PREVIEW: I wer' narrisch! A century of sport

March 13, 2021 - January 9, 2022

Exciting duels, the joy of moving or cheering along – sport thrills us in many ways. For a century, sports have been shaping and changing our society, whether with regard to our body image, concepts of "fairness" and "competition", or collective memories of sporting successes. In five thematic areas, the exhibition highlights a century of sports enthusiasm and invites visitors to take part.

In the 1920s, sport became a mass phenomenon. The eight-hour day brought more free time, making it possible for more people to engage in sports activities. The new medium of radio broadcast competitions into living rooms and the athletic body became a much-photographed ideal. Sport can serve public health policy, but it can also be a political instrument of authoritarian regimes. In many of the newly formed clubs, criteria such as ethnicity, class and gender determined who belonged to the sports community and who did not. It was not until after the Second World War that a more liberal attitude prevailed. In the subsequent decades, fitness fads and trend sports have complemented the traditional disciplines. Today, the battle to set records is broadcast on television and the internet, entertaining audiences of millions – a reason why sport is also now big business.

Enthusiasm for sports extends far beyond the athletes themselves: tens of thousands cheer on their stars in stadiums. In top-level sports, the aim is to overcome the physical limits of performance. But sport also means community and team spirit, whether in the form of a sports club or fan club.

Above all, sport means being active. This is why one third of the exhibition space offers visitors a chance to take part: seven interactive stations, designed together with Sportland Niederösterreich, put skill and sporting talent to the test.

Curators: Bernhard Hachleitner, Christian Rapp, Benedikt Vogl and Andrea Thuile


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