April 30, 2015 - Museum der Moderne Salzburg - Which Life? A Panoramic View of the Collections
April 30, 2015

Which Life? A Panoramic View of the Collections

Edward Krasiński,Interwencja 10 (z Drzwiami) [Intervention 10 (with door)], 1974. Wood fiberboard, wooden frame, metal, blue adhesive tape, 111 x 75.5 x 11 cm.*

Which Life? A Panoramic View of the Collections
April 25–October 4, 2015

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Moenchsberg 32 
5020 Salzburg
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm
During the festival seasons also: Monday 10am–6pm

info [​at​] mdmsalzburg.at


Which Life? A Panoramic View of the Collections is the title of the third exhibition in the series of presentations showcasing the Generali Foundation Collection, on permanent loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. A selection of works from this renowned collection with a focus on post-minimal, Conceptual and feminist art will again be set in dialogue with other holdings including the museum’s own collection of prints and photographs as well as paintings and sculptures from the MAP collection. In the new installation of selected art from the collections, a sequence of 130 works by 26 artists from seven countries offer a range of perspectives on the realities of life. The show reveals connections to the concurrent retrospective of Andrea Fraser and celebrates VALIE EXPORT, who is represented by central pieces in the Generali Foundation Collection, with a separate gallery dedicated to her “Expanded Cinema.” A special highlight will be the first-ever realization of a video installation that EXPORT, who taught at the Salzburg International Summer Academy for many years, originally conceived in the mid-1970s.

When an art exhibition undertakes an inquiry into the reality of life, the stakes are considerable. “In reality, reality isn’t really real, but then it’s still real,” the poet H. C. Artmann quipped, summing up the welter of demands, aspirations, and contradictions with which life confronts each one of us.

Francisco de Goya’s cycle Los Caprichos (1793–99) stands as a powerful matrix for the art in the show. The title promises “moments of whimsy” and “fancies,” but what Goya’s etchings actually show are scenes of the war between the sexes, venal love, and the abuse of power: moments from a life that does not submit to neat distinctions.

Andrea Fraser’s text installation Kunstvermittlung (Art Education, 1995) raises questions such as “So what do you do with your life? Do you believe that your work, your life, your ideas are special or important?”—”What do work and leisure mean to you? Do you collect something? When you were a child, what did you want to be?” Maria Eichhorn asked interviewees in the first stage of her project Arbeit/Freizeit (Work/Leisure, 1994–96), which resulted in a “staff exhibition.” Reenacting a video series by Jean-Luc Godard, a video installation by Kerry Tribe shows the British film theorist and filmmaker Peter Wollen asking his ten-year-old daughter Audrey questions such as “Does light stand still or does it move?” or “Do you think that a picture exists?”

Those who would change reality would do well not only to ask specific questions, but also try to appreciate existing problems and conflicts in all their ambivalence and the self-images of the various parties, as Adrian Piper forcefully demonstrates in her two-part installation Black Box/White Box (1992), which confronts us with a brutal racist incident in Los Angeles in 1992. Image-and-text montages by Sanja Iveković, meanwhile, tell stories of the “bitter” life in 1970s Yugoslavia as well as its “sweet” sides. The real world and the fantasies into which we escape also appear in other works. Birgit Jürgenssen’s photographic Interieurs (Interiors, 1997) and Dan Graham’s New Design for Showing Videos (1995) articulate a critical examination of the public and private spheres.

Instead of consuming impressions or chasing visions of the “right” life, the exhibition suggests, we should reflect on the pitfalls of perception. As the visitors ascend the museum’s entrance stairs, VALIE EXPORT’s closed-circuit video installation Zeitlücken Raumspalten (Gaps in Time – Cracks in Space, 1973/2015) forcefully reminds them of their own flipside before they even enter the galleries properly speaking. 

The collection surveys on the second floor of the Museum’s Mönchsberg building have been among the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s most popular exhibitions since the conclusion of its partnership agreement with the Generali Foundation. The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive program of events. An “Expanded Cinema and more” evening around VALIE EXPORT’s work will be held on June 20; the artist herself will participate in the performance.

With works by Dara Birnbaum, Maria Eichhorn, Isa Genzken, Francisco de Goya, Dan Graham, Jörg Immendorff, Sanja Iveković, Joan Jonas, Birgit Jürgenssen, John Knight, Eustachy Kossakowski, Edward Krasiński, Richard Kratochwill, Franz Xaver Kulstrunk, Elisabeth Kraus, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler with Sonic Youth, Adrian Piper, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Martha Rosler, Gerhard Rühm, Kerry Tribe, Franz West, and Heimo Zobernig and special appearances by VALIE EXPORT and Andrea Fraser.

Curators: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, and Petra Reichensperger, Curator Generali Foundation Collection, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

*Edward Krasiński,Interwencja 10 (z Drzwiami) [Intervention 10 (with door)], 1974. Wood fiberboard, wooden frame, metal, blue adhesive tape, 111 x 75.5 x 11 cm. © Generali Foundation Collection—permanent loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Photo: Werner Kaligofsky.

Museum der Moderne Salzburg
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