Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love – 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Every passion borders on the chaotic,’ wrote Walter Benjamin in his essay ‘Unpacking My Library’ (1931), ‘but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories’. The collector of books, artworks, or miscellaneous trinkets, Benjamin thought, is at the mercy of the sheer variety of things out there. Once part of a collection, however, the collector relives their love for those things just by looking at them.

This tension between clutter and control is everywhere in ‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by film director Wes Anderson and his partner, author and illustrator Juman Malouf. This huge exhibition, containing over 400 objects in eight small, colour-coded ‘Rooms’ in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna’s legendary Kunstkammer (a chamber of art and curiosities collected by the Habsburgs since the 16th century), shows off the pair’s idiosyncratic tastes and Anderson’s typical fussiness as much as it does the numerous treasures.

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, is on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love - 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

The duo share the collector’s thrill in chasing rare things. They spent months researching the museum’s vast collection and storage rooms, picking out what they found most exciting. The diversity of their choices is astonishing. There are ancient Egyptian animal sculptures and Etruscan statues of mythical heroes, Old Master paintings of Austrian royals, imperial jewels, old and now useless weaponry, historical musical instruments, and items of geological interest, like the 30 emerald-green malachites from the Natural History Museum’s minerals collection arranged in rows of five in a glass cabinet.

Some of Anderson and Malouf’s choices border not on chaos, like the collector’s passion, but kitsch. Automaton, Job Riding A Tortoise (early 17th century), for example, is a wind-up toy made either by Hans Fronmüller the Younger or George Fronmüller the Elder, in which a bearded man made of painted wood rides a gilded copper tortoise with reins tied through its nostrils.

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love - 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

The collector is, however, not just a hunter of rare things, but a meticulous lover of order. Anderson’s typical fastidiousness is evident in, for example, the arrangement of 17th–18th century Italian busts, including Socrates, Julius Caesar, and Cato, positioned in order of size from small to large and back again. Far from the ‘mild boredom of order’ Benjamin detected in the collector’s bookshelves, there is palpable joy in the way Anderson and Malouf have captured and shelved these strange things. Their method is, however, intuitive and resists any specific curatorial method.

If any method is apparent, it combines the collector’s passion with the idea of ‘family resemblances’ developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of Vienna’s most famous sons. Family resemblances are, Wittgenstein says, ‘a complicated network of similarities,’ like build, features, eye colour, gait, or temperament, ‘overlapping and criss-crossing’. Anderson and Malouf, similarly, seem to have arranged things in simple, unpretentious categories of type, colour, size, and shape.

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love - 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Anderson and Malouf choose to show us not only all creatures great and small, but all humans lofty and lowly. At the far end of the exhibition is the painting The Giant Bartlmä Bona with the Dwarf Thomele (late 16th century). The two figures are, indeed, vastly different in height, which was no doubt amusing at the time. Covering the whole length of the ceiling panel, meanwhile, is history painter Julius Victor Berger’s enormous Patrons of the House of Habsburg (1892), showing six groups of patrons from Emperor Maximillian I to Emperor Charles VI in the company of their respective court artists.

In Room 1, we see a painting of ‘Hirsute Man’ Petrus Gonsalvus, a Spanish nobleman who suffered from hypertrichosis, excessive hair growth all over his face, neck, and head, and his children (circa 1580). It is juxtaposed with Jacob Vrel’s Woman at a Window (1654), which shows the backside of a woman looking through a window, and Samuel van Hoogstraten’s Man Looking through a Window (1653), a bearded man staring straight through the picture space. The Gonsalvus family were widely regarded at not-quite-human by their contemporaries. By placing their stately portraits next to paintings of people ogling things outside the canvas, including the viewer themselves, Anderson and Malouf allow the viewer to turn the 16th-century gaze back on itself, gawping at their intolerance. This renews Gonsalvus’s dignity by turning him from a spectacle to be gawped at into a lonely but worthy human on the edge of high society.

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love - 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Colour plays an organizing role, as Anderson and Malouf contrast emerald green 2nd–3rd-century Roman glassware and Qing Dynasty Chinese porcelain in Room 2, but so does shape, when single objects from different places are placed next to each other, like how a wooden patu kotiate (1858), a traditional Maori weapon used like a short club, is placed next to a 20th-century violin made in Austria. At other times, however, theme or implied utility seems to be the category, such as in the juxtaposition of the ideas of mythic strength in the steel ‘Orsini Bomb’ from Italy (1863), which was popular with 19th century anarchists and used as a hand grenade in an assassination attempt on French emperor Napoleon III, placed next to a 4th-century bronze Etruscan statue of Hercules in Room 4.

It would be easy to dismiss the simplicity of Anderson and Malouf’s approach, treating them as mere dilettantes. To do so would miss how ‘Spitzmaus Mummy’ bursts with the joy of discovery. It allows us to relive those moments we first fell in love with things, when the shelves in libraries, bookshops, museums, or galleries seem to extend infinitely into the distance.

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf’s Curatorial Debut in Vienna Relives the Moment of First Love - 韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf在维也纳的首次亮相重现了初恋的时刻

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2018, installation view. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Anderson and Malouf choose, however, to say nothing about the colonial history of museum acquisition. Though we should not abandon those questions, the curators show an admirable optimism in their choices, as if suggesting that human creative powers are the same everywhere and inspire equal wonder, like the titular coffined Spitzmaus (shrew), a tiny wooden sarcophagus from Ptolemaic-period Egypt (4th century BCE). Time has chipped and dirtied the wood, but this does not matter, since the creature has spent about 2,400 happy years in the afterlife. It is a fitting centrepiece to a truly distinctive exhibition.

Main image: Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf. Courtesy: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna; photograph: Rafaela Proell

‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures’, curated by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf, is on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna until 13 January 2019.

Max L. Feldman

Max L. Feldman is a writer and art critic based in Vienna, Austria.

Opinion /

Max L. Feldman
Wes Anderson
Juman Malouf
Vienna
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Opinion


