Lexichaos
From Understanding Misunderstanding to Misunderstanding the Understandable

Voices and alphabetic characters, wall panels, towers, and bells: over the course of ten days, Lexichaos takes over the Pierre Boulez Saal—this is the title of an expansive sound installation by American artist Stephan von Huene (1932–2000). The confusion of languages—god’s measure to scatter the peoples in the biblical story of the Tower of Babel—was written into von Huene’s biography, who was raised in California, the son of German parents, and lived in Hamburg from 1980 to his death. His installation, originally created in 1990 and today housed in the Helmholtz Center of Cultural Techniques at Berlin’s Humboldt University, reveals a very current issue: the verbal communication between people of different national and cultural backgrounds. Von Huene’s work treats language not only in terms of its symbols and sounds—it is also open to a metaphorical interpretation. In the artist’s own words: “Between languages, there is not only the meaning of words, the translation, there are entire worldviews.”


Due to popular demand, the exhibition is now open all day from 11am to 7pm. Starting Wednesday, March 31, a same-day negative Covid test result is required.

Admission is free. Free timed tickets are available here or by calling +49 30 4799 7411. There will be no box office on site.

To the timed tickets

For details on the protective and hygienic measures applicable to the exhibition as of March 31, please refer to this document: