by Sara Sejin Chang (Sara Van Der Heide)

The German Library Pyongyang
Sara Sejin Chang (Sara Van Der Heide)
Sternberg Press - 10.00€ -

From December 11, 2015, until April 10, 2016, the German Library in Guangzhou, China, became The German Library Pyongyang, a reimagining of an initiative of the Goethe-Institut that originally operated in North Korea between 2004 and 2009. This temporary intervention by Sara van der Heide is an imaginary transformation of the current geography of the German Library in Guangzhou. Van der Heide’s project is a contemporary version of the Goethe-Institut’s original library initiative in North Korea, devised as a vessel to discuss national cultural policy in a post-Cold War and postcolonial era that looks critically toward the parallel histories of Germany and the two Koreas. The German Library Pyongyang offers a space for critical questions, but it also functions as a context for transcending thinking that is prescribed by the lines of the nation-state, language, and geography. The several artistic, linguistic, and graphic interventions in the library merge with the continuing activities of the German learning center in Guangzhou, and all institutional printed matter in Chinese is replaced by Korean.

This publication brings together the four original exhibition booklets in German, Korean, English, and Chinese. An additional reader is included with critical reflections as well as documentation of the exhibition and the organized seminar.

Design by Dongyoung Lee

24 European Ethnographic Museums
Sara Sejin Chang (Sara Van Der Heide)
Roma Publications - 12.00€ -

With the series '24 European Ethnographic Museums' Van der Heide questions the construction and identity of the ethnographic museum today. Here, the project becomes a collection of artefacts in and upon itself and by recording the names of these institutions Van der Heide places the viewer in front of the dilemma: who is authorized to decide what is an artefact, and what should be collected and for what reason? In the 19th century, with the birth of the current European nations, museums openly referred to their colonial past. Today the museums bare more euphemistic names like: ‘Museum der Kulturen’ or ‘World Museum’ but still place the West as the self-acclaimed center of the world.  The existence of the ethnographic museum, which is intertwined with the complicated and loaded colonial past, has been subject to contemporary criticism. While some of the European ethnographic institutions have attempted to come to terms with the past of their collections and their heritage, Van der Heide focuses upon how language continues to reflect the political present of the institutions.

cart (0)