Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Führer’s Capital of Culture

Art and National Socialism in Linz and Upper Austria. Cultural and everyday life between 1938 and 1945 and what happened afterwards.

This is not the first time that Linz has been at the focus of the politics of culture on a European scale. In the Nazi era the capital of the Gau of Oberdonau was transformed from a small provincial town into an industrial metropolis that tried hard to curry favour with the Fuhrer.

“…what was actually illicit about a project that was designed to turn the city of his youth into a cultural metropolis?”, asks Albert Speer in his Memoirs. Yet what was cultural life in the era of National Socialism really like? What continuities remained in place after ist end? How final did the ruptures prove after 1945? These important aspects of the cultural politics of the Nazis and of regional cultural life are showcased by this exhibition, which is curated by a team of art and contemporary historians; the catalogue is a starting point for further reading.

The issues raised include what space for maneuvre was in fact available in art, literature, theatre and music, the strategies, positions and biographies of Upper Austria’s artists, and how they have dealt and are still dealing with the “legacy” of that era in terms of cultural politics.

The exhibition at Schloßmuseum was extended until March 29.

Download the audio guides (mp3) here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

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