Author Archives: studio_ks

Weekly Conversations… with Keyvan Paydar

Weekly conversations… with Keyvan Paydar

As part of his short-term residency at studio das weisse haus, organized in cooperation with SCHAUMBAD – Freies Atelierhaus Graz, artist Keyvan Paydar invited us to his studio for an online presentation. We talked about the value of residencies and the potential that digital space offers.

Watch the whole studio visit here.

Weekly Conversations… with Julia Gaisbacher

Weekly Conversations… with Julia Gaisbacher

Julia Gaisbacher, "Das Fest", 2014, in cooperation with Paul Bauer

Julia Gaisbacher just recently moved into one of our studios at Hegelgasse 14. Therefore, we’d like to introduce her within this series, in order to give you an idea about her practice and the latest projects.

Welcome to studio das weisse haus, Julia! On your website you describe yourself as an artist and photographer. Can you tell us a little bit more about your artistic practice?
I’m actually trained as art historian and sculptor but during my studies at the Art University in Dresden I started to focus on photography, hence I am a self-thought photographer. The topics that I recently dealt with are located around the questions of housing, public and private space: who has the power to decide about it and what social justice or injustice can be seen through that? In addition to the research, the starting point is mostly to take photographic sketches, in order to understand the places/spaces and to get a feeling for the the topic.  Based on this material I develop my concepts.

In 2018 you already had a cooperation with das weisse haus, as your project “One Day You Will Miss Me” was awarded with the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award Vienna. Is the project, in which you critically engage with a city development project in Belgrade, still ongoing or has your artistic attention been drawn to another topic?
Actually, I had planned to  finish “One Day You Will Miss Me” this year but due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions it was not possible for me to travel to Belgrade, so I want to continue in 2021. Next to other projects that are also located around the topic of private and public space, I will continue my Belgrade-work with a new piece about the so-called “Zagreb Manhattan” project in Zagreb, which was supposed to be built by the same company as in Belgrade but due to resistance of the citizens it could be stopped.


How does the current restriction in the cause of the pandemic affect your work and its presentation?
In March and April, with all these uncertainties, it was not easy to keep up with my workflow,  also because some planned exhibitions and projects got cancelled or postponed. Later on, I tried to see the positive side, f. e. I had more time to work on my new projects, had more time for reading or attending online masterclasses and lectures. I tried to see the lockdowns as kind of a reset to think about my everyday life, working habits and if I want to continue in this way or maybe want to change things. I got two commissioned works for exhibitions next year, I am very happy about the new studio and I am also happy how my projects developed, hence I am doing fine now.






Interview: Juliana Furthner


Weekly Conversations… with Malou Solfjeld

Weekly Conversations… with Malou Solfjeld

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Elisabeth Molin, "Echo", 2017, Photo – Joanna Pianka

For this weeks’ conversation we have (virtually) invited Malou Solfjeld, former Curator in Residence and curator of the exhibition „Stress Rehearsal“, which was opened on October 28, 2020, only a few days for before the second lockdown. Nevertheless, we look forward to present the group show soon again to the public.

Due to the current travel restrictions, you were unable to come to Vienna. What was the main challenge to coordinate the exhibition from abroad? And how does it feel to see your concept finally being realized?
I am very happy and grateful that the exhibition succeeded to open 10 months after I started working on my concept for das weisse haus.
Coordinating an exhibition from distance is tricky in many ways, one is that I wasn’t able to walk around in the space while orchestrating the distribution of the works, which is something I find quite important in the attempt to resonate with the physical environment. As a curator I also put an honor into the concept of “holding space” for artists, artworks and audience alike, and this was something I struggled quite a bit with lately, not being able to hold space properly for anyone, by only being half-way-there, half-way-here.
Like an Echo (also see the artwork “Echo” by Elisabeth Molin in the exhibition) my voice sent out from Copenhagen seemed to arrive with a delay, or at least, for sure with some sort of displacement. My point of view is that this “delay” is probably caused by a missing vocabulary that does not translate (yet) through the screen but exists only as vibrations and energies between bodies and minds. And being so far away from the team of das weisse haus and the artists, not being able to exchange thoughts and ideas through this language, is a huge lack when trying to create a “Stress Rehearsal”, thus adding extra layers of stress to the already existing chaotic state-of-mind.
So, curating “Stress Rehearsal” during the pandemic, without being able to travel, was obviously a challenge, not comparable to any prior experience. However, we made it happen, one way or another. And not being in charge of the exhibition design, and some of the artists being suggested and selected by the team of das weisse haus, also was a gift for me, as I got to know new artists this way. I guess, all I can say is that I am happy we managed, because the topics are urgent and the artists are amazing. I am honored to work with each and everyone of them, and I sincerely hope to meet all of them one day when borders again are passable.

The pandemic did not only interfere your stay as a Curator in Residence at studio das weisse haus, but also the planned opening of the exhibition you curated. How did the pandemic influence your concept and how did you try to react to this life changing happenings?
The concept changed completely. I developed the original concept for my residency exhibition between January and March, from the encounter with the studio artists at das weisse haus and at that time the whole show was site-specifically responding to the temporary habitation of das weisse haus and their nomadic nature combined with the political situation in Vienna.

