Group exhibition at Salzburger Kunstverein

Artists: Alpine Gothic, Büro Josef Böhm, Christian Falsnaes, Hilde Fuchs, Thomas Hörl, Irwin, Mike Kelley & Paul McCarthy, Hans Müller, Wiebke Siem, Sean Snyder.

Also on display are masks from the collection Baumgartner.

The international group show looks at the relationship of local culture and contemporary fine art. Contemporary art and tradition or the part of our (everyday) culture that is defined by a tradition of regional, cultural developments often represent incompatible antipodes. In the context of regional (small) town and rural traditions, the exhibit searches for the links and rifts that could make a confrontation with local culture useful for the present. Architecture, music, clothing, Christian and older practices and rituals have developed in specific regions over the centuries and are now exposed to increased economization in connection with tourism and urban marketing.

How authentic is our regional culture in reality? To what degree do we “invent” these traditions because they fit well into tourism marketing strategies? And what could artistic strategies look like that pick up the strengths of tradition but are not blind to the present? There are several interesting and productive approaches in popular music (Attwenger, etc.) and architecture (wooden construction) – visual artists have a more difficult time with this. Traditional art or Heimatkunst seems too charged, as it has spent too long reflecting an ideal world, always saw itself as the voice of conservative values, and has also been discredited after being appropriated by National Socialism.

A new generation of 15-25 year old consumers seems to be able to move effortlessly between the “old” and the “new” cultural offers. Is there a lack of awareness of the meaning and implications of these set pieces? Or is it also possible that we can look at this approach as a future-oriented sampling or mixing that might be a positive step away from ideological rigidities?