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Gorch Pieken appointed chief curator of the Humboldt-Universität laboratory in the Humboldt Forum

Press release

Berlin, 24 April 2018

Statement from chairman and spokesman of the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, Johannes Wien:

“I sincerely welcome the appointment of Dr. Gorch Pieken as chief curator of the Humboldt-Labor. Most recently in Dresden, Gorch Pieken has impressively demonstrated how a complex topic can be turned into a public hit. The new head of the team at the Humboldt-Labor is not only an established scholar with a doctorate in history but also someone whose creatively curated exhibitions in Dresden, Berlin and Potsdam have demonstrated that he is highly capable of communicating research and scholarship to the public. It is precisely this blend of clear communication and sophisticated content that will characterize the Humboldt Forum.”

Dr. Gorch Pieken was born in 1961 and studied history, art history and Dutch philology at the Universität zu Köln. From 1995 to 2005 he worked as a research associate and curator at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. He has been active as an author and producer of history documentaries for the television channels ZDF, ARD/ARTE and 3sat since 1999. Between 2006 and 2011 he was in charge of the project to redefine the underlying concept for the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (MHM) in Dresden. He was appointed scientific director and head of exhibitions, collections, education and research at the MHM in 2011, and in 2016 he became deputy director of the museum. In October 2017, Dr. Pieken was seconded to the Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr.

At the end of 2019, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be launching the Humboldt-Labor in the Humboldt Forum. The laboratory will be spread over 1,000 square metres on the first floor of the Berlin Palace, presenting groundbreaking approaches to scholarship and contemporary research findings. Exhibitions and cultural events will address the processes involved in scholarly investigations and thinking. The university’s own sound archive, the Lautarchiv, will similarly be moving into the Humboldt Forum as a scholarly collection. The five cluster initiatives of the Humboldt-Universität which are currently competing to be awarded Cluster of Excellence status will form the starting point for the Humboldt-Labor.

When the Humboldt Forum opens its doors in late 2019 it will mark the establishment of a whole new cultural quarter in the very heart of Berlin. By bringing together outstanding collections containing major exhibits – among them spiritual objects and artworks from Asia, Africa and America – and coupling these with a variety of cultural activities, the Humboldt Forum is seeking to inspire new insights into the worlds of the past, present and future. The participating actors are the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK) with the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kulturprojekte Berlin with Stadtmuseum Berlin, and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with the Humboldt Forum Kultur GmbH taking on a leading role for the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss. The Humboldt Forum has already developed a highly visible presence throughout Berlin with its diverse programme of exhibitions, discussions, performances, workshops, films and artistic interventions.

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Michael Mathis
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