Inspired by my job at Art2030 at that time, I wanted to shed light on biodiversity and companion species, but then: BOOM! This infamous virus showed up, mutated into becoming deadly, and thus threatened to uproot our entire society as we knew it. In my opinion, all this occurred due to the fact that humans have for way too long been (and still today are) treating the planet not as temporary guests, but as ignorant and arrogant, power abusive “masters” who can do whatever they want, without considering the long-term consequences.

Now that you are back in Copenhagen, how is your everyday life and what are your upcoming projects?
I’m currently working intensely on the online public program I’ve curated in extension of this “Stress Rehearsal”, where we will discuss different topics such as fear, care, m/Otherhood and hydrofeminism.
More physically, locally, and less digitally, I’m working on an exhibition in Copenhagen called “Memoirs of the Abyss – Three ecologies and more”, scheduled for May 2021 at Sixtyeight Art Institute. Among the artists I work with here is Enar de Dios Rodriguez who is an amazing Spanish artist researching on sand extraction and deep-sea mining.
Besides this, I am also involved in several writing projects. First of all, I am still working on my book called “Home Is Where The Art Is” initiated from my 3 years in Mallorca at CCA Andratx. For this project, I am trying to get a sense of what “home” actually means, and the lockdown definitely provided a new perspective on things.
Secondly, I am trying to compile a book of texts by curators from all over the world, who participated in “The Curatorial Thing” in Copenhagen in October this year – it was such an incredible group of people and I wish we could gather all their wisdom in one book.
Moreover I am writing texts about the German artist Benedikt Hipp, French artist Camille Claudel and her influence on Ida Retz for a show and publication in Paris. Finally, I’m doing consultancy for a group show in 2022 with a lot of great Danish painters, called Cassandra’s Sisters, examining how Cassandra (cursed by Apollon as many women are today cursed by other Apollo types) was probably the first whistleblower in history. With this exhibition, we aim to question the gender gap in the art world and bring prominent female voices on stage to discuss equality, fake news, truth and consequences.

Interview: Juliana Furthner

Weekly Conversations… with Julianne Cordray

Weekly Conversations… with Julianne Cordray

This week we talk to writer and editor Julianne Cordray, who is based in Berlin, Germany. However, as our Critic in Residence in cooperation with VIENNA ART WEEK she is currently staying in Vienna, where she arrived a few days before the second Lockdown was announced. Nevertheless, VIENNA ART WEEK is taking place online, and Julianne will definitely have something to write about.

Interview by Juliana Furthner

Photo: Julianne Cordray

Congratulations for persuading the jury and welcome again, Julianne! How have your first two weeks at studio das weisse haus and in Vienna been?

Thank you! It’s been really nice to be at studio das weisse haus, and in Vienna. Both have been very welcoming.
Though it’s also a strange and challenging time to be here, it has been rewarding and stimulating to spend time in a new place, to be outside of my usual surroundings, and to be able to build a new routine. I think this is also important right now.

During your stay you will publish three blog posts about the Vienna Art Week. Are there any projects or themes that already caught your attention and might be the subjects of your texts?

Yes, for sure! Things have likely changed a bit, now that the Vienna Art Week program will go digital to adapt to the lockdown restrictions. But from the initial program, I was particularly interested in Roberta Lima’s installation Ghost Plant, the exhibition, Queer Anatomy, as well as the performative installation Entangled Speech by Klaus Spiess and Lucie Strecker.

In terms of themes being addressed in Vienna Art Week’s programming, I am particularly interested in connectivity and productivity — what these terms mean beyond the impact of the current situation, and alternative ways for thinking about what they could mean: what ‘being productive’ or ‘staying connected’ could potentially look like.

What is your personal approach to writing about art?

I would say my approach has changed over the years. My background is in art history, so I started out with a very academic approach. But this can be quite limiting — there can’t be just one absolute narrative or perspective, as the ‘authority’ of an academic approach often suggests. Since co-founding a magazine, textur, in 2018, I’ve been working through other approaches in my publishing routine — sometimes more personal, sometimes more experimental, poetic or fictional. Basically, I try to keep myself open, and even begin to think about art writing as artistic practice in itself. There are changes in the way art is produced, studied, exhibited, etc., and art writing should respond to that, as well.


Weekly conversations… with Lena Rosa Händle

Weekly Conversations… with Lena Rosa Händle

The next artist interviewed for our this series is Lena Rosa Händle, who is participating in our program since July 2018. Recently, she started a workshop on photography, taking place every two weeks at her studio, located at Hegelgasse 14.

Interview by Juliana Furthner

Photo: lena Rosa Händle

This semester you are giving the workshop “Das Eigene im Bild”. For whom is this workshop designed? Are there any requirements to take part?

The workshop is designed for everybody who is interested in photography and who has an own project in process or at least an idea for a project.

In the description of the workshop it is said that the participants should already have a concrete idea for a project. What are the further steps taken in the workshop and how is it structured?

