As sections of the venerable institution are remodelled, Holzhausen’s camera captures glimpses of myriad day-to-day activities at the museum; from micro-dramas involving curators, art historians and guest services staff to a chief financial officer who thinks the ‘3’ incorporated in the design of new promotional materials looks “aggressive”. Beyond such dryly amusing vignettes, The Great Museum also invites deeper consideration; about the role of art in the construction of national identities and the evolving nature of cultural institutions in a new century of global tourism.
"Holzhausen observes diligent restorations and stressed backroom discussions, imperial uniforms and Breughel paintings... Akin to peeling back the layers of a revered masterpiece…it is a rhythmic, immersive experience." - Melbourne International Film Festival
The Great Museum
27 Feb - 8 Mar
An elegantly constructed, slyly sardonic and altogether illuminating peek behind the scenes of Austria’s world-famous Museum of Art History, director Johannes Holzhausen and his team spent more than two years shooting material at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Edited without off-screen narration, staged interviews or background music, this access-all-areas film demystifies the various processes involved in creating a setting conducive to the consumption and contemplation of art.