Goethe-Institut - Open House Dublin 2024
Journal •



In 2022, as part of The German School project, artist and Städelschule alumnus Alexis Gautier exhibited a site-responsive intervention. The exhibition was held at the Goethe-Institut at 37 Merrion Square, inviting visitors on a journey through the building to discover the hidden treasures and people who fill this special place with life and meaning. 

Entitled Bibliomancy, Gautier’s intervention was developed in response to an excerpt from a book he found in the Goethe-Institut’s library, “Speculations about Jakob” by Uwe Johnson. Gautier fragmented the text and set extracts of it on over 64 doors of the institute.  

Beginning at the green entrance door, visitors are drawn into the building to discover its architecture and special atmosphere. They make their way up the stairs to the library and the offices of the director and cultural department and continue their journey across the courtyard and into the newly built language department. 

1. That was how it may have started

Let’s start at the beginning – the green entrance door at 37 Merrion Square is not only a Goethe-Institut trademark but also the gateway to the world of the institute. Hundreds of language students, staff from all departments, artists, and library and exhibition visitors cross this threshold every day.

2. Was to convey the impression

The Return Gallery between the first and second floor invites visitors to visit film screenings, pop-up exhibitions, video installations and many other forms of artistic expression. German, Irish and international artists regularly make this gallery their own and exhibit new artworks in this sunlit space.  

3. That I had an appointment

Is there a nicer appointment than one with books and libraries? The Goethe-Institut’s library is impressive in terms of its beautiful ceilings, big windows and comfortable armchairs. It also has a wealth of literature and media on offer, and an extensive programme of events – from discussion formats to book clubs and panel talks with authors and translators. 


4. I would have gone the same way

Heading back down the stairs, out the back, and across the courtyard, visitors find themselves standing in front of the entrance to the language department, which is housed in a purpose-built building with modern classrooms and offices. The courtyard itself is often used for outdoor events and is a popular meeting point for course participants and staff during lunch breaks.


The Goethe-Institut in Dublin is accommodated in a building that combines old and new, language and culture, and most importantly, Germany and Ireland. Walking through its many corridors and doorways, one gets the feeling that there are infinitely more stories to discover than the one sprawling across its doors. Come visit us and find out! 


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