Marbach: May 3rd to August 6th 2017 (Vernissage May 3rd)
Bern/Zurich: September 13th to December 10th 2017 (Vernissage Bern September 14th, Zurich September 15th)
Moscow: February to April 2018
Tri-national Research and Exhibition Project
Marbach – Bern, Zurich – Moscow
»That Russia is my home—that is among the great and secret certainties from which I live.«
Rainer Maria Rilke, together with Lou Andreas-Salomé, visited Russia and modern-day Ukraine two times in total, in 1899 and in 1900. These trips should count as two of the most powerfully influential experiences abroad in the history of German-language literature. For Rilke, these trips were revitalizing experiences—personally, artistically and spiritually. Many traces of his intensive occupation with »Russian things« are found in his work. Only few modern poets were so strongly received in Russia prior to the October Revolution. For the duration of his lifetime, Russia remained Rilke’s home and the destination of his yearning.
Within the framework of the tri-national exhibition, the testimonies to this legendary fascination merge for the first time: diaries; documents and images from the German Literature Archive, the Swiss Literary Archives, the Rilke-Archiv in Gernsbach, Lou-Andreas-Salomé-Archiv in Göttingen; and most of all letters from Russian archives and collections. In addition, three contemporary artists present current perspectives on Rilke’s travel paths in Russia: photographs of Mirko Krizanovic and Barbara Klemm, as well as a film of Anastasia Alexandrowa are displayed as they correspond to historical materials. The established expert on Russia, Ilma Rakusa, will contribute a literary essay for the accompanying catalogue.
In Switzerland, the exhibition will be displayed partially in the Strauhof Museum in Zurich and partially in the Swiss National Library in Bern.
Artistic direction: Dr. Thomas Schmidt, German Literature Archive Marbach