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enjoy picks: Christian Philipp Müller

mumok collects

Christian Philipp Müller
Illegale Grenzüberquerungen, Grüne Grenze (Illegal Border Crossings, Green Border), 1993/2005
8 color photographs, 8 acrylic signs, silk screen on the back in black, 15 × 42 × 19 cm
Acquired with support of mumok Board 2013

The Austrian Pavilion at the 1993 Venice Biennale presented three artistic positions: Austrian Gerwald Rockenschaub, US-American Andrea Fraser, and the Swiss artist Christian Philipp Müller. Müller addressed the transformation of national identity, not least with reference to the recent fall of the Iron Curtain. In a side wing of the pavilion, he showed eight reproductions of historical prints, depictions of areas that were now along the borders between Austria and neighboring states. Müller also built a round table-like object using the most common types of wood in Austria that both embodied statistical data and also served as a surface on which to present merchandising articles designed by all three artists. In the “conservatory” (a concept he used ironically) Müller exhibited trees native to Austria and information on the history of their botanical migrations. The climate in the room and the inclusion of grassy areas around the pavilion by means of closed-circuit television also witnessed his interest in the crossing of borders and marginal zones in a number of ways. This work was also accompanied by a photo series that documented Müller’s own repeated illegal crossing of the “green border”—“a permeable border, an unprotected area.”

Naoko Kaltschmidt

The work is currently on view in the exhibition Limits of Our World (curated by Matthias Michalka) as part of Enjoy – The mumok Collection in Change.