This exhibition undercuts everything I have seen so far in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
I would also like to do what I want with my girlfriend at the KHM and maybe I could think of something. But I wouldn't come to The New York Times or Die Zeit. And besides, I wouldn't have Prada behind me, the co-producer of the exhibition.
Filmmaker Wes Anderson worked with his companion "two years" in the museum, the introductory text reveals, and I wonder who made his films in the meantime. The information that for the first time all collections had cooperated here is a double oath of revelation, because one wonders whether the synergies between them have so far only been sought in the financial realm, and secondly why one needed an external curator in order to have this idea: to arrange objects in eight little rooms nested in a single room: green objects, objects made of wood, containers, child portraits, and so on. That's it.
As many critics have written, this has as much to do with Wunderkammer as an iPhone football game with FC Barcelona. No intelligent questioning of the museum order of things, no entanglement of the collections with regard to their history, also nothing with regard to new endowments of meaning through the merging of otherwise separate collections of objects, no illumination of the significance of individual objects through surprising contexts, no critical questioning of the prevailing orders in the permanent collections.
The whole thing is an exercise in the question of how much infantilization an audience can just tolerate. After having seen the show you can buy objects from Mrs. Malouf. About 250 Euro a piece. It's nice that the KHM is now also an art market and provides Prada with cultural added value.
I leave the word to Thomas Mießgang, who wrote in DIE ZEIT about the exhibition: "In any case, this guarantees high quotas within the framework of an economy of attention and can often be translated into blockbusters. The museum directors hope that the wild thinking of the artist curators will produce shock-like collisions, fascinating breaks, and unfathomable perspectives that will blow away the muffiness of a hundred years that has accumulated in the depot goods. If, however, as with shrew Mummy, only rares for cash can be seen without any special value of knowledge, and if festivals of chance are held, then museum visitors would like to quote Herman Melville's novel character Bartleby: "I would prefer not to."