Who we are

2013 is a special year for the Generali Foundation, which celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. Occasion enough for us to invite everyone interested in issues of contemporary art and culture to join us for what we hope will be lively debates.

The collection, the exhibitions, the institution that is the Generali Foundation and its history: these are points of departure for questions we think about, questions we want to discuss on this blog with everyone who is interested.

The Generali Foundation’s collection reaches back to the late 1950s; its core consists of works representing conceptual tendencies of the 1960s and 1970s as well as art by conceptually oriented contemporary artists. Among our holdings, that is to say, are works that reflect the essential accomplishments of conceptual art: the turn away from the focus on the object (dematerialization) and toward the primacy of language (philosophy of language, structuralism) or the idea; the relativization of authorship (Roland Barthes) and the preference for amateurism (deskilling) as well as its revision; process-based and performative registers; and artistic positions that analyze and critically scrutinize the role of media (information technology) and social parameters.

Our exhibitions focus on introducing audiences to international positions in contemporary art. The exhibition and event programs operate along the interface between artistic action, forms of the production and display of art, and discourses in the sciences and society.

Another important component of our activities concerns the production of publications that seek to foster scholarly exploration of the art, which is discussed with a view to current issues in cultural and visual studies, media and film theory, but also postcolonial and feminist debates.

In the Study Center, part of our premises at Wiedner Hauptstraße 15, Vienna, visitors are invited to use the library, which holds around 14,500 catalogues, works of theory, art journals, and a textual archive. In addition, two terminals in our media library provide research access to the films and videos of artists represented in the collection, including Gottfried Bechtold, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Harun Farocki, Elke Krystufek, Gordon Matta-Clark, Martha Rosler, Heimo Zobernig, and many others. Patrons may also recall documentation of all events held at the Generali Foundation since the 1990s—lectures, symposia, conversations with the artists, guided tours, and performances.

You are invited to participate in the (controversial) debates on this blog!

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