Museum Europäischer Kulturen
To coincide with Berlin's gay pride celebrations in June, the Motzstrasse Festival and Christopher Street Day, the newly acquired sculpture 'Conchita Wurst on the Crescent' will go on display in the Showcase of Current Issues at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen. The Showcase is a recurring display format in the museum, featuring topical themes of relevance to the museum and its collection. The near-life-sized wooden sculpture was made by the Berlin-based artist Gerhard Goder and depicts the fictional persona Conchita Wurst on a crescent. In his choice of subject, Goder was inspired by the unexpected victory of drag artist Thomas Neuwirth, alias Conchita Wurst, at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Goder views his work as a document of the changing times that captures the ongoing and challenging discussions on gay rights currently being held in societies across Europe.
For Elisabeth Tietmeyer, director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin's Museum Europäischer Kulturen, the sculpture not only stands for tolerance and acceptance of other ways of life, it is also emblematic of certain traditional religious tropes - in this case the Madonna on the Crescent - that are woven through the museum's historical collection. According to Tietmeyer, 'The acquisition can be seen as a museum intervention. In the guise of tradition, the piece of sculpture encourages the viewer to reflect on ways of life in European society and understand new cultural phenomena.'