Salto mortale Salto mortale
Salto mortale
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Roman Mensing


13. October 2001 – 6. January 2002

Salto mortale

Works by Ayse Erkmen, Dorothee Golz, Tamara Grcic, Berthold Hörbelt, Philip Metz, Tobias Rehberger, Bert Theis, Wolfgang Winter

For the first time, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture is showing contemporary art of international standing in its diverse series of special exhibitions.

Along with birth and life, death is the central concern of the exhibition Salto mortale, in which nine internationally renowned artists deal with the museum’s topic and its rich collection of cultural history in dealing with dying, death and remembering. From the funeral carriage to the hearse, from the wrought-iron cross to the granite stone, from the blessed smiling baroque angel to the Grim Reaper – the museum contains a vivid encyclopedia of burials from the Middle Ages to the present.

Humans have always tried to look beyond the boundaries of life, but they cannot get beyond the pictorial imagination, beyond metaphor. This threshold experience, the not knowing, has always fascinated and inspired artists.

The participating artists were invited to react to the museum in the middle of the collection, they were free to choose their locations, and an exciting dialogue between past and present was created.

The Mongolian Tent (1993) by Nam June Paik forms the conceptual center of the exhibition. Paik had a large number of 'living masks' made from his own face. In a Mongolian tent, eight of these masks form a circle closed by a Buddha statue sitting in front of an empty television case: a museum for his own work as well as a mausoleum for his own person.

The contributions of the younger generation of artists are newly projected and partly deal with exhibits from the collection or enter a dialogue with them through parallel presentation.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz