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Beyond Seeing

Beyond Seeing

Art that brings together the blind and the sighted

Beyond seeing Karner
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Admont Abbey Museum collects internationally important contemporary art and at the core of the collecting activities is the commissioning of works for the in-house MADE FOR ADMONT series. Since 2001 and as part of the ‘collection in progress’ project, 27 artists have created at the behest of the Abbey artworks that can be appreciated by blind, visually impaired and sighted persons alike for the ‘BEYOND SEEING ‒ art that brings together the blind and the sighted’ collection.

This artistic project that is unique in Europe opens up new routes of access to contemporary art. To mark the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the collection, it was put on display to the general public in Admont Abbey Museum in 2012. In 2013/14, the collection was exhibited for the first time outside Austria in the Contemporary Art Centre Winzavod in Moscow, where it garnered extensive praise and generated various additional effects.

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What all the works in this special collection have in common is the fact that they are not designed to be primarily appreciated through visual effects. They can be experienced not only by sighted persons but also by blind persons: each artwork can be physically explored and understood. Of course, they each have their own different form that expresses an individual and sometimes surprising aesthetic intent. The scope of the artworks that have been commissioned to date ranges from the purely sculptural through highly complex multimedia works to combined photo/braille concepts that can only be fully appreciated if blind and sighted observers collaborate and put together their perceptions. Blind people are enabled to participate in the interpretation of contemporary art. Between sighted and blind individuals, a fascinating process of ART SHARING and SPACE SHARING occurs that extends boundaries on both sides. Sighted visitors will find that light-hearted and unusual avenues of access to art and what it is like to be blind have been opened up to them. Barriers disappear and the perception of what constitutes art becomes fluid.

The potential of this collection in terms of what it can be used for and what it can do in the social and artistic contexts is considerable. Working closely with blind and sighted persons, extensive know-how and innovative concepts have been gleaned, systematically processed and continuously developed. Our collection is also available for loan to other institutions and should you wish to enquire about this, please contact our chief curator Michael Braunsteiner.

Team: Michael Braunsteiner, Curator Barbara Eisner-B., Co-curator with responsibility for scholarly supervision and documentation

With works by: Thomas Baumann, Wolfgang Becksteiner, Adi Brunner, Hannelore Demel-Lerchster, Johannes Deutsch, Manfred Erjautz, Heribert Friedl, Matthias Gommel, Michael Gumhold, Stefan Gyurko, Maria Hahnenkamp, Julie Hayward, Tomas Hoke, Anna Jermolaewa, Karl Karner, Michael Kienzer, Karl Leitgeb, Michael Maier, David Moises, Werner Reiterer, Constanze Ruhm, Emil Siemeister, Gustav Troger, Norbert Trummer, Martin Walde, Hans Winkler, Fabio Zolly.

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(up from 8th Century)
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