Reflection in a golden jug.

The Blue Room

An Artistic Encounter

In early 2017, the Jewish Museum Berlin gave artists and art enthusiasts, including many from refugee backgrounds, an opportunity to put on a joint exhibition. Twenty artists from twelve countries became the nucleus of the project. During weekly sessions, they got together to work on individual and collective pieces and developed ideas for presenting them at the museum. In addition, they gradually found their way to a common theme over the course of culinary events, artistic input from other artists, and group visits to various exhibitions with tours in simple German, English, and Arabic.

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

At the center of the artistic team’s meetings was a blue-painted room in the museum’s baroque Old Building that had been converted to a studio. This room ultimately gave the project its title. The color blue, with its many emotional, national, and political connotations, evoked diverse associations.

The practicalities of refugee life posed many challenges for the project. Some of the participants tried in vain to secure residency. Others were busy with the strenuous process of settling and acclimating in Germany or were forced to leave the project due to the strict attendance policies of integration courses. Still, the group expressly did not want to make experiences of trauma and seeking refuge the focus of their exhibition. Their priority was to set out on a collective artistic process, make decisions democratically, and engage in mutual dialogue. Thus, “dialogue” was the theme of the exhibition that was on display in The Blue Room for six weeks.

The project was overseen by Atalya Laufer as Curator, Katja Oelschläger as Project Staff, and Barbara Rösch as Project Director. The three of them asked the participating artists about their relationships with the concept and realization of the project as well as their own artistic development process. You can read their answers in The Blue Room catalog together with the portraits of the project participants, taken by Sven A. Strecker and shown in the image gallery on this page.

Easels lean against a deep blue wall.

Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Barbara Rösch

With the support of the Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When 13 Jul to 27 Aug 2017
  • Where Old Building, level 1
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin 
    See Location on Map
  • Public discussions with the artists involved Saturday 15 July 2017 from 1 to 3 pm and 
    Wednesday 19 July from 4 to 6 pm

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