Setting Things in Motion

Collections in Dialogue

Setting Things in Motion is the guiding theme of the new presentation of works from the Generali Foundation Collection, which is on permanent loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, in dialogue with art from the museum’s own holdings and selections from other collections entrusted to the museum such as Bank Austria’s FOTOGRAFIS Collection and paintings from the MAP Collection.

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, things began to appear on the stage of art, prompting a renegotiation of the question of what constitutes art and where the line separating it from non-art runs. Artists today may integrate everyday objects into their works, pieces of furniture are reclassified as (seating) sculptures, and objects that solicit our attachment and identification with them suddenly resurface as art.

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 body becomes a sculptural material or inspires new forms. Conversely, artistic practices examine the thinglike qualities of works of art, especially in relation to the human body. Not unlike the religious cult objects and relics to which various societies past as well as present have attributed magical agency, the tactile surfaces of some works positively beckon to be touched. Other works go even further: they address political upheavals and social shifts, using the lever of art to set a ball rolling that may well end up triggering far-reaching societal change.

Things in art are focal points for phenomenological and art-theoretical inquiries as well as questions of social history. How do artists engage with things? How have everyday objects risen to such high status in art vis-à-vis sculptures and other artifacts? How do things mediate social relations? Which role does their design play for our society? Charting this field of questions and semantic ambiguities, the exhibition traces the lives of things in art from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, with an emphasis on traditional media such as printmaking, painting and sculpture as well as photography,
conceptual art, film, video and holograms.

With works by Kader Attia, Herbert Bayer, Arthur Benda, Ladislav Berka, Marcel Broodthaers, Max Ernst, 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 Collection; Margit Zuckriegl, Curator and Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Tuesday - Sunday: 
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 8.00 pm
Monday: closed