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Salieri Sulle Tracce di Mozart

  • Milan, Italy
  • 03/12/2004 – 30/01/2005
  • Da Ponte Institue
  • 430m2

Salieri sulle Tracce di Mozart was the third collaboration between the curator Herbert Lachmayer and the architects Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher. Previous collaborations included Wishmachine Worldinvention for the Vienna Kunsthalle in 1996 and Alles Schmuck for the Museum of Design, Zurich in 2000. These projects shared the same fundamental ambition to demonstrate new approaches to the spatial organisation of knowledge. The exhibition drew parallels between the life and work of Salieri and Mozart. Salieri’s career brought him to many of the same places and discoveries that the younger Mozart had previously reached, creating a fascinating dual narrative of knowledge and creative evolution. The exhibition placed these two iconic composers in the changing contexts of time and place.

The Palazzo Reale offered a typically Milanese sequence of symmetrical spaces on a central axis – this formation gave the exhibition its underlying structure. The protagonists are represented as ribbons, moving through spaces representative of Milan, Vienna and Paris and occasionally confronting one another. Like their music, each has a distinct character: the ribbon collecting all the exhibits belonging to Salieri is larger, calmer and more continuous, whereas Mozart’s ribbon is fragmented and much more agitated and multi-faceted. The written commentary, in large print, serves as a further layer of information. The ribbons squeeze through the doorways to indicate continuity and narrow cuts in the walls create links, shortcuts and cross-references. By liberating the subject from a regimented linear display in this way, the fluid exhibition design opened up new readings of the life of both composers, enabling their works to be understood and appreciated anew.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Design Team

Ergian Alberg, Laura Aquili, Rocio Paz


Herbert Lachmayer, Theresa Haigermoser, Reinhard Eisendle