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Dispersed & Connected. Museum collections and contemporary art from the Steppe and Silk Roads

Conference by Katharina Lange, Senior Researcher, Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The presentation will give insight into the artistic-scientific research project Dispersed and Connected and the exhibition Silk & Dust at Weltmuseum Wien.

The project collects and explores narrations, images and imaginations, fragments and artistic expressions along old and new Steppe and Silk Roads, which link dispersed and connected biographies, artistic traditions, cultural monuments and memories. These fragments were joined in project exhibitions at the Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg and the Weltmuseum Wien.

Fast processes of transformation as a result of establishing new roads and railroads were juxtaposed to slow narrations and memories of individuals as well as historic artefacts and contemporary artistic works developed within the project. The artistic works include paintings, photographs, videos, film, songs and music, and drawings as different narration lines. Museum artefacts were links or starting points for these forms of narrations – which show the fragmented and yet interwoven sidelines and branches of existing and emerging roads.

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