October 9, 2015 - Museum der Moderne Salzburg - Setting Things in Motion
October 9, 2015

Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Franz West, Revision I and II, 1990*.
Setting Things in Motion
Collections in Dialogue
October 24, 2015–April 10, 2016

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Mönchsberg 32
5020 Salzburg
Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +43 662 842220403
info@mdmsalzburg.at

www.museumdermoderne.at
Facebook / Twitter

Setting Things in Motion
Collections in Dialogue
October 24, 2015–April 10, 2016

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Mönchsberg 32
5020 Salzburg
Austria
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +43 662 842220403
info@mdmsalzburg.at

www.museumdermoderne.at
Facebook / Twitter

In a time of radical change, when familiar constellations are shifting, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s new installation of selected works from its collections is guided by the leitmotif of Setting Things in Motion. It showcases new acquisitions as well as rediscovered works and highlights from the renowned Generali Foundation Collection.

The new presentations of art from the museum’s holdings initiates a dialogue between works from the Generali Foundation Collection and selections from the museum’s own collection and other collections entrusted to it, including the Austrian Federal Photography Collection, the Bank Austria Unicredit FOTOGRAFIS Collection, and the MAP Collection. Under the title of Setting Things in Motion, it places artistic explorations of sculpture, works in film, and video into a context alongside photographic works of the New Objectivity. As Sabine Breitwieser, the museum’s director, who took the lead of the curatorial team, emphasizes, “the works on view engage with the general theme in an exemplary and playful format ranging from the objecthood of art, to dance and choreography, to social relations, highlighting the utopian potential of art.” The new installation features about 125 works by roughly thirty artists ranging from traditional media of painting, sculpture, drawing, and prints as well as films, videos, and even holograms.

When things are set in motion, change ensues. Things that literally pop up in unwonted places attract our attention and sometimes irk us. In the early twentieth century, everyday objects began to appear on the stage of art, prompting a renegotiation of crucial questions: What is art? What defines it as art? And how does it come into being? Today’s artists turn the creative process as such into a work of art, integrate everyday objects into sculptures, or declare pieces of furniture as (seating) sculptures. Although there are many things we could not live without, they go largely unnoticed, and so we rarely stop to think about how they influence our way of life. In art, by contrast, the relationship between things and the human perceptual apparatus is a subject of particular interest.

The exhibition opens with Franz West (1947–2012, Austria) who hands things over to others, leaving it to the curators to combine the original pieces as well as their cast replicas that make up his sculpture Revision I and II (1990). Right after exploring these objects the beholders will be seduced by Silvie Fleury’s (1961, Switzerland) Mushroom (2006), the tactile surface of which positively beckons to be touched, not unlike religious cult objects to which diverse societies have attributed magical agency. A recently purchased multimedia installation by Kader Attia (1970, France) examines ritual objects from Africa in collections at the Vatican and in Salzburg, revealing them to be silent witnesses to the history of the Christian mission. Painted polystyrene foam cubes by Heimo Zobernig (1958, Austria) exemplify his art’s characteristic ambivalence between the autonomous and functional object, serving to display films and videos by Bruce Nauman (1941, US) from the 1960s and by Dóra Maurer (1936, Hungary) from the 1970s that conceive the human body as a sculptural material and emphasize its objecthood. The same aspect plays an essential role in recently acquired works by Simone Forti (1935, Italy–US) and Anja Manfredi (1978, Austria): limbs begin to move, bodies that seemed frozen shake off their torpor. Three interrelated installations by Jarosław Kozłowski (1945, Poland), whose art investigates the terminology and phenomenology of things, appear as revenants in different contexts in several sections of the exhibition.

Among the rediscoveries in the museum’s own collections are prints by Max Ernst (1891, Germany–1976, France) and Sigmar Polke (1941–2010, Germany). A wall of photographs features 1920s and 1930s new objectivity photography from Bank Austria Unicredit’s FOTOGRAFIS Collection by Herbert Bayer (1900, Austria–1985, US), Arthur Benda (1885, Germany–1969, Austria), Heinz Loew (1903, Germany–1981, GB), and others, and reveals affinities with an ensemble of photographic still lifes Seiichi Furuya (1950, Japan–Austria) created in the 1980s.

Several works in the exhibition—from Édouard Manet (1832–83, France) to Ulrike Grossarth (1952, Germany) installation BAU I (1989–2000)—address political upheavals and social change. The installation On or off earth (1996) by Florian Pumhösl (1971, Austria) explores the social and political ideas behind visionary DIY interior design of the 1960s and 1970s in the context of a consumerist culture. In the ongoing series "Seminars/Lectures S/L" (1995–97), Rainer Ganahl (1961, Austria–US) is building an archive of educational institutions and the content they impart in the context of shifting socioeconomic hierarchies. Seeking to “set things in motion,” these works unleash a dynamic that is apt to reach beyond the confines of art and highlight ways in which society is changing drastically.

With works by Kader Attia, Herbert Bayer, Arthur Benda, Ladislav Berka, Marcel Broodthaers, Max Ernst, Sylvie Fleury, Günther Förg, Simone Forti, Seiichi Furuya, Rainer Ganahl, Isa Genzken, Bruno Gironcoli, Dan Graham, Ulrike Grossarth, Joachim Koester, Jarosław Kozłowski, Heinz Loew, Édouard Manet, Anja Manfredi, Dóra Mauer, Bruce Nauman, Paul Outerbridge, Sigmar Polke, Florian Pumhösl, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Dieter Roth, Franz West, Heimo Zobernig

Curators: Jürgen Dehm, Curator Generali Foundation Study Center; Petra Reichensperger, Curator Generali Foundation; Margit Zuckriegl, Curator, and Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

 

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*Franz West, Revision I and II, 1990. Installation view, Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 1990. Installation part I: 4 objects, wood, papier-mâché, gauze, plaster, painted, part II: 4 objects, aluminum casts of the objects of part I, painted. Total dimensions variable. © Generali Foundation Collection–Permanent Loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Photo: Wolfgang Woessner.

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