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MdM Salzburg presents works from an outstanding Austrian collection of photography and media art
Gordon Matta-Clark, Artpark, 1974. 1 von 3 Farbfotografien, collagiert und laminiert auf Pappe, 50,5 x 76 cm© VBK, 2012 / SAMMLUNG VERBUND, Wien. Courtesy Jane Crawford.

SALZBURG.- The SAMMLUNG VERBUND, an outstanding Austrian collection of photography and media art, will be our guest at the MdM SALZBURG this autumn. 38 selected works and groups of works will be presented in the exhibition open spaces | secret places. Works from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND at the MdM MÖNCHSBERG. The SAMMLUNG VERBUND already supported the MdM with numerous loan works for our large-scale summer exhibition Role Models – Role Playing in 2011 and the exhibition Wearing Skirts. The staging of clothes in contemporary photography and sculpture this year. The successful cooperation gave rise to the idea of organizing a joint exhibition.

The exhibition open spaces | secret places. Works from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND unites 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 artists made site-specific interventions 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 is 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 is dedicated to personal experiences of space. Ernesto Nesto creates a nylon-covered cage that visitors can walk around. The cuboid with its mysteriously staged interior can be regarded as a symbol of our closed psychological system. Gordon Matta-Clark deconstructs rooms and houses, tears them down and cuts them open, thereby radically re-defining 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 only 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). It is this fluctuating presence which seems to make us more acutely aware of our location. In the past we asked other people on the telephone "How are you?”. Today we ask "Where are you?”.

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 MdM MÖNCHSBERG are presented in Austria for the very first time.

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