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Temporary

KREISKARTOFFEL ST. MARXElisabeth Falkinger, Stefanie Hilgarth, Christoph Schwarz, Hanna Schwarz

KREISKARTOFFEL ST. MARX

A roundabout in Vienna/St. Marx becomes a potato field! The artifact of car-centric urban planning is reinterpreted as a symbol for urban food sovereignty in the sense of a post-growth economy. In a low-threshold way, the neighborhood can pull its own potatoes every Sunday overlooking an orphaned parking lot desert. At the center of the roundabout, there is a sculpture made of water tanks bearing the words "Sind im Weltkrieg" (We are at World War), designed in a lovely handwriting diametrically opposed to the content.

In the course of the discussion about necessary social efforts to comply with the Paris climate agreement, the World War comparison was repeatedly invoked: Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz wrote: "The climate crisis is our Third World War", Helga Kromp-Kolb called for a "similar joint show of strength as the reconstruction after the Second World War". The image of the potato field in the middle of the city is stored in our collective memory as a desperate response to food shortages during the World War. Similarly, "Sind im Weltkrieg" interprets the anthropogenic exploitation of the earth on an unprecedented scale as a war against the planet. The strangely innocuous design of the lettering in relation to the content is intended to represent a break and free the project from a clearly activist reading: Space for irony and ambivalence is implied, the viewer invited to evaluate for herself. Can small-scale citizens' initiatives and urban gardening projects really save the world? Or is the revolution for sustainability merely moral distinction for the post-material avant-garde?

In the course of the lockdowns, we became painfully aware that public space is unevenly distributed: private motorized transport takes up a disproportionate amount of space. Kreiskartoffel Wien aims to give back to citizens a piece of unused wasteland as a space for development. As a hybrid between neighborhood project, art action, social sculpture and symbolic gesture where car traffic produces dead space and art is otherwise only used to legitimize growth dogmas of transport policy.

"Sind im Weltkrieg" however, can only be read on Sunday. During the week, when car traffic to discount and hardware stores makes it impossible to work the field from the point of view of traffic safety, a less irritating message was required. On weekdays, an additional board is attached to the sculpture, "Weltkrieg" becomes "Weltmarkt" ("World Market") . This requirement by the authorities adds another level of meaning to the project, as it shows how social priorities are arranged. As long as the euro is rolling, the flow of traffic must not be disrupted. On Sunday, however, critical reflections are allowed in the concrete desert.

Location

Roundabout Schöpsstraße/Leopold-Böhm-Straße, 1030 Vienna

Further Information

Elisabeth Falkinger * 1988 Rohrbach, lives and works in Vienna
elisabethfalkinger.com

Stefanie Hilgarth *1982 Graz, lives and works in Vienna
illuqueen.com

Christoph Schwarz *1981 Wien, lives and works in Vienna
christophschwarz.net

Hanna Schwarz *1979 Wien, lives and works in Vienna
geht-doch.wien

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Temporary

KREISKARTOFFEL ST. MARXElisabeth Falkinger, Stefanie Hilgarth, Christoph Schwarz, Hanna Schwarz