140909: MAK-Ausstellungshalle: Global:Lab – Art as a message. Asia and Europe 1500 – 1700

MAK-Ausstellungshalle: Global:Lab – Art as a message. Asia and Europe 1500 – 1700 Early globalisation as an intellectual adventure Even today Immanuel Wallerstein’s study on the development of a European world economic system starting around 1450, the “The Modern world System” (1974) influences our debates on globalisation. Gradually those forms of visualisation found in the large storerooms of classic art, which not only depict expeditions, conquests, and slavery, but also reflect processes of the mixing of diverse cultures, undergo a critical reading and new interpretations. Parallel to the development of central perspectives in the Arab world and in Europe, as well as the new technical methods of measuring the world and their epochal effects on the occidental art history, numerous new methods of measuring as well as the adoption of new forms of perception and interpretations of the world were developed. With the large exhibition “Global: Lab - Art as a message. Asia and Europe 1500 – 1700, the MAK focuses on these developments. The show documents how strong the impact of the transfer of art strategies as well as scientific research results was for the respective other cultural production in Europe – for example in the Netherlands – and, on the other hand, in Asia with the Chinese emperor’s court as an example. This is represented by a 17th century twelve part chestnut-coated folding screen depicting Dutch seamen bringing exotic animals and treasures to the coast to load them onto a ship, which was interpreted as a Dutch delegation to the Chinese emperor’s court. The sensation at this exhibit is a sequence of the famous “Hamza-Nama”, a 16th century mogul landscape, which is one of the most important works of painting of the Islamic world. 200 of the originally 1.400 sheets are still persevered today. With 60 miniatures, the MAK owns the largest connected stock. Another topic at this exhibit,which was put together by Angela Völker and Johannes Wieninger, deals with strategies of cultural identity construction – for example, the confrontation of the ideal type of a European according to Dürer’s proportional studies and its interaction with the ornament and narrative illustration of the Islamic culture. The main features of the exhibition architecture, staged by Michael Embacher, remind of a system of opened transportation cases, partially consisting of synthetic and foamed material; something that is more or less standard these days. In general, this is a highly recommendable exhibition; not only to study essential parameters of cultural globalization, but also because the potentials of the MAK collection become visible. The “Museum as a time machine” is revived in an exhibition that can be described as an intellectual adventure. By Roland Schöny MAK-Ausstellungshalle 1010 Vienna, Weiskirchnerstrasse 3, until 27.09.09

1010 Wien, Weiskirchnerstraße 3
Tel: +43(1) 711 36-0, Fax: +43 1 713 10 26
Email: office@mak.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di 10-22 h (18-22h freier Eintritt), Mi-So 10-18 h

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