Enchantment / Beauty Parlour / Teaser
All artifacts presented in the Ethnologisches Museum have a cultural practice as their source. How can we make these contexts and the aesthetic practices embedded therein more tangible for museum visitors? As a prototype for a section of the Africa exhibition area in the Humboldt-Forum the project “Enchantment / Beauty Parlour” dedicated itself to the communication of the Swahili concept of beauty. According to the aesthetic of the Muslim coastal societies of East Africa, a reception situation was to be created, that appealed to the senses synaesthetically, and permitted a direct experience. The stage designer Dominic Huber designed a walk-in beauty parlor for the purpose; functioning at once as stage set, sculpture and enchanting space. With the aid of a complex range of music, lighting, film, scent, as well as the audio narration of the beautician Maimuna Abdalla Said Difini the visitors became a part of a preparatory wedding ritual.