Located in the idyllic valley of the river Inn amongst the remnants of a medieval monastery and set against the backdrop of alpine mountains, now due to open in 2018 is MUZEUM SUSCH: a new addition to the matrix of experimentation and novel approaches to art in response to the enchanting surroundings of Engadin.
The former vicarage, the hospice and the economic building were parts of a rural monastery founded in 1157 after Flüela Pass, on the pilgrim’s path to Rome and Santiago de Compostela. A brewery building was added in the 19th century. To house MUZEUM SUSCH the existing structures are subtly restored and recombined in a complex form, an inspiring environment for artistic production and mediation, a diverse ensemble encouraging exploratory journeys for visitors and introducing spaces for exhibitions and experimental presentations, performances and lectures as well as a residency programme.
MUZEUM SUSCH is a space for art discourse and research relying on the laboratory character of a Kunsthalle. Founded by Grażyna Kulczyk, it is specifically (but not exclusively) informed by a deep understanding of woman artists and seeks an emotional connection to art as a matrilineage of the sometimes omitted, overlooked or misread. It aims to contribute to the recognition and greater visibility of artists and artworks which resonate these concerns which have informed a collection focussed on conceptual and female artists with a natural input of Central Eastern European art that is still underrepresented in reunited Europe. Thus one of the central qualities of MUZEUM SUSCH and its activities is the redefinition of the canonical and the marginalized, not as a dominating force silencing others but as an influential voice for making other voices heard.
Being simultaneously a site of contemplation, research and intervention, MUZEUM SUSCH is defined by an open series of site-specific works by contemporary artists who individually engage with the architecture and particular structure, and with each new addition shaping the evolving character of the site. The temporary, thematic exhibitions are staging choreographies for invited works in relation to these permanent installations, and in interplay with these site-specific settings they offer a sense of time and location which adds to the procedural thinking and the sensual approach of exhibitions making.
The exterior of the museum mirrors the internal architecture, taking up the historical and geological approach of the main brewery building that was hewn from the rock. An immersive, external hiking trail introduces complex levels of engagement with the landscape, not trying to impose an artificial garden design but to enhance the existing site by letting the surrounding mountain panorama emphasise the sensory perception of the museum’s architectural impact as well as grounding the presence within both historical and natural borders.