You think you know V ienna? – Discover art in public spaces either on your own or join a g uided tour and you will be a mazed by the m ultitude of art installations in Vienna.
The starting point is Rahlgasse in the Vienna MuseumsQuartier (MQ). The cinema Top Kino, which shows independent ﬁ lms and is a popular meeting place, is surely better known to the public than the sculpture “Gerngrosssäule” created by Franz West in 2007. Dedicated to the exhibitor and architect Heidulf Gerngross, the artwork consists of an egg with the mirror-inverted name Gerngross written on it, placed on a tower of rubbish bins.
The memorial by Austrian sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka at Albertinaplatz, meant to serve as a warning against war and fascism, inspires controversial discussions. The tour continues along Schreyvogelgasse where Heimo Zobernig‘s “Feuermauer” with the minimalist postulate “Man bekommt, was man sieht” (you get what you see) is located. The light grey writing is small relative to the size of the wall on which it is written and not intended to be the subject of interpretation. The beauty of the artwork entitled “Der Muse reicht’s” created on the ground of Arkadenhof within the university building lies in its clear lines. Through her shadow ﬁ gure artist Iris Andraschek criticises the role allocation of the sexes. Women should no longer remain in the shadow of their institutions.
When reaching the Vienna City Hall, take the lift up to get an unexpected and spectacular view of the installation by Lois and Franziska Weinberger. Overlooking the roof garden of the library one can see branching lines imitating the tracks of the bark beetle (Ips typographus). In Laudongasse, near Schönbornpark, the sculpture “N.I.C – Nature is cool” by Kurt Hofstetter showing three balls arranged in an asymmetrical manner conveys a feeling of lightness, matching the spirit of summertime.
From nearby Rathausplatz take the U2 to Karlsplatz. The Vienna underground train network is not only a safe and efﬁ cient means of transportation, but also a display space for artworks. Completely new is the installation by renowned Austrian artist Peter Kogler at Karlsplatz on the level between U2 and U1. By using 180 glass panels showing computer-generated images of a net of tubes, a wallpaper-like impression is created. In 2013 the entire underground Karlsplatz interchange will become an art passageway “Kunstpassage Karlsplatz”.
Meanwhile, the U3 has been known as “art line” for quite some time already. Individual stations, such as “Volks theater” and “Landstraße” were designed by Austrian and international artists. Our tour of impressive artworks ends at Schwarzenbergplatz where the imposing sculpture “Morning Line” by Matthew Ritchie and Aranda/Lasch, Arup AGU can be found. The sculpture is 8 m high, 20 m long and has an aluminium shell weighing 20 tons. What makes it special is that the aura of the sculpture is translated into sounds. Sound installations by international artists like Alexej Borisov are alternated with installations by local musicians, such as Christian Fennesz. The latter is internationally recognized as composer and electronic music specialist. As you can see, Vienna is full of art – at all times and everywhere.