Craft as Myth Between Ideal and Real Life

29 April – 11 September 2022

© Sarah Mistura

The exhibition Craft as Myth. Between Ideal and Real Life is on view at the vorarlberg museum in Bregenz until 6 January, 2025.

A craft requires hands, materials and tools. What’s mythical about that? The exhibition deals with feelings and values that are generally associated with craftsmanship – honesty, regionality, quality. It also looks at attributions made to products and the expertise of their makers, which can even forge an identity for regions. The exhibition, with its many objects and interviews, is aimed at anyone who is interested in craftsmanship or wants to learn one of the many trades. After all, many questions revolve around the future of craftsmanship in the age of digitalisation. In 2025, the exhibition will travel to Dresden, where it will be on display at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Visual: Great Design Studio

The Craft as Myth. Between Ideal and Real Life focuses on universal values and messages associated with craft in the past, present, and future.

The show exposes romanticized notions as well as ideologies and reveals the emotions and affects, ideas and wishes the sphere of handcrafted produce evokes in the individual and society. This approach brings clarity and new momentum to many contemporary debates but also to the social dimension of design. The presentation comprises an array of objects, films, pictures, photographs, and artworks. The exhibition was developed in cooperation with the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the vorarlberg museum, Bregenz.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog in German language published by Verlag für moderne Kunst. With the combined knowledge of three museums and nuanced contributions, authors from various professions examine the myth of craftsmanship in all its facets. They shed light on aspects of the craft in an informed and multi-faceted manner. The catalog is available at the museum shop at a price of 24 euros.

With objects from numerous collections and organizations such as: Berlinische Galerie, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Sammlung zeitgenössische Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland sowie Vincent Systems GmbH, BraunGmbH, Werkraum Bregenzerwald, Freitag lab. Ag und Mono GmbH

With works by: Blixa Bargeld, Olivier van Herpt, Olaf Holzapfel, Sofia Hultén, Hella Jongerius, Abir Kobeissi, Bele Marx & Gilles Mussard, Jens Risch, August Sander, TSATSAS, Heidi Vogel-Hennig, Donata Wenders und Babette Wiezorek

Curators: Grit Weber (Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main), Kerstin Stöver and Ute Thomas (Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), and Theresia Anwander (vorarlberg museum, Bregenz).

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