Eight art hosts extended an invitation to their municipal housing estate and to their own apartments, occasioning an encounter of art and artists with residents. In 2014, the initiative Kunstgastgeber Gemeindebau (Municipal Housing Estates as Hosts for Art) focused on what makes a collective: a team, a working group, an ensemble, a task force coming together to implement a goal agreed on beforehand by all participants—or not. The art projects were so created as to engage the immediate environment and were inspired by an exchange of ideas between artists and art hosts.
What makes Kunstgastgeber Gemeindebau special is the close connection between sites and actors. It makes things happen that only exist because all participants work together in a specific place for a specific period of time. The miracle is that this starts a process which, in spite of all imponderables, uncertainties, circumstances, impossibilities, and other obstacles, big or small, looks logical in retrospect and even conclusive in its actual implementation. Step by step, associations and ideas, passions and interests, expertise and experience bring forth a concrete idea to be eventually admired.
A succession of performance interventions, situational immediacies, and site-specific stagings induces a momentary exceptional state in the moment of experience. With the audience trying to generate references, the classical questions of why, what for, how, and where do not only reflect the impossibility of categorizing the project but frequently also the loss of the ability to experience things as they are. The initiative Kunstgastgeber Gemeindebau thus mainly serves to encourage inspiration without calling for interpretation.
Text: Gerald Straub
A song that gives a sense of home
Waltraud Wallner hosting Irene Coticchio
It was their love of music which brought together Waltraud Wallner, a native of the Waldviertel region, and the Sicilian Irene Coticchio in the first place. While Coticchio, a singer and performance artist by trade, is used to being on stage and singing before an audience, Waltraud Wallner ventured to do so for the first time ever in this art host project entitled Con/certo.
Expertise that is useful for the collective
Hedwig Biskupski hosting Sylvia Eckermann
The art host project of Sylvia Eckermann and Hedwig Biskupski was based on a series of conversations which showcased the host’s different interests and areas of expertise. The art host’s living room was transformed into a stage.
A letter that bridges distances
Ertugrul Bayfidan hosting Michael Höpfner
In August and September 2014, Michael Höpfner traveled for four weeks to Changtang, Tibet, and Qinghai, China, for an art project from where he started out on a three-hundred-kilometer tour on foot through barren, deserted regions. In the weeks that followed, Ertugrul Bayfidan received several mysterious letters from the artist, strange picture postcards, photographs of wide empty planes and cryptic landscape drawings. Hung up in the upper sections of the host’s living-room walls, the distant places of desire moved closer to one another.
A balloon that gives weight to light talk
Sylvia Wotruba hosting Elvedin Klačar
Sylvia Wotruba and Elvedin Klačar made talking about community life the subject of their project. The phrase that “words have no weight” was supposed to be turned to its opposite and loaded with weight through the activation and participation of the visitors. Sylvia Wotruba and Elvedin Klačar jointly reviewed different pairs of notions which they considered to be necessary conditions for a good community.
An electric car that takes the community ahead
Wolfgang Sator hosting Kamen Stoyanov
For the opening of the 2014 Kunstgastgeber Gemeindebau project, Kamen Stoyanov and Wolfgang Sator celebrated the ceremonial naming and maiden drive of an electric car that the host had built in his own workshop. For the ritual naming ceremony, two assistants in futuristic silver overalls pushed out the electric car; there was smoke rising up and popping of champagne corks. The artist and the art host had agreed on VE-ICTOR as a name for the electric car.
A string that ties a community together
Sunflower community gardeners hosting tat ort
Alexandra Berlinger and Wolfgang Fiel of tat ort took on the task of connecting—in the literal sense of the word—the parties in their art project. This was done with an elastic cord in bright orange, one thousand meters long, which, in one day of setup, was run through seventeen apartments of the Robert Uhlir municipal housing estate.
A female ice bear that breaks the ice
Lydia Fabsics hosting Johanna Tinzl and Stefan Flunger
Lydia Fabsics is the proud owner of more than 200 plush bears of all colors and sizes imaginable. In his project, Stefan Flunger drew on precisely this collecting passion for an artistic approach. The artist brought a sense of order to the motley assortment in his work Farbpyramide mit Bären (Color Pyramid with Bears). Choosing color as an ordering criterion and proceeding from light to dark, he arranged the bears in a pyramid shape in one corner of the tenant boardroom.
A snail race that brings up old memories and brings on new ones
Franz Tomasek hosting Gerald Zahn
The site of the spectacle was the art host’s garden. The artist had built a floodlit race track of three concentric circles especially for the occasion. The veranda was reconfigured into stands, and bets were accepted. Crowd members who had guessed the winner received a photo portrait of their race-snail.
Texts excerpts after Nora Höglinger, in: Kunstgastgeber Gemeindebau. Robert-Uhlir-Hof, 1020 Wien, Vienna 2015.
Robert-Uhlir-Hof, Engerthstraße 148-150, 1020 Vienna
* 1969 Caltanissetta (IT), lives and works in Vienna.
* 1962 Vienna (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
* 1969 Zams (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
* 1972 Krems (AT), lives and works in Berlin (DE) and Vienna.
* 1976 Rudo/Bosnien und Herzegowina (BA), lives and works in Vienna and Sarajevo (BA).
* 1977 Rousse/Bulgarien (BG), lives and works in Vienna and Sofia (BG).
Alexandra Berlinger: * 1970 Bregenz (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
Wolfgang Fiel: * 1973 Alberschwende (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
* 1976 Innsbruck (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
* 1971 Bruck an der Mur (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
wohnpartner – Gemeinsam für eine gute Nachbarschaft; Wiener Wohnen