The Unknown at the Jewish Museum

Source: ORF Wien

Claire Fontaine The weeping wall inside us all ©Yanai Toister, Courtesy EP Privatstiftung. Source:

Beginning with May 24, 2012, the Jewish Museum Vienna will show photographs and installations from the collection of Eduard Pomeranz. The exhibit, “Foreigners everywhere” aims to investigate the influence of Jewish collectors on the Viennese art scene.

“It is an all-embracing collection of Jewish and non-Jewish, contemporary artists, said Alfred Stalzer, spokesperson of the Jewish Museum to Austrian broadcasting ORF. “Foreigners everywhere” shows some 100 works by 60 artists from around the world. This includes works by Serbian concept artists Marina Abramovic, the Austrian artist Franz West, and the Viennese activist Günter Brus. Their works are owned by the Jewish collector Eduard Pomeranz.

Wanderings and frontier crossings
The motto of the exhibit, “Foreigners everywhere” describes Jewish history and its frontier-crossing wanderings, Mr. Stalzer explained. The collection contains contemporary works since the 1960s, who were partly conceived as protest art against states and their borders. Serbian artist Marina Abramovic, for example, was living in Tibet, China, and with the Aborigines in Australia during the 1980s, which strongly influenced her performance art.

Tradition of Jewish Collections
With this exhibit, the museum wants to show that Jewish personalities helped develop Vienna’s art world. Families like Bloch-Bauer or Wittgenstein were already know in the early 20th century as active patrons and collectors of modern art. For example, they owned numerous paintings by Gustav Klimt.
Eduard Pomeranz was born in 1969 in Odessa, Ukraine and arrived in Vienna as a seven year old. The investment advisor is himself a practicing Jew. While his family had to fight religious suppression back in the Soviet Union, they were offered the opportunity to live their faith and culture openly. In the tradition of wealthy Jewish families, Eduard Pomeranz, too, began to collect and advocate contemporary art.

The collection mirrors the person
In 2007, Eduart Pomeranz and his wife Jana founded the “Pomeranz Collection”, which is based on a private foundation. The family wanted to build a collection of museum quality and support young artists. “There is no focus on specific media, but a general interest in the ways and means that artists mirror our time”, the spokesperson said.

The collection contains sculptures, installations, photographs and films, which address the crossing of frontiers, the foreign or demarcation lines of generations, and geography. The collection also mirrors the personality of its owner, who emigrated himself and is anchored in Jewish culture independent of borders or areas. The exhibit can be seen at the Jewish Museum until October 7, 2012.