The project collects and explores narrations, images and imaginations, fragments and artistic expressions along old and new steppe and silk roads, which link dispersed and connected biographies, artistic traditions, cultural monuments and memories. These fragments will be joined in exhibitions and a concomitant scientific-artistic fieldwork notebook.
Hereby, fast processes of transformation as a result of establishing new roads will be juxtaposed to slow narrations and memories of individuals as well as historic artefacts and fresh artistic works developed within the project. This research therefore opens a space to individual and artistic voices in response to current and future determining emerging global-economic projects and plans. The artists and scientists (social- and cultural anthropologists, musicologists and archaeologists) of the core project team document and collect fragments of expressions developed by formulating specific questions on themes such as mobility, nomadism, memory, cultural and knowledge transfers along the roads to create an artistic project cartography for the joint exhibitions and publication.
The artistic works include photographs, videos, film, poems, songs and music, and drawings as different narration lines. Museum artefacts will be links or starting points for these forms of narrations – which show the fragmented and yet interwoven sidelines and branches of existing and emerging roads, which transform the landscapes like an expanding uncontrolled nervous system. Artists from i.e. Mongolia will be invited to create new works which will be integrated into the museum exhibitions. A new multi-layered collection – seen through the eyes of the other – will be added to and enliven the historic ethnographic collections.
Exhibition “Steppe & Silk Roads” at the Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg (11.12.2020–07.11.2021) and “Dust & Silk” at the Weltmuseum Wien in Vienna (16.12.2021–03.05.2022).
Opening of “Dust & Silk”(Staub & Seide) at Völkerkundemuseum der J. und E. von Portheim Stiftung in Heidelberg on May 16th 2023.
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) / Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK–AR 394-G24)
Wind Traveler / Khamkhuul by Bat-Erdene Batchuluun, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2020
Isolation and Connection by Tatia Skhirtladze 2020 (filmed inside the State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia)
Selected videos by M.-K. Lang & C. Sturminger