The exhibition »The Poetry of Things« transforms the typewriter into a thought-provoking spatial concept. Rather than simply replicating the typewriter’s lifeless mechanics, the exhibition provides a space for the tangibilization of the synapses within the brain of a poet as they make our language into something unique and
Split into three sections, the exhibition links 26 objects from the museum’s archives and their biographies to 26 poems. These new connections lead to not only new readings of the poems, but also surprising interactions within the exhibition space.
Visitors first enter a darkened room housing a multimedia reimagination of a typewriter’s keys. The mechanical sound of types as they strike the page then draws them into the sphere of perception within which the following rooms function.
The poetry machine, Photo: arge lola
The second section forms the heart of the exhibition and houses the 26 exhibits in specially created cases. The apparently random positioning thereof within the room follows the logic of the linkage that connects a typewriter’s keys to the corresponding letters. Each of the 26 letters has its own keyword with a meaning that isn't striking right away but rather associative and therefore intrigues the observer to learn more about the object and its story. Fritz Teufel's bike for example is not linked to the letter "F" (Fahhrad is German for "bicycle") as you would expect, but it is linked to the letter "Q" which stands for the keyword "Querulous" which was characteristic for Teufel.
Exhibition with 26 objects, Photo: arge lola
The exhibition concludes with an interactive section where the types strike the page and visitors themselves become the poet. This third section resembles a paper tunnel and has its own unique atmosphere. It gives visitors the chance to play with the 26 letters of the alphabet and create something new with them – perhaps even a poem.
Paper tunnel, Photo: arge lola
The exhibition space was designed and created by IMIAD students under the supervision of Professor Wolfgang Grillitsch and Cornelia Wehle. The joint project with Ludwigsburg Museum at the MIK was spread over two semesters. Kick-off workshops with literary experts and poets enabled students to get inside the topic, with a light and graphics workshop later used to prepare them for the practical implementation of the exhibition.