Since most of us are quarantined at home right now, arts and cultural institutions have been challenging themselves to devise new programming that can be engaged with in virtual ways. Some of them require you to join in a meeting or event, others are self-directed.
Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin, like most museums, has been forced to close its doors for the near future, but they still want to give you an opportunity to walk through the exhibition with a warm and informative guide who also understands critical thinking.
It’s a difficult task to give a tour to a guest when you cannot see them, but Markus Georg has a disarming natural way of describing his ideas so that you definitely feel sometimes like you are there with him looking at the studio art by many of today’s graffiti and Street Artists. We were particularly thrilled to see him talk about the Swoon piece because we brought her to Berlin as UN curators in 2015, and this was the collaged menagerie of her imagery made for that show.
Jan Sauerwald’s enthusiasm for the urban art scene dates back at least to his own experience on the street in the 1990s, and he knows what a special challenge it is for youth and families to be cooped up inside. As a cultural manager in Berlin for many years and today as Urban Nation’s Director, Mr. Sauerwald is especially pleased that the museum can offer an unhindered opportunity to see the works on display.
We asked him a few questions about the new video.
Brooklyn Street Art: What gave you the idea to have a virtual tour of the museum?
Jan Sauerwald: It is an unfortunate development that the museum and all the excellent works by different artists won’t be available for the visitors for such a long time period. It is pretty sad for an educational art institution like ours, so we were thinking hard about alternatives and we decided to implement an online tour to deliver easy access for all groups of interested people. We want them to feel like they are having a unique experience that is similar to the real thing as possible.
Brooklyn Street Art: Can you tell us a little about the guide who is helping us become familiar with the works?
Jan Sauerwald: Markus Georg is an experienced art mediator and tour guide. We have worked with him on other projects as well and we are very glad that he responded very quickly to our call to produce the digital tour through the museum. Speed is everything when it comes to mounting such a project in these times.
Brooklyn Street Art: What is one of the works you find most interesting?
Jan Sauerwald: One of my favorite works is the London Police painting in the exhibition. London Police do give us a lot of inspiration with their view of a fantastic and futuristic, but always friendly world. If our future could be like that – a friendly coexistence of men and machines- then I think it could I would be glad about that.
Enjoy the Digital tour through URBAN NATION
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