What do you like about your job?
Designing exhibitions is above all an exciting and really interdisciplinary form of teamwork for me – the result is so much more than the sum of its parts. I am a cultural scholar by training and for that reason, I also love burying myself in archives and books and occupying myself intensively with a very particular topic. In the past, for example, I might have switched between the enchanted forest and the jungle, but I currently occupy myself with the worldwide effect of reformation. In doing so, I always wonder how I can transmit the relevant knowledge to visitors. And the most exciting bit of developing exhibitions is that so many different formats are available to me for that purpose: I’m talking about objects, clarifying film sequences, participation stations, classic texts, etc. etc. And then I bring my ideas to the table in an exchange with designers, architects and museum staff – and completely new perspectives, thoughts and ideas arise. Out of this, we develop impressive scenographies and new worlds together. A successful exhibition for me is when the visitor experiences it as an accessible story, one that can also be confronting, of course.
What did you want to be when you grew up and how did the plan – in sticking to the topic at hand – get frozen?
As a teenager, I spent a lot of time in antiquarian bookshops and I always wanted to open one myself. For me, the world’s knowledge was stored in the shelves. It fascinated me that behind the story in the book there was the history of the book as a book itself – margin notes from previous readers, slips of paper, dedications. I often wondered why someone had made a crease on this particular, special page. What did they find so interesting? By the way, I still prefer to read second-hand books rather than new ones even today.
What was the last nice thing you bought for yourself?
Oh, I need to think about that. Really. What was the last nice thing I bought for myself? Sorry, I can’t think of anything. Maybe a sign that I should treat myself sometime – don’t you think?