Barbara Holub explored the area of the “Seestadt Aspern” being developed on a former airfield – a fallow terrain before the beginning of construction work that inhabitans had spontaneously begun to cultivate – in four tours through the outskirts, looking for remaining and future spaces for the unplanned. The fiction of a future society, The Blue Frog Society, resulting from research of the terrain – a copse situated on the fringes of the new development area and still untouched by investor interests – provided the background for the artist’s tours. The projects of Am Stadtrand (On the Outskirts) focused on the idea of a new species that might carry certain qualities or re-evaluated notions into the future which otherwise could not be put into action. How can contradictions and ambiguities that constitute today’s heterogeneous urban life be admitted, how its conflicts be taken into account? How can critical theories be translated into activities that, transcending the context and discourse of art, pervade society?
In parallel to these tours, Barbara Holub realized a series of billboards subverting the motifs of the “Seestadt Aspern” marketing campaign featuring representatives of the young, successful and dynamic clientele envisaged as the preferred group of future residents. The drawings were based on photographs the artist had received in response to a public call concerning specific situations in Vienna’s twenty-second district.
The one-year project was rounded off with the publication of Holub’s book found, set, appropriated (Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2010), which established a context between drawings describing unplanned appropriations of public urban spaces in various cities all over the world and the billboards in Aspern. The contributions to the artist’s tours through the outskirts were transformed into the art radio piece The Blue Frog Society Walks the Moon (Ö1, November 14, 2010) and added to the publication as a CD. The radio play offers a possibility to listen up on the fringes reshaped by new urban development measures.
*1959 in Stuttgart (DE), lives and works in Vienna.
Partners and sponsors
Municipal District Office of Donaustadt/Section for Cultural Affairs, Aspern 3420 Development AG