Parallel to the Ana Mendieta retrospective and in dialogue with her work, the MdM Salzburg is organizing a focus show of the works by artists associated with Actionism, especially so-called Viennese Actionism. During her studies with Hans Breder at the Intermedia Program of the School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa, which Breder ran beginning in 1968 for three decades, Mendieta became familiar with work by artists such as Vito Acconci, Mary Beth Edelson, Hans Haacke, Allan Kaprow, and Robert Wilson, but mainly, also by the Viennese actionists. Artists such as Günter Brus and Otto Muehl, whom Breder invited to present their work in Iowa, clearly resonates in Mendieta’s performances and artistic practice.
The confrontation with the body as an artistic medium, which was radical at times, the precise selection of photographs—which were assigned the task of representing the performative works in a gallery context, as well as the experimental way of dealing with concepts and disciplines are only a few of these connections that we are able to recognize today. The show presents works from the collection of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, supplemented by loans. A bridge will be forged from Mendieta’s powerful yet nonetheless subtle relationship of body and nature to the works of the Viennese actionists (including artists such as Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler) as well as to “feminist actionism” by VALIE EXPORT.
The exhibition is organized by the MdM Salzburg.
Curators: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, with Barbara Herzog, Curatorial Assistant, MdM Salzburg