Continuing my quest to catalogue Berlin through objects, this morning I paid a visit to Vlad Korneev and his Surreal Museum of Industrial Objects. Guarded by a power ranger moonlighting as an astronaut, Vlad's museum is a cathedral of de-contextualized and formerly functional objects, both a unique view of Germany history and a monumental work of visual imagination.
“Objects are time-machines,” says Vlad, frowning at his 1960s large format Kardan-color camera. Fins protrude from its legs, giving the impression of a multi-limbed cylopse bracing to jump onto the ceiling.
You’ll also meet a Romanian lamp wearing a pair of German post-war UV-therapy child’s sunglasses and a collar made of typewriter keys, then a leather surgery mask surrounded by … Pokemons? Icecream scoops? No, they're lead testicular shields used during ultrasounds in Nazi Germany. The GDR examples are significantly smaller. "That's history in objects," says Vlad. "You don't get that in a book."
Is it a slide projector, a child's submarine, or a street lamp? Is it a gas mask, a box for a 15mm film camera or a giant hairdryer? The game in this museum is to use imagination and logic to guess the original use of curious objects.
“Don’t go to the art gallery,” says Vlad, “go to the scrapyard." Reality, according to this collector, is far more creative than fiction. Objects are portals.
Designpanoptikum - surreales Museum für industrielle Objekte, Torstrasse 201