The Museum for Islamic Art's project, #CulturalxCollabs - Weaving the future, celebrates the transformative power of cultural exchange and the shared threads that unite us all. All the things we love, have loved and will ever love come from cultural exchange, migration and diversity, or as we like to call it #CulturalxCollabs.
100 carpet fragments, cut from the doppelgänger of the iconic dragon carpet, will travel the world (delivered by DHL). The fragments will ignite #CulturalxCollabs with co-creators, inspiring human ingenuity, fostering community and ultimately demonstrating how cultural exchange enriches all our lives.
Pergamonmuseum and thus, Museum for Islamic Art closes temporarily in October 2023 for renovation and will reopen in the spring of 2027 with a completely redesigned permanent exhibition that will almost triple its previous size. During the closing period, the 100 carpet fragments will travel with the support of DHL Group. They serve as a tangible connection between the museum and the people. The ever-changing owners of the fragments contribute to the cultural exchange on the online portal Islamic·Art with their creative stories, simultaneously building a continuously growing network.
With the return of the fragments for the reopening of the Museum for Islamic Art, the narratives of the 100 fragments will reunite into a shared story. The people involved will come together, exchange ideas and share their experiences.
The starting point for the project is the ca. 6 x 3 meters large Caucasian dragon carpet from the 17th century. This carpet has been in the Berlin museums for over 140 years and holds special significance for the collection's history: in 1881, it was purchased by the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Paris, and in 1922, it became a permanent loan to the Museum for Islamic Art. During World War II, it was partially destroyed by an incendiary bomb. Its restoration on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Museum for Islamic Art in 2004, deliberately emphasizes its destruction by neutrally under laying the missing parts. As a result, the carpet acquires an almost graphic appearance. The design, the eventful history and the present-day appearance were decisive for the idea to weave a Doppelgänger for the art project "CulturalxCollabs - Weaving The Future."
We are sending this Doppelgänger - a donation from Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns – as 100 fragments on its way. The carpet was handmade to scale in Rajasthan, India in 2022. The design was mirrored to facilitate direct dialogue between the two rugs. Dahlmanns skillfully preserves the original state while embracing imperfections through use of colored wool and white silk in this rewoven carpet. He highlights the color changes that have occurred over centuries. A woven-in grid of 10 x 10 rectangles overlays the actual design. This integration embodies the '100 fragments' concept by marking cutting lines.
In the courtyard of the James-Simon-Galerie, between the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum, the double of the dragon carpet was cut into 100 pieces: each fragment approximately 60 x 30 cm in size. Everyone was invited to participate in the event, as this marked the beginning of the journey of the 100 fragments.
They set off to partner with collaborators and individuals all around the world, igniting the #CulturalxCollabs. The collab-ers come from various fields such as music, food, play, entertainment, handicrafts, art, family, science, and sports. They nominate others to join their collab as they work together to explore, experiment and creatively advance socially relevant themes. The #CulturalxCollabs aim to ignite interest and engagement, involving a wider audience in the evolving ideas.
Individuals can follow their personal inspirations or share experiences related to their fragment. The possibilities are limitless. To amplify diverse voices and initiatives, fragment owners are urged to pass on their fragments to new individuals.
The information on the back label of each fragment enables the co-creators to share their fragment's story on social media platforms or directly with the museum. Participants whose stories are selected to be published on the project's online portal may receive small giveaways and collect credit points for their fragment. Occasional quizzes, competitions or get togethers allow non-owners to participate and exchange ideas. These activities build a diverse and global community linked by the travels of the carpet fragments and the museum.
Complementing the social media engagement, the museum offers background information on the project, the collection, and other museum activities on the online-portal. This multifaceted approach encourages active participation and ensures an enriching and immersive experience for all involved.
As the Museum for Islamic Art prepares to reopen in the Pergamon Museum in spring 2027, the "Finissage" marks the culmination of the project. The fragments should return to the museum for documentation in early 2027. At the "Finissage" event, the fragments will be reassembled in the large carpet room of the newly redesigned permanent exhibition. Utilizing the signs of use, the stories on social media, and the narratives shared by former owners, the carpet will become a powerful mediator of these new object histories and human engagement. Museum visitors have the opportunity to explore the stories, their impacts, the results of cultural collaboration, and individual connections to each returned fragment and ask questions like: How was the carpet created? Have the fragments changed, or have they changed people? What significance do they hold for others or for oneself? These questions apply not only the Doppelgänger and the dragon carpet from the 17th century, which will both be exhibited in the future exhibition. They apply universally to all objects, inviting dialogue between the past, present, and future in the upcoming exhibition.
Explore the stories of CulturalxCollabs, the rich tapestry of cultural exchange, human ingenuity, and diverse narratives.
Spark your creativity as the carpet fragments’ visual brilliance, pattern and symbolism serve as a catalyst for artistic endeavors, storytelling, and personal expression.
Share your perspective. Join the #CulturalxCollabs, become an active participant in a global community of Collab-ers connected by the threads of cultural exchange, trade, and imagination.
Collaborating with each other and growing together: #CulturalxCollabs brings people together to learn from the past, celebrate the present and shape a future built on appreciation, shared responsibility and mutual curiosity.
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