How German is it?

30 Artists’ Notions of Home

Young black woman in white dress surrounded by countless white dolls

Maziar Moradi, from the series What we are, 2009

Is there such a thing as a collective national identity? How do lifelong residents of the Federal Republic of Germany see themselves? What about those from other countries, now living in Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt? Those with roots in West or East Germany? Of different religions? With heritage in Russia, Turkey, or elsewhere?

The coordinates of Germany’s ingrained self-image began to shift after the collapse of the Soviet Union and East Germany, but it took a long time before Germany grudgingly began to see itself as a country of immigration.

Past exhibition

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Old Building is marked in green


Old Building, level 1
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Exhibition for the 10-Year Anniversary of the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2011

The exhibition presented artworks examining these questions. At its core was the work of thirty Germany-based artists with diverse background and experiences. In these pieces, they addressed central aspects of their perceptions, family and collective memories, national myths and their refutation, language, religion, and the migration experience. Video interviews with the artists and others revisit the topic on a documentary level.

This film shows the exhibition Heimatkunde. 30 Künstler blicken auf Deutschland (en: How German is it? 30 Artists’ Notions of Home) in the building phase and contains introductory statements by the Program Director Cilly Kugelmann and the curators Inka Bertz, Dennis Grünemeier, Margret Kampmeyer, and Martina Lüdicke (in German).

On display were installations, video and film works, photo series, paintings, and prints, including artworks commissioned for the exhibition by Via Lewandowsky, Julian Rosefeldt, Paul Brody, Arnold Dreyblatt, Misha Shenbrot, Anny and Sibel Öztürk, Raffael Rheinsberg, and Lilly Engel.


The exhibition website, which is still available online, introduces each artist who participated in the exhibition and their work:

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When

    16 Sep 2011 to 29 Jan 2012

  • Where

    Old Building, level 1
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
    See Location on Map

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