OPIUM – that’s the title of an exhibition that opens on 15 March 2015 in the Museum der Kulturen Basel (MKB; Basle Museum of Cultures) in Switzerland. It is curated by Doris Buddenberg, former country director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Kabul and member of the Advisory Board of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
Ritual symbol, medicine, popular drug, poetic source of inspiration, foreign filth, cause of war, brown fairy, sacred smoke, satanic devilry, poison – there is hardly an epithet that has not been awarded to opium.
The exhibition Opium follows the trail of the sticky brown mass through the changing perceptions and valuations and sheds light on opium’s mythical, poetic, repulsive and inspirational dimensions across times and cultures.
“Admittedly, here the state prosecutor steps in. But I do not stand as witness. I defend nothing, nor do I judge. I merely contribute exonerating and incriminating evidence to the trial on opium.”
Jean Cocteau, 1930.
The vernissage for the exhibition starts on 19 March at 6:30pm and the entry is free of charge.
The first guided tour with Doris Buddenberg will take place on 22 March at 11:00am.
The exhibition will be open for the public from 20 March 2015 to 24 January 2016.
More information, with more tours guided by Doris, here.
Museum der Kulturen Basel | Münsterplatz 20 | 4051 Basel | T +41 61 266 56 00 | [email protected]
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020