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Interview with Steffen Krautzig, scientific associate at Kunstpalast Düsseldorf. With a chat guide for the exhibition “Too good to be true – Das Junge Rheinland (Young Rhineland)”, Kunstpalast enables visitors to chat with artworks and artists.

What is most fascinating about this exhibition?

“One hundred years ago in Düsseldorf, a group of artists formed an association named Junges Rheinland. We look back at the chequered history of this group, which left a considerable mark on the city’s art scene. Hundreds of painters, sculptors, illustrators, architects, writers, actors, and directors were drawn by the call of the poet Herbert Eulenberg, the painter Arthur Kaufmann and the illustrator and author Adolf Uzarski.”

Why should people come and visit?

“This exhibition has assembled works by twelve artists whose development reveals some of the key questions surrounding Junges Rheinland. The founders consciously opened their new association to the most diverse artistic trends. The early years were fueled by great enthusiasm which made many things possible. There are many unknown, forgotten artists to discover but some well known old friends like Otto Dix and Max Ernst as well. ”

What is new about the accompanying chat guide from helloguide?

“As part of a seminar by Heinrich Heine University, eight students were asked to imagine short conversations: If the portrayed person could talk, what would she/he say? If you start your chat guide you can have a witty small talk with people who lived 100 years ago. It’s like a time warp that hopefully helps to understand art and time of the Weimar Republic.”

What is your feedback from the visitors so far?

“First, our visitors are surprised about the possibility to talk with artists and models. After a while, they focus on new aspects of artists or everyday life in that time – questions that they had never thought of before. And hopefully we get the visitors to look more closely on details they hadn’t seen. ”

What are your next plans?

“After closing the exhibition in June, we’re going to discuss the success of the different types of art mediation we had. There are museum labels, a childrens booklet, an audioguide and of course a catalogue – it always depends on the exhibition and it’s audience what we want to offer. So if there’s an exhibition with stories you can tell better with a chat guide we will definetely use this guide again. ”

Team who developped the content of the chat guide with helloguide: (from let to right) Anne Schulz-Ayecke, Rojan-Lynn Frey, Jenia Sychinskaya, Steffen Krautzig (Kunstpalast), Alina Fuchte (Kunstpalast), Melanie Seidler, Gian Marco Hölk, Foto: Knut Zielenski