“Fastened ropes, knots, space-taking tightened strings, relating things and materials to one another are the defining elements of my formal vocabulary and main thematic concerns of my work.” (Michael Kienzer)
For his installation hanging around, Michael Kienzer strung a number of hammocks between the trees of the Bruno Kreisky Park, creating a sensual, conceptual and ecological extension and an enrichment of the place. All park trees, more than sixty in number, in no discernible order, standing alone or in groups, of different kinds and sizes, were integrated in this web of red hammocks which extended throughout the entire park, or turned the park into an interwoven lounging, resting and communication network.
The connecting lines between the trees were accentuated to define relations between tree, space, and human – hanging around not just as something for the eye, but as an invitation to experience one’s own way of living between culture, nature, and everyday affairs.
Kienzer’s hammocks expanded notions and emotions. They invoked rituals that had already flourished early on in ancient Greece, like the Dionysian swinging ritual. They invited active use – and were both an offer and a call to idle. Quite in keeping with his characteristic formal vocabulary, Kienzer reinterprets spaces and experiments with the meaning of objects. He separates objects and situations from their familiar environment and places them in new contexts. In his work for the Bruno Kreisky Park, he reflected on the given function of the site as a refuge in the public realm and a communicative meeting point, altering it for the term of the installation. The artist very consciously chose this site for his temporary installation: the Bruno Kreisky Park is one of the few much-frequented public parks in the traditional working-class district of Margareten that is also visited by a high percentage of migrant residents across all generations.
Text: Christian Denker
Bruno-Kreisky-Park, 1050 Wien
*1962 in Steyr (AT), lives and works in Vienna (AT).