The exhibition open spaces | secret places. Works from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND united artistic positions that use different ways of visualizing the perception of places and spaces. From the 1960s onwards, artists increasingly turned away from the two-dimensional surfaces of paintings. They left their studios, Land Artists created huge sculptural formations in the vastness of the desert, large-scale environments were built in backyards and site-specific interventions were made in public spaces. The 1970s saw the development of a collective consciousness to act spatially in contemporary artistic production. The past four decades clearly show that contemporary art practice would be unthinkable without those radical changes.
The first part of the exhibition was dedicated to the medium of photography. Jeff Wall stages mysterious fragments of urban environments in peripheral areas and depicts the unofficial use of places and non-places. Joachim Koester, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Tom Burr, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, and David Wojnarowicz explore the fragility of the present in the light of historical changes of space and time and sometimes search for traces of history. Louise Lawler draws our attention to places where works of art are stored and presented. Janet Cardiff / George Bures Miller stage a journey through memories as an audiovisual space of experience, where authentic and fictitious elements merge.
The second part of the exhibition was dedicated to personal experiences of space. Ernesto Neto creates a nylon-covered cage that visitors can walk around. The installation with its mysteriously staged interior can be regarded as a locked symbol of our psychological system. Gordon Matta-Clark deconstructs rooms and houses, tears them down and cuts them open, thereby radically redefining them for the viewer. Fred Sandback breaks with the traditional concept of sculptures and uses tensioned threads to create a volume without mass in space. Anthony McCall surrounds our body with a cone of light that becomes visible in the fog. Both artists are able to create space without building it. The increasing spatialization of art goes hand in hand with our living style, which has changed considerably in social and cultural terms as a result of new spatial conditions (virtual space, increased mobility).
The SAMMLUNG VERBUND was established in 2004 and has developed a distinctive and individual profile in a very short time. The two main themes of the collection are “1970s Feminist Avantgarde“ and “Spaces and Places“. Many of the works on display at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg on Mönchsberg are presented in Austria for the very first time.
Works by Francis Alÿs, Eleanor Antin, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Ulla von Brandenburg, Tom Burr, Janet Cardiff / George Bures Miller, Ceal Floyer, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Joachim Koester, Louise Lawler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Anthony McCall, Ernesto Neto, Gabriel Orozco, Wilfredo Prieto, Fred Sandback, Jeff Wall, David Wojnarowicz
Director: Toni Stooss
Curators: Gabriele Schor, Curator, Sammlung VERBUND, and Veit Ziegelmaier, Curator, Museum der Moderne Salzburg