Traveling and being on the road, how we see and picture the world, an analysis and critique of structural violence and gender-specific power in their various dimensions, racism, a renewed push to bring in non-European perspectives, basic questions of identity and belonging—the exhibitions the Museum der Moderne Salzburg presents in 2021 will address these and other fundamental concerns, shedding light on them through the diverse works of internationally renowned artists. Particular emphasis will be placed on presenting the work of women artists.
Traveling and creative nomadism are at the heart of two exhibitions that opened in late 2020 and had to be put on hold when the museum closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Not Vital. IR is the charismatic artist’s first solo show at a museum in Austria; with strong roots in his native Engadine, he is also a wayfarer who has lived on all continents, blending local identity with global experience. “Several voyages on different levels” is how Fiona Tan has described her exhibition Mit der anderen Hand / With the other hand: voyages through space and time, through contemporary and historic imageries. The presentation has been extended until May 2, 2021.
The double exhibition The Physiognomy of Power, which likewise opened in December, showcases works by the German filmmaker Harun Farocki that probe the structural dimension of power side by side with the Austrian graphic artist and painter Florentina Pakosta’s feminist position. This presentation, too, has been extended and is now scheduled to be on view until May 24, 2021. The Marina Faust retrospective, inaugurated in October 2020, displays a representative cross-section of the artist’s oeuvre; she revisited and reworked some of the exhibits for the occasion. The show opened concurrently with the exhibition In Real Life, which samples creative engagements with the photo book medium. These last two exhibitions have been extended until April 5, 2021.
“This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again,” the American writer James Baldwin declared in his essay Stranger in the Village in 1953. The exhibition This World Is White No Longer gathers key works from the Generali Foundation Collection to present a selection of significant positions that undertake critical reflections on racist patterns of thought and behavior and explore empathetic identification with diverse perspectives as a practice that lets use decenter our own view of the world. A project of the Mozarteum University Salzburg’s photography and new media class in which the thematic exhibition inspires new works articulating antiracist discourses will be concurrently on view at the Generali Foundation Study Center.
The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE’s exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, originally planned for the summer of 2020, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Titled End of Empire, it is now scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. One of the most distinguished contemporary artists working in Great Britain today, Shonibare has emerged as a leading voice in the postcolonial debate. His analysis of the Victorian lifestyle is characterized by inscrutable irony and politically fraught cameos in which he styles himself, for instance, as a “Victorian dandy.” A self-described postcolonial hybrid, Shonibare investigates cultural identities, the British Empire’s colonial entanglements with the “rest of the world,” and the question of the “image of the other.”
Over the course of more than half a century, the photographer and collector Christian Skrein has assembled one of Austria’s most important and largest private photography collections of international stature, comprising works from the nineteenth century to the 1980s and both anonymous amateur shots and pictures by well-known international photographers. The exhibition Tell Me What You See. Skrein Photo Collection features a selection of over three hundred works grouped in twelve chapters for a first-ever survey of the collection’s abundant visual and thematic diversity.
Having made a name for himself in the 1950s as a leading pianist specializing in contemporary music, David Tudor transformed himself in the 1960s into a composer-performer. Titled Teasing Chaos. David Tudor, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s presentation is the first comprehensive exploration of Tudor’s pioneering achievements in the field of live electronics and his interdisciplinary collaborations.
The British artist Ellen Harvey’s work is an ongoing meditation on nostalgia, aesthetics, and the picturesque. Her creations often juxtapose a traditional painterly vocabulary with postmodern strategies of appropriation and methods such as mapping, pastiche, and institutional critique. The Disappointed Tourist is Harvey’s first solo exhibition in Austria, during which she will work in a studio set up right in the gallery for several weeks, offering the visitors to her show in Salzburg an opportunity to participate in the making of her art.
In Marion Kalter, the museum turns the spotlight on another contemporary woman artist. With a wealth of experience as a photographer, Kalter looks back on inspiring encounters with creative minds like Gisèle Freund, Anaïs Nin, Nadia Boulanger, Susan Sontag, Gina Pane, and Joan Mitchell. The exhibition Deep Time retraces the arc of Kalter’s life and the evolution of her art.
Artist’s books and catalogue and graphic design are central strands in Heimo Zobernig’s oeuvre. The Museum der Moderne Salzburg displays selections from its own library, archive, and collection that illustrate the Austrian artist’s sustained engagement with essential linguistic and visual aspects of art publishing (Heimo Zobernig. The Graphic Oeuvre).
Gordon Matta-Clark stands out in the history of twentieth-century art as a leading exponent of art as social critique. Beginning in the late 1960s, he laid the groundwork for a radical rethinking of architecture. Twenty-five years after the Generali Foundation’s last exhibition of Matta-Clark’s output, this extensive new presentation at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, based on a three-part research and exhibition project of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, and incorporating materials from the Foundation’s own archive, undertakes a searching examination of Matta-Clark’s seminal oeuvre.
Launched in the summer of 2019, the Art in the Elevator series turns the screens of the MönchsbergAufzug elevator into an extension of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s galleries. Every three months, a fresh presentation features videos and works on film by internationally renowned as well as emerging artists that transform the elevator ride into an art experience. The screening program not only expands on some of the themes of the exhibitions currently on view; starting in February 2021, it also showcases selections from the museum’s collection of media art, with works by Peter Land, Carola Dertnig, Ferhat Özgür, and Kurt Kren.
“With our ambitious programming for 2021, we want to address pressing contemporary concerns such as violence, identity, racism, postcolonialism, and our relationship with nature. Thinking the other and integrating non-European perspectives are crucial to overcoming parochial perspectives. Art knows no borders, and one key part of a museum’s mission is to encourage people to broaden their horizons. We’re not trying to lecture anyone—we proffer ideas for how art can help all of us better understand today’s world,” director Thorsten Sadowsky explains the museum’s plans for 2021.
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