Documents from the installation "My Baggage" © Arnold Dreyblatt

Arnold Dreyblatt

My Baggage2011

Suitcase handle

The installation "My Baggage" combines an interest in biography with the activity of archiving documents and objects. The installation focuses on 150 of the artist's autobiographical documents, which are arranged in a way that generates different interconnections based on the individual viewer's perspective. The documents are grouped around the artist's suitcase, which forms the work's visual center.

"These questions [of the 'internal' autobiographical past] certainly took on a new urgency as a result of my resettlement to Berlin from New York in the early 1980s. Having grown up in the US within an unusually large East European immigrant family context, my subsequent relocation to the capital of the 'land of the perpetrators,' within an hour from the current Polish border, accelerated an interest not only in 'the past' but in 'my past' as well. 'My Baggage' developed firstly as a result of intensive travels in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.  Though my personal destiny represents only a 'voluntary' exile, the questions of personal identity, mirrored and projected onto a 'New York - Berlin - Eastern Europe' axis, remain unresolved.  It seems uncannily fitting, on this occasion of an exhibition reflecting on a contemporary Jewish identity in Berlin, that I would finally develop a presentation of this 'shadow' archive as an artistic work." (Arnold Dreyblatt in the catalogue for the exhibition "How German is it? 30 Artists' Notion of Home")

Arnold Dreyblatt was born in New York in 1953. He has lived predominantly in Berlin since 1984 and currently serves as a professor of media art at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel. Dreyblatt's installation "Unsaid" has been on display in the permanent exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin since 2008. The artist's website can be viewed at