Photography and New Media
For many years photography was collected in the Wien Museum primarily according to topographical criteria. Thus around 100,000 photographs document the “cityscape” of Vienna and its constant change. For some years, however, photography in the Wien Museum has also been receiving increasing attention as an artistic medium in itself. The collection focus is on the period from the early 1960s to the present with current trends to be steadily collected in future.
One main sub-collection is made up of photo-acts undertaken by the Viennese Actionists. They are regarded as a significant example for the use of photography in the inter-medial area. Among other artists, the Wien Museum possesses works by Rudolf Schwarzkogler, who has been intensively involved with methods of staged photography and the abstract qualities of this medium. Heinz Cibulka, who himself has taken part in many acts, is represented in the Wien Museum with his first autonomous photo series, “Stammersdorf”.
In the 1970s numerous photographic researches led into the hitherto little-regarded areas of the urban landscape. Elfriede Mejchar, who systematically explored Vienna’s outskirts over several years, is represented in the Wien Museum with numerous photographs as is Leo Kandl, who found “his” Vienna in the old wine taverns and railway stations pubs.
Contemporary photography shows itself as diverse and changeable – from concept to narration, from individual portrait to pictorial history, from portfolio to art book. Examples that demonstrate this in the Wien Museum collection include AES+F, Carola Dertnig, Peter Dressler, Candida Höfer, P. A. Leitner, Maria Theresia Litschauer, Margherita Spiluttini and Gregor Zivic.
Increasingly video works are also entering the collection, including works of Leopold Kessler like “Reparatur” (“Repair”) and “Freisprechanlage“(“Intercom”) as well as works of Hans Schabus.