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2023 Program

In 2023 the museum focuses on making female and queer positions visible

Yesterday, director Harald Krejci presented the exhibition program 2023. In the coming year, an offer of a total of twelve new presentations will be on display, with the majority of exhibitions featuring works by female artists.

The program of exhibitions scheduled at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg for 2023 encompasses altogether twelve new presentations that delve into a broad variety of themes and subjects and feature widely diverse artistic media and practices. If the majority of these shows present work by women artists, that is not a coincidence but in fact a deliberate choice: as part of its efforts to promote gender equality and push for greater visibility for female and queer positions and concerns, the museum seeks to turn the spotlight on art by women. This strategic orientation, which has informed the museum’s planning for several years, is fully in line with the new director’s programmatic vision.

The new program of exhibitions kicks off with no fewer than three presentations at the Altstadt (Rupertinum) venue, to be inaugurated with an Open House, with free admission and a varied program, on February 25. The details on the day’s festivities will be announced separately.

In The Geometry of Non-Orders, the museum dedicates an exhibition and accompanying publication to the oeuvre of Gunda Gruber, winner of last year’s Grand Art Prize of the State of Salzburg. The new presentation format, launched in cooperation with the State of Salzburg, is designed to generate greater visibility for Salzburg’s vibrant contemporary arts scene while paying tribute to an artist who has been a leading figure on that scene for the past ten years.

In Mask and Face. Inge Morath and Saul Steinberg, the museum commemorates the illustrious Austrian photographer, whose outstanding oeuvre figures prominently in the history of the museum’s photographic collections, with a presentation of vintage prints from its own holdings. Morath’s friendship with Steinberg, the legendary caricaturist best known for his work for The New Yorker, is at the heart of the exhibition mounted on occasion of the centennial of Morath’s birth, the first to feature her works side by side with Steinberg’s paper masks from his estate in New York.

At the Generali Foundation Study Center, the exhibition Queer*fem* magaZINES. Queer and Feminist Publishing in Art and Culture, produced in collaboration with students at Paris Lodron University Salzburg, presents a selection of periodicals and zines that provide a platform for feminist and queer art or constitute artistic projects in their own right.

Two exhibitions from the spring program are scheduled to open on the Mönchsberg in April. Sprawling over ca. 16,000 square feet on two gallery levels, the grand thematic exhibition Stepping Out! Female Identities in Chinese Contemporary Art features works by twenty-six Chinese women artists from three generations. The exhibition and publication project aims to correct the glaring imbalance in the visibility of women artists from China and point up the enormous diversity and relevance of their work.

With We Rise by Lifting Others, the Italian artist Marinella Senatore takes over level 1 of the Mönchsberg venue—and makes it her basis for forays into Salzburg’s urban fabric. Extending her projects into a city’s public spaces and getting locals involved by enrolling them in what she calls her School of Narrative Dance are integral aspects of Senatore’s creative practice, which seeks to propel a social transformation through active participation and inclusion.

The programming for the summer of 2023 starts with two openings at the Altstadt (Rupertinum) venue in late June. Honoring the eminent German photographer Ruth Walz, the exhibition Raising the Curtain turns the spotlight on her mastery of the sophisticated art of theater photography. What makes the presentation special is the location vis-à-vis the festival halls, where Walz was a regular for many years: the vicinity to the singular settings of many a thrilling stage production she captured with her camera, which made Salzburg a central scene of her life and career, embeds Walz’s creative practice in a concrete site-specific nexus the show will vividly illustrate.

Held on occasion of the anniversary of the museum’s founding, the exhibition The Rupertinum and Its (Hi)stories. 40 Years—Many Voices puts the focus on its first home. Visitors, former and current staff, artists, and friends of the Rupertinum are invited to tell the personal stories of their relationships with the building and the treasures it has housed for the past forty years.

July brings the opening of Maria Bartuszová and Arch of Hysteria. Between Madness and Ecstasy the two summer exhibitions at the Mönchsberg venue. Maria Bartuszová’s is the example of an oeuvre that did not receive the attention it merited in its time and was only rescued from oblivion by a belated rediscovery. The stunning work she created in her studio in Košice (formerly Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia) when Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain charts a fascinating balancing act between suggestive sculpture and delicate installation and now makes its Austrian debut in an exhibition produced by the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in cooperation with the Tate Modern, London.

The grand thematic exhibition Arch of Hysteria. Between Madness and Ecstasy probes the cultural history of the (ostensibly) scientific discovery of hysteria in the late nineteenth century with its documentary practices and the resulting pathologization of women’s bodies and behavior. The characteristic symptom of hysteria that emerged in the medical literature was a distinctive pose—the patient leaned backwards with her back arched—that can be traced as a motif in the subsequent art history and ambivalently functions as an expression now of paralysis, now of emancipation. The exhibition explores the phenomenon in a presentation of both older and contemporary works.

The fall programming at the Mönchsberg venue opens with a presentation of a selection of important works of time-based art from the Generali Foundation Collection. Drawing on the collection’s rich holdings of media art from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition Art in Four Dimensions. Media Art Reconsidered features examples of reflection on media, institutional critique, and feminist art to highlight key aspects of the Generali Foundation’s art in time-based media.

The exhibition will be flanked by an enlarged and redesigned presentation of the Generali Foundation Study Center’s media library under the title Media Center+. The Generali Foundation’s Video and Film Collection, which will be unveiled in the fall. The media library is accessible to the public at the Rupertinum venue.

In 2021, the biennial Otto Breicha Prize for Artistic Photography went to the conceptual artist Anna Jermolaewa, who was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1970 and lives in Vienna. In conjunction with the award, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg pays tribute to Jermolaewa’s art, which also won the Austrian State Art Prize in 2020, with an exhibition and accompanying publication. Photography and video are central media of Jermolaewa’s oeuvre. In works that often bespeak her critical acumen and dark sense of humor, the realist and observant traveler studies the conditions in which people live and analyzes power structures all over the world.