Opening: November 17, 2017, 7 p.m.
Duration: November 18, 2017—April 8, 2018
Venue: Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Rupertinum, Generali Foundation Study Center
This exhibition showcases works from the museum's collections that articulate pointed views and solicit debate on issues in society and politics. Such socially critical art is especially apt to illustrate the value of a collection of prints and other "ephemeral" media that allow for comparatively inexpensive reproduction and dissemination such as flyers, posters, postcards, stickers, and magazines. Politically "engaged" artists do not primarily make work so that others contemplate it with a view to its aesthetic merits; they rather want to broadcast concrete messages. Yet they also reflect on the constraints that circumscribe their scope of action and the limitations of art and political activism in general.
The show opens with outstanding examples of the creative visual production in the orbit of the labor movement starting in the late nineteenth century. Forms of the subversive montage of images emerged as a vital tool of communication and continue to inform today's visual culture. In the twentieth century, art itself and the museum—arguably the most august institution associated with it—become a point of contention in many works. Artists scrutinize the social and political role of their work in connection with the growing and evolving art market. The exhibition thus undertakes a sustained meditation on the political dimension of art—and especially on the question of how artists themselves can become active as political subjects.
Curators: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, with Stefanie Grünangerl, Librarian Museum der Moderne Salzburg