Museum of Unheard (of) Things

Written by Roland Albrecht
Review by Jo Ann Butler

What is the most popular museum in Berlin? One might think it the Neues Museum, which houses the famed bust of Nefertiti; the Bauhaus Museum of Design, or even the Currywurst, which celebrates one of the city’s favorite foods.

If one considers the number of visitors per square meters of exhibition space, the Museum of Unheard (of) Things is Berlin’s most visited museum. Founded and curated by the artist Roland Albrecht, this “Literary Cabinet of Curiosities” is located between house numbers 5 and 6 on Crellestrasse, and displays unique objects catalogued according to weight. The heaviest is the museum itself, tipping the scale at considerably more than 21.311 grams.

The Void weighs nothing, and its account in Museum of Unheard (of) Things is a capital example of what this unusual book has to offer – musings on the nature of Void by Aristotle and German philosophers, where God stands in relation to nothingness, and if man creates a vacuum, is it the seat of God, or abhorrent to Him because it was not his own creation?

The author’s collection of artifacts and images actually exists, each supplied with an utterly tongue-in-cheek history. Albrecht does not explain how such objects as a cow pie came into his hands. Instead, he creates the forgotten culture which worshipped it. I found his accounts amusing, exasperating, boring, intriguing, and very clever. What whimsical history would you create for a rock with a vague semblance of a human breast? If you can suspend disbelief, give Museum of Unheard (of) Things a try.