What does happiness mean to us? How do we find love? How do we want to live? Big questions for us today, which also moved the student Heinrich von Kleist in Frankfurt on the Oder around 1800. The exhibition begins with his search for a life plan.

An original letter from Kleist’s fiancée Wilhelmine von Zenge broadens the perspective: How did she imagine an ideal partner? How did expectations of women and men
differ in relationships at the time?

But it wasn’t just Prussian aristocrats who lived in the Oderstadt: we also explore the diversity of society at the time. What do we know about Jewish, Polish and Huguenot lifestyles in old Frankfurt? What traces of early colonialism can we find in the fair city?

“To be happy,
that is the first of all our wishes, [...]
which accompanies us through the whole course
of our lives.”
Heinrich von Kleist

We and Kleist? The exhibition takes us from then to now: artists open up critical perspectives on the themes of love, life and happiness. Photographs and comics can be seen, spoken word poetry can be heard; city dwellers share their voices with us. At interactive stations and in the accompanying program, we invite you to creatively enrich the exhibition: Tell us your opinion about happiness, write yourself or someone else a love letter, and complement the exhibition with your own comics in workshops!


Curation: Joanna Krzemińska, Adrian Robanus

Design: Collective Plus X, Halle

Participants: Roman Boichuk, Viktor Bor, Jule Born, Karolina Chyżewska, Ilknur Koçer, Uta Kurzwelly, Burcu Türker, Ken Yamamoto

Supported by the program “360° - Fund for Cultures of the New Urban Society” of the German Federal Cultural Foundation