Mind the gAPP-Museum of Stolen Art: reminiscing, collecting and curating missing artworks
With the simultaneous rise of artwork digitalization and art theft, the focus of this master's thesis lies at the intersection of these polemicized cluster issues. Throughout my thesis, I analyze phenomena such as virtuality, storage, and curating digital(ized) artworks in an era of hypermodernity by focusing on an art project, the Museum of Stolen Art (MOSA), a virtual reality application multimedia artist Ziv Schneider. Situated somewhere between fact and virtual fantasy, the MOSA deals with
... he MOSA deals with the relentless struggle to compensate for the loss of their valuable artifacts. The thesis deals first with the issue of what type of artistic expression MOSA is, second, for what purpose MOSA possibly could have been created, and, finally, how and to what extent Schneider succeeded in conveying the message MOSA was intended to carry through established curatorial practices. MOSA is the artist's pocket museum of miniatures, an immersive, narrated, virtual exhibition experience in form of a VR smartphone application aimed at transforming spectators' perception and awareness of stolen artworks. Schneider selects artwork reproductions from various archiving databases of missing artworks with the intention of compensating for the inevitable loss of chosen artworks and thus the symbolic value of cultural property caused by theft, looting, fraud, or structural phenomena. Schneider rearranges and presents the selected immaterial matter in a highly curated manner to induce prosthetic memories in the visitors of MOSA in hopes of prompting them to take action against the crime of art theft in handling the missing artworks either on- or offline.