The exhibition, edited by the American director and recognized by the Lebanese illustrator and costume designer, brings exactly what promises to brand Wes Anderson. It is a collection of partially curious objects and artifacts of KHM Wien – refined with impressive curiosity and a line of bizarre: the ingredients that have already given the directors Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums awards for their films.
From juvenile to main role
One of the 423 items that the couple, dating from 2013, was selected from all 14 collections and four million KHM exhibits over a period of two years, is the coffin of an Egyptian-Oriental collection. The latter is part of Andersonsken's "Shrew mummy in a coffin and other treasure" show, which also reminds of the British children's books of Roald Dahl, one of 49-year-old filmmakers ("The Fantastic World of Mr. Fox").
Usually, however, the coffin is not exposed clearly in the side cabinet of the Egyptian collection. Much of the subject matter originates from the museum's warehouse and is first introduced to KHM because the items have never been selected for performances due to lack of meaning.
Far from the proven canon of art
The confused collection of artifacts also includes a necklace of ceramic beads made of ancient Egypt and a 5,000-year-old wooden monkey from Indonesia. One area is decorated only in green, and the other is dedicated to various childrens pictures of judo culture, including children's armor.
For Texas director fans, it's clearly a likely reference to their film worlds, where children often behave like adults and vice versa. KHM has shown the show for the first time in September: a movie trailer was released – along with Anderson's music.
The fact that the artistic couple moves far from the tried and tested art canon with his exhibition quickly becomes apparent. Traditional KHM rooms are an ideal contrast to the game's assembled show. Thus, for example, the images of the old masters of the art history beside those unknown artists. "Wes and Juman are people who tend to go in the opposite direction when they see a great historical picture," Curator Jasper Sharp says about the selection process: "It was a challenge to give up control over our collections."
Anderson followed Ruscha and Waal
"However, we hope to set the light at some corners along the way, which are too tedious for a nice review," says Anderson in the exhibition catalog. "He managed to turn our look at the collections on their heads," says General Director KHM Sabine Haag.
"Shining Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures" will be exhibited from 6 November 2018 to 28 April 2019 from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursday to 21:00 at the Kunsthistorisches Wien Museum.
This is the third time that KHM offered a well-known, but non-specialist artist an opportunity to create an exhibition from comprehensive home collections. Teacher Ed Ruscha started in 2012, then British ceramist and author Edmund de Waal with the "Overnight" 2016 exhibition. Anderson's exhibition will be available from October 2019 to be seen at the Prada Foundation in Milan.
Aesthetics that overwhelm the world
In any case, KHM managed another shot in the current show. The couple debuted at exhibitions even attracting Hollywood stars like Bill Murray and Tilde Swinton, who also attended the Vienna premiere of "Suspirio" in Vienna. The award-winning director is considered to be one of the leading personalities of popular culture, which also has a great influence outside the Chinese screen – from art, fashion to social networks. For example, the Instagram account "Accidental Wes Anderson" now has half a million subscribers. The principle behind it: people send pictures that match the aesthetics of the director.
"Much of the modern culture is based on the idea of careful painting of its own image," quoted critics Danny Leigh of the British Film Institute in Guardian. Anderson's popularity in social networks is not surprising, for he has been the master of curation for years. "That's one thing Anderson pioneered: the idea that it's all deeply conscious and deeply adapted," says Leigh.
Much of his films are recognizable with love with music, a careful composition of recordings and expensive costumes – his style has even shaped the entire subcategory of American film. And this attention to detail, as well as the new, dreamlike composition of the KHM objects – although it may surprise the artist's connoisseurs – make the charm of "Spitzmaus mummy in a coffin and other treasure".