Who is still Austrian?
Duration: 29 April - 09 September 2017
Artist: Nicolò Degiorgis, Francois-Xavier Gbrè, Runo Lagomarsino, Sonia Leimer, Renato Leotta.
Curator: Luigi Fassi
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 Österreicher? - 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.
“Am I an Austrian if I have a right to citizenship in Vienna, Graz, Trieste or Trento?” “Futile question” they will reply, “you are undoubtedly an Austrian!” Yet the question is not unjustified at all, since, strangely, the concept of “Austria” has not been expressively fixed by law. Thus, the citizens of that State that should legally be defined as “Austria” do not recognize themselves as “Austrians.” 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: “I am an Austrian!” (Sono austriaco? In La guerra parallela, Trento, Reverdito, 1987, p. 23).
The show develops right from Musil’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.