#EmptyBodeMuseum

October 20, 2015

Germany

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to win a space on the InstaWalk #EmptyBodeMuseum around Berlin’s Bode Museum! Apart from the guards on duty, some staff who welcomed us, and a choir that was rehearsing in the main hall for a concert later that evening, the museum was completely empty. We were allowed to wander around as we pleased in the galleries that were open – which was most of them – for around 1.5 hours, then we met again at the end. For the most part, you could spend quite some time without bumping in to anyone else (except for the ever present guards, of course). It was quite surreal, if a little spooky at times. And also pretty awesome!

Although most of us went around on our own, or in twos or threes, it was interesting to see at the end of the evening, which galleries and exhibits had caught people’s attention – some had only been photographed by one or a few people, whilst others appeared in almost everyone’s photo streams. The hashtag #EmptyBodeMuseum inspired quite a few ’empty’ or minimalist shots, and other popular motifs included arches and doorways, the museum’s beautiful stairwells, and photos of exhibits casting shadows. There were several photos of people posing with statues, and – inevitably – photos of people taking photos. Very meta. It was also interesting to see different perspectives on the same exhibits, e.g. one painting I found incredibly beautiful, someone else had hashtagged with #kindacreepedout!

The evening was a museum geek’s dream come true, and the 1.5 hours went by in no time. I discovered corners of the Bode Museum I had never been in, such as the galleries full of religious icons. I actually stopped dead in my tracks a couple of time, and at least once made a guard smile by loudly exclaiming “Wow!” Spending some ‘alone time’ with this magnificent piece, whilst the sounds of the choir rehearsing drifted through from next door, was the highlight of my evening! Here is my Storify of both the photos I took plus some of my favourites from others in the group:

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