© derk alberts

through teylers


Through Teylers is a performance for one person, created on the performative model of Miniature, a previous project by David Weber-Krebs and Alexander Schellow.

It is performed by the museum guides of Teylers Museum in Haarlem. They walk with one guest at the time through the exhibition spaces and through spaces that are usually not open to the public.

Through Teylers has constituted the first step of a long time project titled Into the Big World. It has been shown within the frame of The Object Lag, a performative program curated by Emily Williams for Nieuwe Vide.

concept & direction
david weber-krebs
teylers museum guides
nieuwe vide, teylers museum
an audio teaser of Through Teylers

Through Teylers briefing museum guides

General instructions

– The visitors register on a list as soon as they enter the museum.
– There are always two attendants busy with two different visitors.
– One tour lasts 16 minutes (let it be 20 minutes to have enough time). Thus there will be a new tour every 10 minutes.

1. The guide awaits the visitors at the cash desk at the agreed time.
2. He checks the visitor’s name and looks whether he or she carries a coat or a bag; in that case, they have to pass by the cloakroom. Otherwise, the guide asks them to follow him.
3. They go directly to the main door of the museum. When they reach the door, the guide turns around and tells the visitor: “The title of this work is The Weight of our Ancestors”.
4. They step out and head alongside the building towards the entrance of
the Fundatiehuis.
5. They enter the Fundatiehuis, take the staircase, then the corridor towards the library (door to the right). Then they step through the gangway between the opkamer and the oval hall from where they reach over a hidden stair the grote herenkamer.
6. Once they are in the grote herenkamer, the guide says to the visitor: “You may wait here for a moment”. He then leaves the room by the secret stair again.
7. The visitor stays behind alone in the grote herenkamer.
8. Five minutes later (the guide checks with his stopwatch), the guide comes back from the oval hall and tells the visitor: “You may now come along with me”.
9. As they are again in the oval hall the guide stops and tells the visitor: “The title of this work is Into the Big World”. They then walk through the museum towards the entrance. They take the stairs towards the aula and the opkamer.
10. The guide then says: “You may again wait here for a moment”.
11. The visitor stays behind alone in the opkamer.
12. The guide leaves the room and presses the ”play” button on the ipod/cd player.
13. 5 minutes later (the attendant checks this with his stopwatch) the guide enters again through the door to the oval room. He says: “This way up please”.
14. They quit again over the stair to the oval room.
15. Here, the attendant says: “Thank you. This was it”. They say goodbye.
16. The guide heads towards the entrance of the museum and awaits the following visitor.

-This is a performance for one single visitor. The attendant accompanies him for a comprehensive tour through the Fundatiehuis and the museum. The purpose is not that the attendant presents the rooms where they proceed. It is rather as if they would make a usual tour of entirely well known rooms. The attendants politely avoid any conversation and therefore should not really enter into contact with the visitors. This is
important to allow the visitor to concentrate on what happens around him.
-It is equally important that the doors between the different rooms stay shut throughout the performance. Therefore, the attendant must always close the door behind him, or asks from time to time the visitor to do so. With the exception of the access to the secret stair to the grote herenkamer, which access remains always open.

    private rooms at the Teylers Museum © Teylers Museum Archive
    private rooms at the Teylers Museum © Teylers Museum Archive

During the performance at the Teylers Museum, the audience was invited to visit places usually inacessible.

    temporary installation in the library of the Teylers museum, 2010

A copy of a Repin’s outdoor landscape is installed by Weber-Krebs in the old library during his research at Teylers Museum.

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