Infinite Screen – The Babel Tower

Infinite Screen – The Babel Tower

As part of our programme on modern and contemporary art, we regularly invite internationally renowned artists to interact with our museum and the objects in our diverse collections. In October 2016, this series will be continued with the British potter and writer Edmund de Waal and his exhibition During the Night.

In parallel to this, the Austrian-Russian artist duo Arotin & Serghei will be presenting a large-format projection entitled INFINITE SCREEN – The Babel Tower from 22 September to 19 October 2016 on the façade of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in cooperation with the museum in progress art association. This action is taking place as part of the 125th anniversary of the construction of the museum on Maria-Theresien-Platz. The inspiration for the projection comes from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting The Tower of Babel from 1563. In the Middle Ages, the biblical myth of a gigantic structure in Babylon, which remained unfinished because of the confusion of languages, served as a symbol of divine punishment for mankind’s hubris.

Arotin & Serghei’s multimedia projection features constantly changing images and sounds. Other objects from our museum's collection are integrated in these light-cell images in addition to Bruegel's The Tower of Babel. The accompanying sound installation is based on Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and was designed in collaboration with the virtuoso pianist Mikhail Rudy.

I should like first to thank the two artists Arotin & Serghei for choosing the Kunsthistorisches Museum for their intermedia work, shown originally at the Vienna Konzerthaus (2013) and the Ars Electronica at the Brucknerhaus in Linz (2014).

I am also grateful to Kaspar Mühlemann Hartl, managing director of museum in progress, who has supported this project from the outset, for his great commitment towards the financing and technical production.

Senator Herbert Batliner has made a generous contribution to the KHM’s share of the project funding.

Finally, I should like to acknowledge all of the in-house staff involved in the project, as well as the sponsors and supporters of this fascinating installation.

Sabine Haag, General Director Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna