„Handmade in Germany“ is an exhibition tour of German manufacturers all around the globe, spanning several years. The exhibition starts its journey in Berlin and makes its first stop in Saint Petersburg. From there it will travel to Asia, America and the Middle East, before finding its way back to Europe. Curated by Pascal Johanssen and Katja Kleiss from Direktorenhaus Berlin the international exhibition presents a selection of contemporary high-quality products from Germany: design objects and manufactured items, all of them handmade in Germany, across all trades. Selected exhibits show which value is attached and which future lies ahead high quality and the use of time and handcraft in the age of mass production and globalisation.
The tour visits exciting cities and metropolises. They are mostly reached by sea, but also across land. The concept of the tour is inspired by the so called “Walz” – this term defines the century-old German craft tradition of the “apprentice’s journey”. After completing their period of training, the apprentices traditionally take on a long journey, comparable to the “grand tour” of the European nobility. The apprentice’s journey is a German tradition that lives on until today. The travelling craftsmen on the “Walz” still wear traditional garments.
The „other“ Made in Germany
„Made in Germany“ is regarded as a worldwide synonym for quality – a cachet which is, however, mostly awarded to industrial production. With „Handmade in Germany“ the exhibition introduces products which owe their existence to individual championship of artists, designers and craftspersons: Products requiring time for their creation apart from the manufacturers’ attention to detail bestowing a particular nimbus on them. The exhibition „Handmade in Germany“ displays the sensuous aspect of German production.
Not efficiency and engineering but shape and idea, the poetic, numinous and individual aspects in the world of objects are focussed. Objects are messengers of cultural norms and values. The meticulously selected collection demonstrates the relationship and the significance between objects and human beings. To examine this relationship is the paramount contemporary issue: Because the reason of our post-capitalistic time has been reduced to purpose and rationality, requiring alternatives which not only limit material things to mere merchantable “products“. They are important components of the world we live in, including any influence on quality of life, education and ability to judge.