Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 - 17:00

Th 10:00 - 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 - 17:00

Library

Tu – We, Fr 10:00 - 18:00

Th 10:00 - 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa, 9/4/2021 18:00 - 0:00, Zurich's long night of museums

Su, 9/5/2021 0:00 - 2:00, Zurich's long night of museums

Mo, 9/13/2021 closed, Knabenschiessen

Tu, 12/21/2021 10:00 - 17:00

We, 12/22/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Th, 12/23/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Fr, 12/24/2021 10:00 - 14:00, Christmas Eve

Sa, 12/25/2021 10:00 - 17:00, Christmas

Su, 12/26/2021 10:00 - 17:00, St. Stephen´s Day

Mo, 12/27/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Tu, 12/28/2021 10:00 - 17:00

We, 12/29/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Th, 12/30/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Fr, 12/31/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Sa, 1/1/2022 10:00 - 17:00, New Year´s Day

Su, 1/2/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Saint Berchtold

Fr, 4/15/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Good Friday

Su, 4/17/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Easter

Mo, 4/18/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Easter Monday

Mo, 4/25/2022 closed, Sechseläuten

Su, 5/1/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Labour Day

Th, 5/26/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Ascension Day

Su, 6/5/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Whitsun

Mo, 6/6/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Whit Monday

Show all

Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 - 17:00

Th 10:00 - 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 - 17:00

Library

Tu – We, Fr 10:00 - 18:00

Th 10:00 - 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa, 9/4/2021 18:00 - 0:00, Zurich's long night of museums

Su, 9/5/2021 0:00 - 2:00, Zurich's long night of museums

Mo, 9/13/2021 closed, Knabenschiessen

Tu, 12/21/2021 10:00 - 17:00

We, 12/22/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Th, 12/23/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Fr, 12/24/2021 10:00 - 14:00, Christmas Eve

Sa, 12/25/2021 10:00 - 17:00, Christmas

Su, 12/26/2021 10:00 - 17:00, St. Stephen´s Day

Mo, 12/27/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Tu, 12/28/2021 10:00 - 17:00

We, 12/29/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Th, 12/30/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Fr, 12/31/2021 10:00 - 17:00

Sa, 1/1/2022 10:00 - 17:00, New Year´s Day

Su, 1/2/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Saint Berchtold

Fr, 4/15/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Good Friday

Su, 4/17/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Easter

Mo, 4/18/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Easter Monday

Mo, 4/25/2022 closed, Sechseläuten

Su, 5/1/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Labour Day

Th, 5/26/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Ascension Day

Su, 6/5/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Whitsun

Mo, 6/6/2022 10:00 - 17:00, Whit Monday

Show all

The exhausted man

National Museum Zurich | 16.10.2020 - 19.12.2020
published on 15.10.2020

The National Museum Zurich takes a stroll through the European cultural history of the male. Eyewitnesses from the past 2,000 years, drawn from philosophy, society and medicine, illustrate the concept of maleness and the struggle surrounding it.

Throughout history, men have created countless heroic ideals for themselves: radiant victors, autocratic creators, images of God. If we take a closer look, these ideals often turn out to be a task too big, ultimately overwhelming the man. Since ancient times, the preferred arenas for demonstrating one’s masculinity have been war, technology, politics and sport, but also the broader field of marriage, family and sexuality.

Featuring around 200 objects from cultural history and art history, including precious items on loan from London, Vienna and Paris, the exhibition examines how ideals of masculinity have changed over the centuries. But the items on display also demonstrate how the drama of idealisation is repeated and how the fate of Zinédine Zidane, for example, is not so different from that of the Greek priest Laocoön. Laocoön had sex on the altar of Apollo, and was punished for this act of arrogance. He fought in vain against the snakes the Greek god had sent to wreak his vengeance. And because even French footballing ace Zidane was not immune to the error of pride, and felled his adversary with a vulgar headbutt at the moment of being overwhelmed, the two men’s stories are more similar than may appear at first glance. A plaster cast of the ancient Laocoön sculptural group and a contemporary video piece on Zinédine Zidane form the starting point of a densely structured and associative exhibition on the essence of man. But the female perspective hasn’t been left out, with the examination of maleness resurfacing in pieces by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Maria Lassnig and Sarah Lucas.

At the other end of the exhibition, the famous sleeping hermaphrodite closes the historical circle. This life-size ancient masterpiece, with its male and female attributes, has been igniting smouldering fantasies and desires for centuries. The possibilities of an expanded concept of gender self-awareness are given visual form, leaving exhibition visitors with the hope that it will one day be possible to break free from the traditional role models handed down through the ages.

‘The exhausted man’ is the fourth exhibition at the National Museum Zurich curated by Stefan Zweifel and Juri Steiner, after ‘1900-1914. Foray into Happiness’ (2014), ‘Dada Universal’ (2016) and ‘Imagine 68. The Spectacle of the Revolution’ (2018). On their stroll through the history of European culture and its representation of man, the two guest curators take the Caucasian male as a test subject. The result is a wide-ranging and perceptive, but also paradoxical quest for the truth of what it means to be a man.

Images

Laocoön Group, plaster cast from the early 19th century based on the ancient marble original in the Vatican.

Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Skulpturhalle

Juergen Teller, Self-portrait for Business of Fashion, London 2015, Ed.1/3, giclee print, 152.4 x 241.3 cm.

Juergen Teller

Thomas Hirschhorn mit Marcus Steinweg, Map of Headlessness, 2011, mixed media, 401 x 241 x 5 cm.

Musée Jenisch Vevey, photo: Florian Kleinefenn © Thomas Hirschhorn / 2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

Andy Warhol, Oxidation Painting, 1978, various materials on copper - metallic paint on canvas, 198 x 528 cm.

Bischofberger Collection, Männedorf-Zurich / © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / 2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

Andy Warhol, Pietà relief sculpture, 1976 / 1986, gelatin silver print, 25,8 x 35,5 cm.

Musée national d‘art moderne/Centre de création industrielle © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / 2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

Roman Signer, Portrait Gallery, 1993, photographs, oil drums, bell buttons, batteries.

Kunsthaus Zug, Schenkung Peter und Christine Kamm, Inv.-Nr. 1030.1-16. Photo: Swiss national museum

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

Swiss National Museum press contact

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