Citites are built by humans. Yet they are more than just products of human imagination and labor: they are the frameworks in which our bodies exist. Urban architecture, its ideologies and economies, encounters between different cultures, identities, and social milieus constitute a terrain that informs the meaning and function of bodies. The exhibition examines this interprenetration between city and bodies in a study of the Generali Foundation Collection, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg's own holdings, and selected works on loan.
The modern world witnessed a spatial compaction of social life in the cities. The philosopher Henri Lefebvre, in his 1970 book The Urban Revolution, went so far as to describe a process of the "complete urbanization of society." The metropolis emerged as a key motif, stage, and engine of art and the pursuit of social change. In this connection, the body has been a central protagonist in photography and video and performance art since the 1960s. Artists have cast the "urbanized" body as a medium of political causes and existential concerns, arena of discipline and rebellion, and instrument of their exploration, occupation, and redefinition of urban spaces.