Who is still Austrian?
Opening: April 28, 2017
Duration: April 29 â€“ July 9, 2017
Curator: Luigi Fassi
Artists: NicolĂ˛ Degiorgis, Francois-Xavier GbrĂ¨, Runo Lagomarsino, Sonia Leimer, Renato Leotta.
On the occasion of commemoration of the 700th anniversary of giving the Municipal Regulations to Merano, the show, curated by Luigi Fassi, introduces the operas of five artists who question themselves on the social and historical mutations that have interested the South Tyrolean town.
The title of the exhibition draws back to an article - Bin ich ein Ă–sterreicher? - on the war newspaper Tiroler Soldaten Zeitung on August 1916. The author is the writer Robert Musil, at the time second lieutenant of the Austrian army and responsible of the Newspaper.
â€śAm I an Austrian if I have a right to citizenship in Vienna, Graz, Trieste or Trento?â€ť â€śFutile questionâ€ť they will reply, â€śyou are undoubtedly an Austrian!â€ť Yet the question is not unjustified at all, since, strangely, the concept of â€śAustriaâ€ť has not been expressively fixed by law. Thus, the citizens of that State that should legally be defined as â€śAustriaâ€ť do not recognize themselves as â€śAustrians.â€ť Try to ask a citizen in Galicia, a shoemaker in Carniola, or a lawyer in Bohemia, a school teacher in Vienna, a priest in north Tyrol, and a judge in south Tyrol what they are. You will definitely receive as an answer: a Polish, a Slovak, a Carniolan, a Bohemian-German or a Czech, a southern-Austrian or anyhow an Austrian-German, a Tyrolean, an Italian. Nobody will ever answer your simple question with equal simplicity: â€śI am an Austrian!â€ť (Sono austriaco? In La guerra parallela, Trento, Reverdito, 1987, p. 23).
The show develops right from Musilâ€™s thoughts - a little over one century from their publication - in order to propose them again today, by entwining stories, questions, and interpretations tied to the social and historical mutations that have interested the town of Merano.