Günter Mey as a Living Museum

For Günter’s 60th Birthday

Nonsense! A person cannot be a museum.  Yet I claim that one can—and that Günter Mey is. Knowing him half of his life—long before his interests in research turned explicitly into the domain of performative research—I understood his basic inquirerer’s credo in the richness of human ways of being in society. And such being is necessarily performing. Starting from viewing the world through the film camera and decades later turning to creation of real museums of everyday life proves my point.

But how can a person be a museum? That one can think of a museum, and even build it—is perfectly ordinary. Yet being one—what does it mean?  It can be observed in his ways of putting books onto the shelf, making coffee, smoking a cigarette, and always asking relevant questions.  And collecting—bits and pieces—of relevant answers. Even if the latter are tentative. He is the real collector of deep human life experiences who sets up his collection in ways that others can benefit. And that is a case of a museum—living museum.

How can one benefit from such kind of museum? Anybody working with Günter is directly enriched by the museum. They might not notice it—but Günter’s general attitude to the World becomes part of their Umwelt and carries on in its intricate and benevolent ways.  It is a bit harder for us—who are far—but our intermittent contacts with him let us feel the same general orientation to the World filled with curiosities.

KEEP GOING, Günter!  60 is just a passing marker, for many creative ideas ahead!