Art Guide at Haus am Waldsee – A Report

Art Guide at Haus am Waldsee – A Report

Photo: Harry Schnitger

Every Saturday and Sunday, as well as on public holidays, Art Guides are available for our visitors to enquire about the art on display. Isabel Grahn (B.A.) has been part of our team since 2020 and reports on her work at Haus am Waldsee in her blog post.


As is well known, interpreting art is one of those things… Basically despised by experts and yet so appealing, almost urgent, when you actually stand in front of an artwork. Questions arise about the origin and meaning of the often promising and enigmatic performances. This peculiarity of art – the deep rift that runs between the reception of art and the rational “decoding” of the works – makes the task of art education a balancing act. For art needs a certain openness, curiosity and impartiality to become a (personal) experience. On the other hand, it often needs impulses, knowledge about the context of origin, the technique or the biographical background of the artists. Sometimes, however, it simply takes a counterpart to turn one’s own musings into a genuine dialogue.

This is my experience as an Art Guide at Haus am Waldsee practically all the time: visitors from the most diverse backgrounds – sometimes it’s the artists themselves who are looking for inspiration in the exhibitions, sometimes it’s grandparents who are unsuspectingly summoned to Zehlendorf by their grandchildren – want to get involved in the search for approaches, for experiences and for inspiration. These are the best prerequisites, because they always lead to intensive conversations with visitors, in which – and this is crucial – new perspectives and sometimes perhaps also disagreements are discovered together.

As an Art Guide, I never know what to expect at first and I have to engage with whatever happens – with an open mind and curiosity. That’s what real encounters are all about, be it encounters between people or encounters with art: a genuine and unbiased approach. Whether in the end the riddles posed by art are always unravelled down to the last detail is of secondary importance to me. Because ultimately it is not about deciphering these “riddles” (because that would mean: you have disappeared!), but about creating a space in which the confrontation with these riddles becomes possible.

Isabel Grahn


Are you interested in working as an art guide? Haus am Waldsee is looking for freelance Art Guides. You can find more information here.