunde [Mother Tongue.
A Project at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology] represents and translates a series of three audio-guides dealing with the Africa, China, and Indonesia segments of the museum’s permanent collection (see Die Gespräche [The Conversations]), a temporary presentation in the museum’s space, and an accompanying discursive program. The project challenged the reigning museological standards in the field of ethnology at the time by shedding light on the systematic omission of any sign of speech and writing by the exhibited cultures.

This twenty-four-page full-color magazine, published in German with untranslated quotes in Chinese and Ewe, comprises contributions by art historian Eva Schmidt, artist and curator Stefan Banz, sociolinguist Christa Pieth, and ethnologist and curator Susanne Knödel. It also features thematically related advertisements.

The project and its publication were realized as part of the city of Hamburg’s exceptional public art program of the early 1990s. Today, the publication can still be found on the second-hand book market.