Foto: Maria Ziegelböck

The Museum in Motion

In time for this year’s Salzburg Festival summer, we will open two new exhibitions that are especially dear to me and that emphasize an interdisciplinary conception of art: the first retrospective of the Italian-born American artist Simone Forti and the thematic show Art/Histories, which, in an unprecedented effort, will be held across both our buildings. With my first thematic exhibition I also hope to initiate a debate over a central component of the museum’s mission: to constitute history by means of artifacts. It will focus on the ways in which artists view history—a history that is much broader than the domain of art.

“I am interested in what we know about things through our bodies,” Simone Forti describes her work. A pioneer of postmodern dance and Minimal art, she nonetheless prefers the simpler designation “movement artist.” Forti has dedicated herself to experimentation and improvisation and literally sets the museum in motion. Her performance pieces, including the famous Dance Constructions (1960/61), will be staged daily at the museum and at locations throughout the city.

Forti’s News Animations (1983–) build a bridge to the question of who writes history and what tools may be used to bring it to life. In Art/Histories, more than 230 works by some forty artists introduce us to their individual views of history and historical events and how they would like to see them narrated. The exhibition takes as its point of departure an event in the seventeenth century that was of both local and global significance: the expulsion of the Salzburg Protestants, as documented in numerous contemporary copperplate prints. From there, it draws a line via further “art histories” and various conflicts around the world, as well as personal stories, to the present. The museum’s own collections, works on loan, newly created pieces, different perspectives and artistic practices, including the rules of the art world itself, are brought together for a rich and diverse exploration of history.

The first presentation of works from the Generali Foundation Collection, which was recently entrusted to the museum, opened to great acclaim in April and is still on display in the galleries on the 2nd floor on the Mönchsberg. The exhibition features various film installations by Dan Graham on monthly rotation; new series of photomontages by Sanja Iveković  will be installed in the summer.

Sabine Breitwieser, July 2014

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