Artist Marlene Hausegger was invited by KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien to conceive and implement a project entitled mobile5house for and together with young people at Braunhirschenpark in Vienna’s 15th district. It is a hybrid spatial object shaped like an oversized mobile, which is at once a light source, a sculpture, and not least an orientation point. A concrete foundation, metal tubing, ball lamp, and aluminum composite panels create a space for young people, which is also a symbol of their social interaction. Relating to the site, Hausegger sets out to explore the fantasies and perceptions of people and to process them in her works. The characteristics of a site are human-defined. Capturing the relationships originating in a place is supposed to help lifting social space barriers and open up room for action that is not already usurped by economic interests. The conceptual design of the work was preceded by a poll conducted among the youth groups frequenting the park. To get a picture of the social situation at the sites of her intervention, Hausegger uses questionnaires as a method of sociological data collection. This stocktaking serves to conceptually inform the social sculpture. What is in the foreground is not representation but usability. Hausegger thus inscribes herself in a tradition, starting in the 1950s, of examining the design of utility objects in the public sphere; it was the time when artists like Isamu Noguchi started making functional and social designs for playgrounds and gardens. The mobile in Braunhirschenpark responds in various ways to kids’ wishes about the park that came up in the polling. The sculpture therefore also is a lighting object whose shine can be intensified by turning a crank, which again caters to the wish for some sports equipment. Individual elements of the mobile originate from drawings made by the young people and oscillating between abstract and comic-like shapes, illustrating the zeitgeist and giving quotes from pop culture. The use of these diverse expressions reflects the diversity of the adolescents themselves. The mobile’s movability stands for the dynamism and the social behavior of youth groups relating to one another. The drawings created in an event called Drawing Battle Club were enlarged and spray-painted on composite panels. The two sides of those panels represent the “clash of cultures” that many young people with a migrant background find themselves in. Hausegger mostly addresses integration, ethnicity and migration policy-related issues in her works. The mobile5haus project helps those who are being talked about in this context to emancipate themselves and promotes identification with the local by marking it with surreal icons.
Text: Fina Esslinger
Braunhirschenpark, corner at Oelweingasse, 1150 Vienna
*1984 in Leoben (AT)
lives and works in Vienna (AT)
July 13, 2017 until summer 2018
Concrete, metal, aluminium plate and
560 x 450-625 x 240 cm