沃尔特·本杰明(Walter Benjamin)在他的文章《解开我的图书馆》(Unpacking My Library)(1931)中写道:“每种激情都近乎于混乱,但收藏家的激情却近乎于记忆的混乱。”本杰明想,收藏书籍、艺术品或杂项小饰品的人,完全听任各种各样的东西摆布。然而,一旦收藏品的一部分,收藏家通过看它们来重新体验他们对这些事物的热爱。在《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马尤斯木乃伊》中,杂乱和控制之间的紧张关系无处不在,该片由电影导演韦斯·安德森和他的搭档、作家和插画家朱曼·马卢夫策划。这个巨大的展览,包含超过400件物品,位于维也纳昆斯托里什博物馆(Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)传奇的Kunstkammer(自16世纪以来由哈布斯堡收藏的艺术和古玩室)的8个彩色编码的“房间”,展示了这对夫妇独特的品味和安德森。它是典型的杂乱,就像无数的宝藏一样。由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫策划的《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯》在昆士多利亚博物馆维也纳6021602img“棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊”展出,该馆由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫共同策划。托里施博物馆,维也纳,2018,安装视图。礼貌:维也纳昆士陀博物馆,二人分享珍藏者追逐稀有物品的快感。他们花了数月时间研究博物馆庞大的藏品和储藏室,找出最令人兴奋的东西。他们选择的多样性令人吃惊。那里有古埃及的动物雕塑和伊特鲁里亚神话英雄的雕像,奥地利王室的旧大师画,皇家珠宝,古老而现在没用的武器,历史乐器和地质感兴趣的物品,比如来自自然史的30颗翡翠绿色孔雀石。RY博物馆的矿石收集在玻璃橱柜里排列成五排。乔林和Malouf的一些选择不在混乱中,就像收藏家的热情,但媚俗。例如,Automaton,Job Riding A Tortoise(17世纪早期)就是由Hans Fronmüller the Younger或George Fronmüller the.制造的一种卷发玩具,其中由漆木制成的胡子男人骑着一只鼻孔系着缰绳的金铜龟。《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊》,由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫策划,昆士多利亚博物馆,维也纳,2018年,装置图。礼仪:维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫主编,2018年,维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,安装图。礼貌:维也纳昆斯多里什博物馆。然而,收藏家不仅仅是一个稀有物品的猎人,而且是一个对秩序一丝不苟的爱好者。安德森的典型挑剔表现在,例如,17至18世纪意大利半身像的布局,包括苏格拉底,恺撒大帝和卡托,按大小顺序排列,从小到大,再到后面。本杰明在收藏家的书架上发现的“秩序的轻微无聊”远非如此,安德森和马卢夫捕捉并搁置这些奇怪东西的方式明显地令人欣喜。然而,他们的方法是直观的,并且抵抗任何特定的策展方法。如果有任何方法是显而易见的,它结合了收藏家的激情与路德维希·维特根斯坦(Ludwig Wittgenstein)提出的“家庭相似性”的概念,路德维希·维特根斯坦是维也纳最有名的儿子之一。维特根斯坦说,家族相似是“一个复杂的相似网络”,比如身材、特征、眼色、步态或气质、“重叠和交叉”。安德森和马卢夫似乎把事情安排在简单的、朴素的类别中,包括类型、颜色、大小和形状。《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊》,由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫策划,昆士多利亚博物馆,维也纳,2018年,装置图。礼仪:维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫主编,2018年,维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,安装图。礼貌:维也纳昆斯多里什博物馆,安德森和马卢夫不仅向我们展示大小生物,还向我们展示人类崇高与卑微。在展览的最远处是画家巴特姆·Bona与矮人托梅勒(十六世纪下旬)的绘画。这两个人物在身高上确实有很大的不同,这无疑是有趣的。与此同时,历史画家朱利叶斯·维克多·伯杰(Julius Victor Berger)的《哈布斯堡宫殿的巨大赞助人》(1892)覆盖了整个天花板的整个长度,展示了从马西米利安一世皇帝到查理六世皇帝的六组赞助人,他们各自都是宫廷艺术家。在1号房间,我们看到了一幅画“赫苏特人”佩特鲁斯·冈萨维斯,一位西班牙贵族,患有多毛症,面部、颈部和头部都长满了头发,还有他的孩子们(大约1580年)。它和雅各布·弗雷尔的《窗前的女人》(1654)并列,这幅画展示了一个女人从窗户往里看的背面,还有塞缪尔·范·霍格斯特雷登的《男人从窗户往里看》(1653),一个胡子男人直盯着画空间。Gonsalvus家族被他们同时代的人认为是不太人性化的。安徒生和马卢夫将他们庄严的肖像放在画布旁的人们凝视画布之外的事物的画像旁边,包括观看者自己,从而允许观看者将16世纪的目光转向自己,凝视他们的不宽容。这使冈萨维斯重新焕发了他的尊严,使他从令人目不暇接的奇观变成了处于上流社会边缘的孤独而有价值的人。《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊》,由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫策划,昆士多利亚博物馆,维也纳,2018年,装置图。礼仪:维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫主编,2018年,维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,安装图。礼仪:维也纳昆斯多里什博物馆的色彩起到了组织作用,安德森和马卢夫将二至三世纪的翡翠绿、二至三世纪的罗马玻璃器皿和清朝瓷器放在二号房间里,但是当来自不同地方的单个物体放在旁边时,它们也会成形。彼此,就像木制的帕图Kotiate(1858),一种传统的毛利武器,就像短棍一样,被放在奥地利制造的20世纪小提琴旁边。然而,在其他时候,主题或隐含的效用似乎是一个范畴,例如在意大利《奥西尼炸弹》(1863)中神话力量概念的并列中,这在19世纪无政府主义者中很流行,在暗杀法国时用作手榴弹。Napoleon III皇帝,放置在四世纪的埃特鲁里亚铜大力神雕像在4房间旁边。很容易就把乔林和Malouf的方法简单化,把他们当作单纯的人。这样做会错过“Spitzmaus Mummy”如何迸发出发现的喜悦。当图书馆、书店、博物馆或美术馆的书架似乎无限延伸到远处时,它让我们重新体验我们第一次爱上事物的时刻。《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊》,由威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫策划,昆士多利亚博物馆,维也纳,2018年,装置图。礼仪:维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,威斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫主编,2018年,维也纳昆士多利亚博物馆,安装图。礼貌:维也纳昆斯多里什博物馆,安德森和马卢夫,但是,选择不说殖民历史博物馆的收购。虽然我们不应该抛弃这些问题,但馆长们在他们的选择中表现出令人钦佩的乐观,仿佛在暗示人类的创造力在各地都是一样的,并激发了同样的奇迹,像有名的棺材斯皮兹马乌斯(鼩鼠),一种来自托勒密时期的埃及的小木质石棺(4公元前世纪。时间已经把木头切成碎片,弄脏了,但这并不重要,因为这个生物在来世已经度过了大约2400年的快乐时光。这是一个真正的独特的展览中心。主要形象:韦斯·安德森和Juman Malouf。礼仪:维也纳昆士多利博物馆;照片:由韦斯·安德森和朱曼·马卢夫共同策划的拉斐拉·普罗威尔《棺材和其他宝藏中的斯皮兹马乌斯木乃伊》将在维也纳昆士多利博物馆展出,直到2019年1月13日。Max L.Feldman是奥地利维也纳的作家和艺术评论家。意见/马克斯·L·费尔德曼·韦斯·安德森·朱曼·马卢夫·维也纳·昆士多里什博物馆意见


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