Kathi Hofer, <i>Paris</i>, 2016, Flex leveled new wool, metal, Museum der Moderne Salzburg Collection―Acquisition from Federal Gallery Funds, Photo: Hannes Böck, Courtesy: Kathi Hofer and Gabriele Senn Galerie; Kader Attia, <i>Dispossession #2</i>, 2013, Detail, multi-part installation with slide projections and video, Museum der Moderne Salzburg Collection―Acquisition from Federal Gallery Funds, © Bildrecht, Wien 2017; Rudolf Koppitz, <i>Heuernte in Tirol</i>, 1920–1932, Gelatin silver print, Austrian Federal Photography Collection at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Folklore

A Controversy with Works from the Collections

Brazenly challenging the premises of progress and innovation that usually frame our perspective on modern and contemporary art, the eighth installment in the series of exhibitions of works from the collections organized in partnership with the Generali Foundation puts the focus on Folklore. Works from the museum’s own holdings as well as the Generali Foundation Collection and the Austrian Federal Photography Collection, which are on permanent loan to the museum, illuminate different facets of the role that folklore and its creative adaptation play in visual art.

In a world shaped by globalization and migration, issues of identity and tradition have attained new significance. The concept of “folklore” came into currency in the mid-nineteenth century as an umbrella term for the unwritten forms in which communities passed down their traditions: fairy tales, songs, costumes, craftsmanship. Scholars have accordingly studied folklore as a medium also of traditional knowledge and forms of action; in its everyday meaning, by contrast, the term is often associated with folk music, mass-manufactured sentimentalism or kitsch.

These and other controversial aspects of folklore are represented in the exhibition by works created between the early twentieth century and the present. The selection ranges from illustrated editions of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales and 1930s photographs of rural life to the reflection on local identity in the art of the postwar generation and a critical engagement with the colonialist gaze on foreign cultures. The show also invites debate on possible contemporary forms of folklore. To what extent are cultural heritage and traditions capable of change? Are continuity and innovation compatible, or are folklorism and fakelore—the distorted representation of mores and customs—our only options? And which identity anchors the folklore of the present and future?

With works by Anna Artaker / Lilla Khoor, Kader Attia, Peter Paul Atzwanger, Lothar Baumgarten, Norbert Brunner / Michael Schuster, Valie EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Heinz Frank, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Hans Walter Hannau, David Hockney, Kathi Hofer, Rainer Iglar, Kurt Kaindl, Joachim Koester, Rudolf Koppitz, Stefan Kruckenhauser, Michael Mauracher, Martha Rosler, Nedko Solakov, Ingeborg Strobl, Umbo, Erwin Wurm and others

Curators: Sabine Breitwieser, Director and Antonia Lotz, Generali Foundation Collection CuratorPresented by Generali Foundation


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