Review #AltSuchtNeu 2022

A collection in motion

A museum collection is never static and is constantly changing as new objects are added or have to be given away. But what happens to objects that no longer represent any added value for the museum?
Sooner or later, certain objects will be removed from a museum collection.
This act is a delicate undertaking, as it involves objects that have been entrusted to the museum.

Uncollection of museum objects

At the Chüechlihus Regional Museum, we have been working intensively on this topic of de-collection for a long time: some of the objects in the museum are in multiple locations, some of them without documentation or are not (or no longer) suitable for museum work for other reasons.
With the planned move of our collection to a new depot in 2022, we therefore decided to release selected objects for de-collection, i.e. to give them away from the museum.
We then launched the #AltSuchtNeu project.

Emmental cultural heritage in dialog

As a museum, we ensured that the project was implemented in an unusual way: we enabled Emmental residents and local residents to influence the course and outcome of the project. They were able to cast their vote and thus have a say in which objects should leave the museum.
We also set up a committee to oversee our disposal project throughout its implementation from April to fall 2022: the Object Council #AltSuchtNeu.
We believe that our valuable, historical cultural heritage in Langnau does not belong to the museum alone.

The actual owners of the objects in our collection are the Emmental people. For this reason, it was important to us to give the public a say in the purification of the museum collection.

March 2022

Object Council #AltSuchtNeu founded

The exhibition is being created

April 2022

The reason why the removal of objects is so relevant is that this is the only way to create a coherent, representative museum collection. At the Chüechlihus Regional Museum, this is a collection that tells a balanced story about the Oberemmental cultural heritage.
We don’t want to decide exactly what this means and is within our own four walls.

We want there to be a dialog about this and a public debate about our history.

In order to bring the disposal project closer to the population and invite them to participate in #AltSuchtNeu, we went on a tour of Langnau i.E. with our posters before our big opening event.

Tour through Langnau i.E.

See and visit objects

In April 2022, we made the objects in the depot of the Chüechlihus regional museum visible to the public for the first time.
The launch of the exhibition and the first online vote on the objects took place on April 4 at the Jugendhaus in Langnau i.E.. The event invited people to find out more about the project and offered a cultural program with Enrico Lenzin and culinary delights.

Opening event with Enrico Lenzin

The experience and knowledge of the visitors


Exhibition in the attic of the youth center in Langnau i.E.

Explanatory video

The people of Emmental were able to help decide which objects should be removed from the museum’s collection.
A how-to video helped online visitors to vote.

Evaluation of the first vote

Between April 1 and 24, 2022, Emmental residents were able to vote on which items the museum should pass on rather than keep.
The proposals were based on a pre-selection by museum employees.
The Objects Council also discussed this on 26 April 2022 and analyzed the results of the online vote.
Together with the votes of the Object Council members, these were evaluated using a specially developed process.
The result led to the final decision to release 116 object groups for disposal.

May 2022

Following the first vote, there was a call for what should happen to the objects in the future.
What new use could be found for which museum pieces at a different location?Anyone who wanted to breathe new life into an old object could apply online or on site for one or more of the objects between May 1 and June 26, 2022.
To apply, an application form was filled out on the page of the selected object.
The idea could be entered there in text, image, video or audio form.

Application phase

June 2022

In response to the museum’s call for ideas on how to reuse the objects, a total of 202 proposals were received from 69 applicants.
It was very important to us not only to meet the public online, but also to give them the chance to view the objects on site.

History becomes the present

Pesche Heiniger, the singer-songwriter, lyricist and slam poet from the Emmental, took a close look at our historic baskets, the Röndel, the old shirts and board irons.
The objects that were waiting for a new home with us inspired the artist. With great imagination, Pesche Heiniger immersed himself in the world of the museum collection and developed new, cheerful, daring and also thought-provoking texts based on the motto #AltSuchtNeu. He presented these to us:

Cultural program #AltSuchtNeu with Pesche Heiniger

Gäbsi, Gäbsi
good little guests
good little guests
. . .

from Pesche Heiniger

July 2022

Anyone who wanted to submit an idea for an object could do so on the ENTSAMMELN.CH platform.
It was an auction of ideas, with the most sensible proposal winning.

Diverse ideas

August 2022

Vote on the whereabouts of the objects

September 2022

The search for the best ideas on how the objects could be reused took place with the public.
We were able to decide on the basis of an online vote and the votes of the #AltSuchtNeu object council.
It was a complex and multi-layered process that was intended to contribute to a fair selection and distribution.

Decisions made

New Emmental cultural asset

Julia Urech built a neon yellow sculpture from the objects that were not given a new home elsewhere.
Young and old alike eagerly helped at the Chüechlihus-Sunndig to create an art and cultural object from broken bed parts, a chest, a Röndle and other objects.

The sculpture draws attention to itself through its color and form.
It encourages discussion, stimulates the imagination and opens up new perspectives on Emmental’s cultural heritage. The finished work embodies the Emmental’s present and bears witness to the region’s diverse history.

Eye-catching sculpture

New owners for museum objects

Agricultural implements, objects from the dairy industry, the household and other items from the collection could be collected in person from the museum on Chüechlihus-Sunndig, September 11, 2022.

A total of 96 applications from Switzerland (from museums or other institutions, associations, businesses and private individuals) were successful.

The Chüechlihus-Sundig

Feedback welcome

The past year also offered the museum and our team many surprises, both big and small, on a personal level. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of #AltSuchtNeu 2022.

We are very keen to find out how the participants perceived the project.
That is why we are currently collecting feedback from the people who took part in the waste collection project or worked with us.
How were the online votes received by the public?
What were our property sitters happy about?
What do the new owners do with their objects?
Would they take part again?
To get answers to these questions, we sent out an online survey.
If you have any questions or feedback, you can reach us here:

In the media

What was reported in the media? We would like to thank everyone who shared the project in online media, newspapers, radio, TV or other channels.
The various contributions to #AltSuchtNeu 2022 can be read here:

#AltSuchtNeu 2023

We at the Chüechlihus Regional Museum continue to believe in a dialog with the local population.
We have a responsibility towards the people who live here, both now and in the future.
By engaging with our cultural heritage together, we are able to recognize, develop and help shape our relationships with our regional roots.
We will therefore remain a place of exchange and invite the population to participate in the collection again in 2023.
We are counting on your opinions, needs and knowledge and look forward to seeing you again in the new year.

When the neon-yellow sculpture can be seen in front of the Chüechlihus Regional Museum, the action starts (here).


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