A pleasure to eat 2021

To eat with pleasure

An exhibition about pests, eating and being eaten


The passionate commitment "TO EAT" is the motto for the 2016 exhibition season at Admont Abbey, which ran until 31 October 2016. Voracious "bookworms" were at work in the abbey library, driven not by a hunger for knowledge but by a craving for paper and bone glue. The pests were professionally exterminated. But that was just the beginning of the real work. Book after book, page after page was examined, cleaned and, if necessary, painstakingly restored over the past season. This theme forms the starting point for the multifaceted special exhibition in 2016, with several areas of the museum looking at the love of food from different perspectives.

Baroque portico

The ravages of time gnaw at everything. Transience is a challenge. It is unchangeable, but also has its charms. The cycle of life is visualised in the exhibition section in the baroque columned hall by means of infested historical books and natural history specimens. It becomes clear what a challenge it is in everyday museum life to protect centuries-old books and preserve them for future generations. Visitors gain an insight into the work of pest controllers and experienced restorers. What kind of pests are there? Which habitat do they prefer? Loans from the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Görlitz are used as scientific illustrative material. The special exhibition ZUM FRESSEN GERN is thus an interesting and harmonious reappraisal of the library's pest infestation between art and nature.

Berlin artists Sebastian Köpcke and Volker Weinhold draw their culinary inspiration from the museum's rich collection. In large-format photographs, they create still lifes that use our museum collection items as ingredients for a sumptuous menu in splendid detail. In these carefully staged images, some familiar things appear in a new light. Echoes of the kitchen and hunting still lifes of the Renaissance and Baroque periods have been carefully chosen. Objective reduction and photographic precision, however, clearly refer to the present. At the same time, the photographs build a bridge from the cultural-historical exhibition to contemporary art. They once again emphasise the cross-thematic conceptual aspirations of the museum in Admont Abbey.

A pleasure to eat 2021

Natural History Museum

Numerous approaches to the theme of the year can also be found in the Natural History Museum with its numerous specimens of edible and voracious animals. The installation with the 243 wax fruit specimens by Father Constantin Keller (1778-1864) is particularly impressive. This year's exhibition features an impressive loan from the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The "Leaping Lion" emphasises the aspect of "eating and being eaten" in an impressive way. There is no way round it.

Manuscript Room

Even in the biblical writings, animals represent an essential part of creation and are closely related to humans. The manuscript room contains a selection of books from the Abbey's collection on the subject of "De naturis animalium - On the characteristics of animals". You can find out about the symbolic, scientific and medical significance of animals, their husbandry and beneficial use from the perspective of our ancestors.

Artistic intervention at the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Götz Bury vividly conveys his motto "Living well without nothing". He has created his own version of the Wunderkammer in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It stands in an astonishing dialogue with the treasure chamber. The source material for this magnificent "gala dinner" was old kitchen and household appliances, discarded washing machine drums, kitchen sink trays, hoover pipes and doors, as well as other "recycled" disposable items.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Cooking is probably the oldest creative activity of mankind. But let the Museum of Contemporary Art surprise you with other aspects of eating and being eaten, noble and bizarre dishes, enraptured and crazy perspectives on food! Would you have expected that? Admont monks acting as "One Minute Sculptures" with edibles? Or spaghetti noodles as Mikado sticks? Ants that remove and eat away at sugar architectures and integrate the building material into the food chain? Or how about this: X-ray computer tomographies of Big Macs and hamburgers?

A kitchen the way women want it? A cookery performance video "in which a hard-to-digest book is cooked and eaten"? Script images made from cow dung and "striking" animal food?

Where is the seriousness? The relationship between food and ecology can also be thematised on the basis of "fast food". The modern food industry, combined with industrial agriculture and the consumer desire for cheap, readily available food, has created a spiral of resource destruction. Furthermore: A 3000 km road trip of 20 tonnes of tomatoes from Turkey to Vienna caricatures the madness of our consumer world. A "Host album" draws parallels between banal actions in the kitchen and the ceremonies of the Mass. Listen to table talks on topics as essential as daily bread: hunger, escape, loss, death, birth, hope, dialogue, help, arrival. NEW is a table talk by Lena Knilli on the controversial topic of refugees!

The foundation of an artist's "bourgeois existence" as a wine merchant is represented, and what about the interplay between art, science and nature? Even the investigation of the feeding behaviour of beetles or the communication processes of bacteria can become the starting point for image production. Life creates life depicts life.

Of course, there is also a huge, hungry silhouette crocodile - and no man-eaters, no wild pub scenes and no hunting scenes! On the other hand, the miniature depictions of Asian food scenarios have a really calming effect. Go ahead and eat! And always remember: we are made of what we eat!

You can gain an insight into the museum opening in the ARF video:

With works by: Götz Bury, Johannes Deutsch, Markus Dressler, Christian Eisenberger, Maria Hahnenkamp, Lisa Huber, Alfred Klinkan, Lena Knilli, Sebastian Köpcke & Volker Weinhold, Edgar Lissel, Alois Mosbacher, Anton Petz, Michael Pisk, Wendelin Pressl, Hannes Priesch, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Kurt Ryslavy, Hubert Schmalix, Ernst Schmid, Deborah Sengl, Gabriele Sturm, Suvat, Erwin Wurm, Fabio Zolly.