Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

 2nd December 2011 – 2nd June 2012


Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt

Jägerstraße 22/23, 10117 Berlin


Created in collaboration with the Department of Ancient Egyptian Dictionaries and The Berlin-Brandenburgische Academy of Science and Humanities in accordance with Topic of the year (2011| 2012) ArteFacts. Knowledge is Art – Art is Knowledge.





To mark the 200th birthday of her Great-Great-Grandfather (the Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius), artist Tinka Bechert presents a site-specific installation, that aims to create links between art and science. The artist has developed Triangulations, a body of work which was inspired by Lepsius’ Expedition Diaries (Letters from Egypt, Aethiopia and the Sinai Peninsula) and unpublished calendars, written between 1842 and 1845.

Triangulations  investigates  chronolgical ordering systems, and  lateral associative knowledge, by incorporating seemingly random historical facts and coincidences that, at closer inspection, reveal a  less linear but complex order of events as told by the artist. The research appears as text-entries on a timeline embedded into the bannisters of the five storeys of the academy building which are then connected with red thread,  creating a site-specific response to the architectural features of the historically potent building.


Tangible links are made between contemporary events and 19th century events in the life of Lepsius and his work. Archival materials such as Lepsius´ original expedition report sent from Egypt in letters to his father were carefully selected by the artist and exhibited alongside her own work.

Triangulations attempts to transcend a linear perception of historic events, and suggests a more complex, at times even humorous history of the perception  of time and historic meta-narratives.


To read excerpts from the text part of the installation, go to Triangulations | The Research Both publications on this page include the German version of the Triangulations timeline.



(Publication 2014)

"ArteFacts. Knowledge is Art – Art is Knowledge" is the Topic of the Year 2011|2012, presented by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which aims to reassess the relationship between art and science. The merging of art and science in theoretical discourse along with concrete collaboration between scientists and artists offer new opportunities for identifying and discussing problematic social issues. Investigating similarities and differences in the process of understanding are just as important as re-evaluating role models, styles of thinking and conventions, which promote or hamper the search for new ideas on both sides. Over a period of two years, the Topic of the Year will provide scholars an opportunity to further study and probe the relationship between science and art, and invite individuals from a wide range of fields to share their opinions on the subject.

The "Topic of the Year" programme was established by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2007 and is committed to promoting dialogue between the sciences and society. Its first goal is to inform the public about the Academy's research projects and encourage discussion. Secondly, it strives to bundle the activities of scientific and cultural institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg into one thematic complex, and in so doing, sustainably strengthen the regional network.


Verena M. Lepper, Ingelore Hafemann (Hg.)

Karl Richard Lepsius
Der Begründer der deutschen Ägyptologie

Jan Assmann, Tinka Bechert, Verena M. Lepper, Rainer Lepsius, Angelika Lohwasser, Joachim F. Quack, Wolfgang Schenkel, Stephan J. Seidlmayer, Friederike Seyfried, Dietrich Wildung

256 Seiten
Kulturverlag Kadmos
15 x 23 cm, gebunden, mit zahlreichen farbigen Abbildungen, (Kaleidogramme Bd. 90)
ISBN: 978-3-86599-176-8


Contemporary Drawing - A Red Thread",


Excerpt from Review/

Interview with Tinka Bechert

by Joanne Laws

Visual Arts News Sheet, May/June 2012


"My visual interests express themselves not just on paper but also in other media, which may be classified as installation, but I tend to think of these works as continuation of drawing into surrounding space. In German there is an expression, ‘the red thread’, which describes the process of making tangible connections between diverse elements, identifying a common reoccurring theme. During my recent residency in The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities, I installed one kilometre of red line throughout several storeys of the Academy, creating a site-specific response to the building. In creating a three-dimensional visualisation of a line drawing done almost two years earlier, the site-specific work investigates chronological ordering systems which transcend a linear perception of history in favour of a multi-dimensional perspective of time, past and present. The installation echoes the original sketch, demonstrating how drawing can inform and determine my entire process in developing a body of work."




 Triangulations at Stadtmuseum Naumburg, 2012

click here...

and Triangulations at the LAB & Onagh Young Gallery, Dublin as part of MAVIS (IADT) click here....

Dr. Ingelore Hafemann,

Head of Department,

„Dictionary Of Ancient Egyptian“,

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy

Of Science and Humanities.


Excerpt from speech at Neues Museum Berlin

in context of booklaunch of:

"Karl Richard Lepsius:

der Begründer der deutschen Ägyptologie, herausgegeben von Verena M. Lepper

und Ingelore Hafemann." Berlin 2012


 Tinka Bechert is the great-great-granddaughter of Richard Lepsius. Her installation picks up her ancestors’ thread and interest of chronological ordering and interconnectedness of historic events. Her red “magic string” (red rope) bound together the five open storeys of the rotund architectural feature in the academy. A visualisation of time and space was created, in which thousands of years of history were portrayed through exchanges, connections and chance encounters between personalities and events. A somewhat random

yet fascinating physical structure emerged which impressed the staff of the  academy not only through its visual impact.

In her exhibition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities

Bechert also presented a metronome. Through simply marking its amplitude with the words “past, present, future”, she only slightly altered this metronome to turn it into a “time-keeper”. And so the swing of pendulum continually oscillates between them.

It is a visualisation of time. But not the common, linear experience of time. It is a  very interesting and powerful image, which provokes thoughts about our perception of time and space. Which also was so different in Ancient Egypt, where time was not at all linear but thought of more as cyclical or even circular. But there was many aspects to time, many names for example, for time and eternity, there is a beginning and an end of time, there is godly time that goes forwards as well as backwards leading back to reincarnation even. And there most definetely is a spatial aspect to time here as well....”