POWER OF DISPLAY 69: Funeral Museum at Vienna Central Cemetery

schnittpunkt theory & practice of exhibitions

Tuesday, 21 July 2015, 6 pm

Martina Griesser and Monika Sommer (both of schnittpunkt) in conversation with Helga Bock (Funeral Museum) and Virgil Widrich (checkpointmedia)


In the public perception, death is as inseparable from Vienna as St. Stephen's Cathedral. The Funeral Museum, founded in 1967, owes its existence to the myth of the city's own particular relationship with the cult of the dead and the passion of a private collector. In 2014, the museum moves to the Central Cemetery and adopts a new strategy near the final resting places. It sees itself as a visitor centre, and shows various aspects of bereavement with the aid of 250 exhibits. schnittpunkt focuses on questions such as: Who is the museum's target group? What does it entail when a general contractor takes on the redesigning of a company museum? What role is played by multimedia methods of communication? What are the disparities between the nature of the exhibits and the audio and video installations and how can they be reconciled? Can a museum function with no supervision? Will the collection be expanded?


On the "power of display" tour, schnittpunkt sheds light on the structural and thematic dimensions of this multifaceted project and deals with aspects relating to curating and designing the presentation as well as the implications of overlaps in the way an artist and a curator understand their roles. What is the relationship here between the tasks of a curator, the overall artistic concept and individual works?