Josefstadt Square Festival

Josefstadt Square Festival

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? #2 - Art projects by Iris Andraschek (A), Franz Kapfer (A), Ria Paquée (B), Sun Li Lian Obwegeser & Antonia Prochaska (A), Jonathan Quinn (GB/A), Laura Samarweerová (A), Romana Scheffknecht (A)

For the second time artists* develop temporary projects for the public space of Josefstadt. The title is borrowed from the bohemian Raphsody of the rock band Queen and alludes to the question of the social and individual constructions of reality that meet in public space.

The eight artists* are united by their analytical view of these constructions. They are flâneurs who, in the sense of Walter Benjamin, "not only draw nourishment from what comes to their senses," but who read architecture with a lucid eye as manifestations of history and interweave it with the stories of its inhabitants, perceive current social moods in the movements of passers-by, locate connections, and recognize the public in itself by connecting the visible and the invisible.

These astute observers measure and record the public space. They comment, torpedo, camouflage; sometimes they develop poetic counter-models. And by becoming part of the observed reality in this way, they change its construction.

Iris Andraschek follows in the footsteps of artistically active women in Josefstadt, whose biographies are largely unknown today and who were largely forced to leave their places of residence or work under National Socialism. By means of carpet-like floor paintings with biographical information, supplemented by personal notes, statements and stories, the artist allows eight of these women to step out of anonymity on the sidewalks in front of the houses in question.

From the Hamerlingpark, Franz Kapfer's four-meter-high "Aviano" appears to us like the set piece of a huge stage set with a cross raised high. The wooden figure is a replica of the monument to Marco d'Aviano erected in front of the Vienna Capuchin Church during the "Austrofascist era". The monk, who is said to have united the army against the Ottomans threatening Vienna in 1683, was revered as the "savior of Christianity" in the authoritarian corporative state (1933-1938). Since 2015, Kapfer's "Aviano" has appeared in various places on specific occasions (first in a group exhibition sponsored by KÖR, this time before the Vienna City Council elections in 2020) and refers with the traces (comments, scribbles, stickers) of his earlier appearances to the recurring political appropriation of religion.

The Belgian artist Ria Paquée is an astute observer of public life. In her performances, she addresses social and cultural issues such as human rituals and collective action, while delving deeply into social structures. The city and the street are both her anthropological field of research and her stage, which she usually enters in camouflage - in Josefstadt in front of the former Palais Strozzi on Josefstädterstraße.

"Come On, Do I Look Like The Mother Of The Future?" asks Sarah Conner in the film "The Terminator". With an outer-space object that sends sound and images from the future, Sun Li Lian Obwegeser & Antonia Prochaska address the roles of female figures in science fiction against the historical backdrop of the Piarist Church. (Graphics and Animation: Thomas Kloyber)

The flagpole mounts next to and above the portals of the historic upper middle-class houses of Josefstadt become the starting points for the artistic interventions of the British artist Jonathan Quinn. Quinn's delicate, poetic gestures on four house facades oppose the everyday language and sensitize and redirect our attention, albeit gently but emphatically.

In the photo series "World Worlds" Laura Samaraweerová merges different landscapes and objects into mysterious places of longing on the windows of empty alleyways and architectural wastelands. She juxtaposes the familiar with the distant and the unapproachable, allowing new worlds to emerge in their interplay. Rigid ideas blur, past and present intertwine.

With an inflatable object made of parachute silk, which represents an oversized corona virus in maximum beauty, Romana Scheffknecht reacts to the medial representation of the corona epidemic. In its aesthetic exaggeration, the virus appears splendid - harmless and trivial - and is simultaneously transported to a meta-level on which the artist analyzes collective image formation as well as providing subversive-ironic commentary on the construction of reality.

The Josefstadt Square Festival is sponsored by KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien in cooperation with the 8th district of Vienna.


KÖR booth at Hamerlingplatz, in front of Hamerlingplatz 4, 1080 Vienna

Further Information

Public Art by: Iris Andraschek, Romana Scheffknecht, Laura Samarweerová, Franz Kapfer, Antonia Prochaska, Sun Li Lian Obwegeser, Jonathan Quinn, Ria Paquée

Curators: Katharina Blaas, Conny Offergeld

project idea: Martin Vogg

From 12 to 18 o'clock, you can visit our KÖR booth and discover more about our work.


Josefstadt Square Festival

Time Period

Friday, 18th September 2020, 12 to 21 o'clock

Laura Samaraweerová: Lange Gasse 25, Buchfeldgasse 2, Josefstädter Straße 16

Jonathan Quinn: Schönborngasse 2, Schönborngasse 4, Kupkagasse 2, Josefstädter Straße 69

Iris Andraschek: Josefsgasse 9, Lange Gasse 72, Skodagasse 15, Alser Straße 23, Lerchenfelder Straße 88, Josefstädter Straße 58, Alser Straße 45, Buchfeldgasse 6

Franz Kapfer: Hamerlingplatz

Ria Paquée: Josefstädter Straße 39

Romana Scheffknecht: IHS (Josefstädter Straße 39)

Sun Li Lian Obwegeser & Antonia Prochaska: Jodok-Fink-Platz



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