Installation at the Ethnographic Museum

Dahlem, Berlin.

By Britt Hatzius and Ant Hampton

On display in the Mesoamerica room, a selection of seven lesser-known terracotta figures (soon to be consigned to the depot due to space constraints in the future Humboldt Forum) have been scanned and replicated using high-quality 3D 'powder printing' techniques, in collaboration with TU Berlin. These white, larval replicas are positioned on plinths, outside the glass display cases, facing their originals. Behind each original figure is another plinth holding a stack of postcards available to take home by the visitor: a photograph of the figure taken from behind, looking over its shoulder - a souvenir of their presence in this room since their initial positioning in the 1970's. The replacing of the visitor's usual (frontal) viewing position with a 3D replica becomes a staging of what looks like a strenuous effort by the figures and their replicas to comprehend each other and the situation they find themselves in: a tense moment of mutual bewilderment between ancient and ultramodern. As spectators, we find ourselves outside this dialogue, and yet at the very centre of the conundrum: for us, the unknown goes both ways, into both an unknown past and a blind future – forcing us to think about how our views, uses and values of material objects might change (both within and beyond the context of museum display), as we move from one form of mimetic reproduction to another.

The installation is accompanied by 9 audio tracks available as part of the Museums' audio tour available at the front desk, and a 16mm film which will be screened at the 'Appropriations' event in November 2014 (see below).


Comissioned by Humboldt Lab Dahlem and Florian Malzacher in collaboration with the 3D Labor at the Technische Universitaet, Berlin.

Presented as part of Probebuehne 4 Humboldt Lab at the Ethnologisches Museum Dahlem Berlin and a performance programme curated by Florian Malzacher 'Appropriation' (working title) in November 2014. The exhibition opens on the 21.September 2014 in the context of Probebuehne 4 and will be on display until the beginning of 2015.

Some notes on the process of creating the work > here


21.09.2014 - 8.02.2015

as part of Probebuehne 4

Ethnologisches Museum Dahlem