Heimat in German is a term that immediately evokes strong emotions and very personal associations. It can refer to one’s native country or simply to a place, a feeling, a smell or a sound that makes one feel at home.
Heimat is both an individual and a collective notion. It contains nostalgia for the past and a longing for the future. Ultimately, Heimat is a linguistic vessel that each of us fill with our own content. The wide range of meanings and connotations is one of the reasons we use the word so much. We speak about having lost or regained it, about finding a new one, or about how our present Heimat is so different from what it used to be.
The exhibition «HEIMAT. Eine Grenzerfahrung» (Heimat. Drawing the line) at Stapferhaus Lenzburg takes up this highly topical subject. Visitors are invited to explore their personal Heimat, delve into foreign worlds and face socio-political questions in connection with the concepts of native country and home. A fairground including a 32-metre-high giant wheel takes visitors on a journey of discovery – from their first home all the way to outer space. This elicits feelings connected with Heimat – yearning, anxieties, prejudices and love of one’s home region or country. In the garden of mirrors, exhibition-goers come face-to-face with themselves. They gain insights into foreign homelands, go on a quest for their own personal Heimat and encounter the big questions of our time regarding home and home country.
«HEIMAT. Eine Grenzerfahrung» is an exhibition targeting a broad public and offering a diverse programme of events and outreach items. Pro Helvetia provides financial assistance to Stapferhaus Lenzburg on the basis of a support agreement.
[Picture: Giant wheel, © Stapferhaus]