191009: Residenzgalerie Salzburg: Bathing Scenes – Ritual, Indignation and Seduction

Residenzgalerie Salzburg: Bathing Scenes – Ritual, Indignation and Seduction The element of water and the naked body At the beginning of the exhibition, which is arranged in chronological order from antiquity to the present, you will be confronted with rubber ducks and a floating tire, in the form of an inflatable shark. Smiling, you proceed to more serious topics such as the Roman bathing culture. They knew how to spend a relaxing day: enjoying the thermal baths, their libraries, steam baths, massages and gymnastics. In the beauty departments, faces and bodies were rubbed with ointments and essences. Mythological and biblical scenes let the voyeur in the painting, and the observer viewing the painting become one, even if their points of view don’t coincide. The biblical “Susanna in the bath”, the Greek goddess of the hunt with her companions - all being watched while grooming and considering themselves unobserved, lasciviously showing their beautiful bodies – a socially recognized way to depict female nudity. Many were shocked by Albrecht Dürer’s “Men’s Bath” - not because the naked men were bathing but because the pursued things like playing music. Today, this would be an unimaginable reason to cause scandal. The sign next to Hermann Grom-Rottmayer’s poster “Centralbad 1904/12” discloses the history of this notorious venue at Vienna’s Weihburggasse. The history of the “Kaiserbründl” can be followed back to the days of the Romans. The topic of the poster is an “open insinuation”: two men in the “floods” of a water basin. Over the years, the name changed, but the purpose of the venue remained remarkably perpetual. In the last room, the lovingly designed bathrooms in doll houses dating back to the 1900’s, including all kinds of details such as a hot-water heater and water pipes. Finally, Oberhuber, Herzig, Stangl. Brauneis, and Co., with their interpretations on the topic and videos created by pupils at the polytechnic schools. By Maria-Gabriela Martinkowic Residenzgalerie Salzburg 5010 Salzburg, Residenzplatz 1, until 01.11.09 www.residenzgalerie.at

Residenzgalerie Salzburg
5010 Salzburg, Residenzplatz 1
Tel: +43(0) 662/ 840451 -0, Fax: +43(0) 662/ 840451 -16
Email: residenzgalerie@salzburg.gv.at
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 10.00 - 17.00 Uhr, Mo geschlossen

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