For its 150th anniversary this year, the Kunstbibliothek in Berlin has curated a playful exhibition, guiding visitors through the ABCs of travel, with works from the realm of architecture, art publishing, photography, graphic design, and fashion design displayed according to alphabetical groupings: A is for Album, while Z is for Ziel (destination). Under E for Eisenbahn (railway), for example, we find graphic depictions of this paradigmatic mode of transportation, and how its advent shaped entirely new horizons for travellers.
At a time when travel photos are largely shared via social media and smartphone screens, the exhibition looks back on how travel imagery widened the scope of possibility for many before globalization took hold. Adjacent to this historical survey, contemporary artist Flavio de Marco‘s fictional travel guide to an artificial island in the Aegean, Stella, is presented in the foyer “reading room”, in dialogue with other recent artist books. De Marco has also created works specially for this exhibition, including a series titled ‘Traum Reisen Aldi’ (Dream Journey Aldi), which uses omission and overpainting to address our contemporary viewing habits and the wishful thinking perpetuated by travel imagery.
The exhibition, which makes use of the Kunstbibliothek’s extensive archive, includes works by well-known artists Marcel Broodthaers and Jeanne Mammen, architect Peter Behrens, and fashion photographer Rico Puhlmann.