Art on the Steinberg: Cartoons with a good pinch of humor & twinkle in the eye
There is definitely more than one grain of truth to the adage “Laughter is the best medicine”. What popular wisdom has long taken for granted, has now been clearly demonstrated in scientific studies: Intensive, frequent laughter activates a wide range of biochemical processes within the body, with positive benefits both for body and mind. That said, this year’s cartoon exhibition at the Steinberghaus in Altaussee makes an important contribution to everybody’s good health, taking a humorous look at the topic of “OVERTOURISM??”.
The exhibition series “Art on the Steinberg”
It isn’t only because of the art treasures rescued from the Nazis during World War II that Altaussee is acclaimed for its close ties to the world of art and culture. Protecting art, preserving art and promoting artistic creativity are all integral to the mission statement of “Art on the Steinberg”, an exhibition series created in 2010. Art has now been exhibited on the first floor of the Steinberghaus at Salzwelten Aussee for over ten years. Since 2015, the focus has been on critical, witty cartoons on rotating themes, sketched by the hands of the best international cartoon artists. This form of flowering creativity is intended as a counterpoint to the culture-destroying inclinations of the Nazis. During regular opening times of Salzwelten Altaussee, the exhibition at the Steinberghaus may be visited free of charge.
2021: Critical witty cartoons on the topic of “OVERTOURISM??”
This year’s exhibition is entitled “Overtourism??”. But how did an exhibition intended to be humorous, in times such as these, when tourism is stuck in the middle of an enormous crisis, ever come up with such a title? “Actually, it’s easily explained”, says exhibition curator Michaela Maria Fuchs. “When we originally planned and conceived the exhibition in 2019, the floods of tourists in places like Hallstatt and Salzburg, not to mention the gigantic cruise ships dominating the lagoon in Venice, were a very hot topic. Corona, not quite yet. After the opening of the exhibition, scheduled for spring 2020, had to be canceled for all-too-familiar reasons, we decided to remain true to the original theme (for, as developments now indicate, overtourism will continue to be a pressing issue moving forward), though now with the added nuance of two question marks – hence our current title, ‘Overtourism??’”. That said, in 2021 some 100 drawings by the best cartoonists in the German-speaking world now ponder questions such as: “Will we soon be able to walk over water on our holidays? Do animals also take vacations? What’s the real story behind low-cost air travel? What is a tourism destination without tourists? Are locals on their own WC a selfie-motif?” The answers to these questions, and more, are well worth taking a look at – certain to provoke “healthy” bursts of laughter from visitors time and again!
4 rooms | 4 groups of artists | 4 countries
On the first floor of the Steinberghaus, three different artists and a group of artists representing four different countries present their humorous works in four rooms. One room features cartoons by “hometown boy” Wolfgang Menschhorn from Bad Goisern, whose cartoon with the evocative title “Lokus” also serves as the illustration for the official exhibition poster. “Many things we still found particularly humorous in 2019, today give us pause for thought”, says Fuchs, remarking about a cartoon by Philipp Pamminger depicting a Hallstatt left devoid of people. Pamminger is a member of Lohnzeichnergilde OÖ, a creative group of illustrators from Upper Austria, also including the likes of Dino Breneis, Wolfgang Hauer, Andrea Hörndler, Milan Ilić, Andrea Lehner, Carina Lindmeier, Marlene Wagenhofer, Johanna Wögerbauer and Christian Vogel. Collectively, these artists fill one room with their various illustrations. They are joined in two further rooms by works by Swiss artist Regina Vetter as well as the cartoons of Dorthe Landschulz, who lives in France and Germany. And so it is that, in the upper rooms of the Steinberghaus in Altausee, we find a diverse, witty potpourri of framed pieces, large-format prints, a film production, though also installations certain to provoke a chuckle or two, and ideal for a selfie photo. Twinkles in the eye included, no editing necessary …
A word rap 😉
with exhibition curator Michaela Maria Fuchs:
- I am … a creature of culture, maybe the ORIGINAL.
- I love … new, creative, exciting ideas in art, culture, fashion and cuisine that are simply different.
- I get annoyed by … people who, without providing a reason or suggestion for improvement, tell you they don’t like something.
- I get a chuckle out of … the reaction of many people to my look, since I generally wear a mismatched style, two completely different shoes, along with clothes to match.
- I find sad … ungratefulness and monotonousness.
- Humor is important because … nothing works without it.
- The last time laughter brought tears to my eyes was … walking down a busy street sporting my mismatched shoes, people turned around, went on their way and then (not intending to be mean) cracked up. It made everybody smile.
My favorite joke: … well, there’s actually also a joke museum in this cartoon exhibition, take a look for yourself!
Location: Steinberghaus, Salzwelten Altaussee
Opening times: during regular opening times of Salzwelten Altaussee
With cartoons by: Regina Vetter (CHE), Dorthe Landschulz (FRA, DEU), Wolfgang Menschhorn (AUT) and Lohnzeichnergilde OÖ (AUT) with Dino Breneis, Wolfgang Hauer, Andrea Hörndler, Milan Ilić, Andrea Lehner, Carina Lindmeier, Philipp Pamminger, Marlene Wagenhofer, Johanna Wögerbauer and Christian Vogel
Curator: Maria Fuchs (www.kulturfux.com), Gampern
Graphics: Tanja Cerwenka, The Redhouse Web & Design, Bad Ischl
Large-format prints and mounting: imagedesign Lammer, Pinsdorf
Miscellaneous installation work: Team Salzwelten GmbH
Commissioned by: Salzwelten GmbH