The Museum der Moderne Salzburg is a renowned institution presenting thematically focused presentations of art from the collections and high-quality monographic exhibitions that have helped put Salzburg on the map as one of Europe’s most attractive cultural destinations. One key item on the museum’s agenda is to sharpen its profile as a hub for photography. My goal is to develop the Museum der Moderne Salzburg into an internationally recognized center of expertise in art, photography, and visual culture.
Thanks to the new art storage unit, the museum now boasts first-rate infrastructure allowing it to fulfill another crucial part of its mission: to care for and enlarge its collections. Innovative initiatives will allow us to make the most of our partnerships, especially with the Austrian Federal Photography Collection and the outstanding Generali Foundation Collection, which are on permanent loan to the museum.
As a storehouse of the collective cultural and creative memory, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents prominent Austrian and international positions that are fixtures of twentieth-century art history. At the same time, the museum is a platform for the concerns and tendencies of the present and showcases contemporary positions. The modernist art-historical canon and contemporary art go hand in hand. I envision the museum as an open forum for discussion and debate. Its legitimacy derives from its critical engagement with the present; it needs to address the urgent questions of today. Yet a narrow focus on the contemporary not balanced by the study of the past can result in empty repetition. That is why I look forward to working with the museum’s team to develop a vision that will bring the museum into the twenty-first century while cherishing its history.
The programming for 2019 builds on the proven tradition of thematic presentations of art from our own diverse holdings as well as the eminent collections on permanent loan to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, while the exhibitions of the art of Asger Jorn and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner draw a line from classic modernism to contemporary art. Jorn’s exuberant creativity reflects his playful approach to artistic conventions and articulates a sly dialectic between tradition and satire, between critique and encomium. Kirchner, on the other hand, harnessed photography as a medium of image cultivation, inventing a fictional art critic who kept contemporaries guessing for no fewer than thirteen years and ran a very original marketing campaign for his creator’s work.
Sigalit Landau’s exhibition Salt Years spotlights a vital position in contemporary art: her work probes the existential and ambivalent qualities of challenging and extraordinary experiences. Visitors can also look forward to dystopian miniatures in the exhibition A Mind of Winter and a wide-ranging survey of artists’ attempts to render the boundlessness of the macrocosm, gathered in the exhibition Fly Me to the Moon on occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Finally, we will open our galleries to the riches of our collections and invite the public to discover hidden treasures.