Showcase Exhibition | 07.04.2015 – 12.07.2015

HIDDEN SKILLS Dürer takes a Bath …

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Only a mere fraction of a collection is visible to the public – and this is also the case for exhibitions in which the selected objects are presented. Archives and depots are therefore core components of collections and museums, quasi their treasure chambers. A lot of skills and abilities are required to collect, document, and examine our cultural heritage in a professional manner and therefore preserve it for coming generations. This is no different at Draiflessen. ‘Hidden skills’ are not only abilities, but also the processes and requirements imposed on the individuals who work with a collection on an everyday basis, although they are not visible to the public. We dared conduct the experiment of presenting an exhibition that did not want to be one. A small presentation of a process that, for us, takes place nearly every day – namely, the restoration of artworks. In this case, we presented the restoration process based on the example of Albrecht Dürer’s small, sixteen-part etching of the Passion, which was created between 1507 and 1513. What materials and tools does a restorer actually use? What happens to objects that are over five hundred years old during a process of preservation? Supported by media, the presentation showed both the individual steps as well as the end result: the freshly restored cycle of the Passion. We wanted to allow people to take part in the experience, in the insights and in understanding an art behind the arts – in what we do when we are apparently not doing anything.

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