Basically, we talk about the works of the participants, so that they get a lot of feedback and possibilities of development and improvement.

Is there a personal approach or insight into the “omnipresent” medium of photography you want to convey to the participants?

No, I think there are always many ways to read and to understand the medium of photography. I try to understand what the participants want for their projects and to give my expertise of almost 20 years of artistic and applied photography and of teaching.

Weekly Conversations… with Jackie Grassmann & Inga Thiele

Weekly Conversations… with Jackie Grassmann & Inga Thiele

Foto1 Kopie

In this week we are talking to our two Studio Artists, Jackie Grassmann and Inga Charlotte Thiele, who are more than just sharing a studio at Hegelgasse 14.

Interview by Juliana Furthner

You recently initiated the format Salon. What are the ideas and intentions behind that?
Actually, I started the Salon evenings already in Berlin in 2015. Initially it was thought of as an experimental platform and safe space for Woman* in the artworld only. There was the desire to create a space that is differently structured than other spaces within the artworld. When I moved to Vienna, I brought the Salon with me. The idea significantly developed further and changed with meeting Inga and Leonie Huber, at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Since then it was mainly us organizing the Salons, together with our peers.

Inga & Jackie & Leonie: As an artist, you’re either involved in institutional structures or you are somehow on your own. Especially at the end of your education when you’re spit out of the academy but also due to gentrification, different artistic cliques and bubbles and now even more enforced by Covid-19, moments of exchanging artistic ideas, getting support from your local peers, getting feedback, a critique, the time someone really listens to your ideas, become rarer and rarer. Local artists mainly gather at openings and other art events which are not about an intimate exchange and sharing doubts and concerns.

The Salon stands against the (patriarchal) idea of the autonomous studio artist, or artist-genius that has to advertise his singular and independent ideas. Together we come to an understanding that the process of making art is a deeply social practice and we put that understanding into practice with the Salon. We believe that every piece is intertextual, shaped by the matrix of the presence, ideas and critique of our artist colleagues. Authorship always is radical entanglement. The Salon pays tribute to that. Our desire is, to create a space which specifically allows to show and present everything that cannot be fed directly into the stream of artistic value production aimed at an art market or exhibition events. The Salon stands against professionalization and aims to track the gap, the liminal, the left out and left over.

How do you choose your guests, can we apply for that or do we have to receive a special invitation?
It is usually Leonie, Inga and me inviting people. Everyone who’s been to the Salon can make suggestions. There are some returning guests, but we also try to invite people whose practice we’re not familiar with. Basically, we’d like to invite as much people as possible, but there are two important factors that limit our capacity for hosting and choosing guests. Firstly, we see it as our responsibility to create a safe space for everyone present and invite people who share our intentions behind the Salon.

Secondly, as everyone’s contributing something in order not to have a division in audience and participants – the Salon is not held for an audience – time is an issue. Usually there are between 6 and 10 people present and, even though we usually start early in the day, we are rarely finished before midnight. The Salon is definitely no space for quick consumption.

The best invitation system we figured out so far is a kind of chain invitation. Two people give out invitations to one person of their choice each. This person hands on the remaining invitations to a person of their choice. So, every person invites another one. This way we make sure, to assemble a community that can be trusted, but is diverse at the same time. However, invitation politics are important and always will be a recurring topic.

In summer your Salon temporarily changed its location and took over the EXILE Gallery. Can you tell us something about this collaboration?
I wouldn’t call it a collaboration. Together with Leonie Huber, I developed the concept and organized Parasite Salon at Exile. Our desire was to move the Salon from the shadows of private spaces to the public sphere. Specifically, to annex art institutions, hijack them and use their infrastructure in a parasitic manner. As parasites we feed of them, but also use them as a refuge. As an ephemeral collective we feast together, make ourselves at home for a moment, rewrite the structure inscribed in that space. The aim is to let a form of social and artistic practice move into those spaces temporarily, that is usually absent in institutions.

Normally the Salon is taking place in your studio. What interests you about changing the location?
Fugitivity is a state that the economy and normative repressive social structures force us into. We want to appropriate this flight and build communities on the go. The aim is to sprawl and avoid institutionalization and commodification. The Salon does by no means want to mime the traditional elitist intellectual salons of the 19th and 20th century, the name only hints to the notion of the intimacy of a living room and the fact that people gather there. Other than that the Salon is quite the opposite, a place where capital production– may it be social, cultural or financial – is trying to be subverted. Appropriating this name and setting up temporary intimate spaces of artistic exchange wherever we are, might be a first step.

Weekly Conversation… with Lisa Kortschak

Weekly Conversations… with Lisa Kortschak

This week we may introduce you to our new studio artist, who just moved into one of the studios at Untere Augartenstraße. We are looking forward to getting to know Lisa Kortschak!

Interview by Juliana Furthner

Photo: Lisa Kortschak, Detroit Overture, Filmstil

A warm welcome to you, Lisa! How have your first days at the new studio been?
As I had to finish another project, I have not been able to spend a lot of time there since I moved in at the beginning of October. But I am really looking forward to starting to work there from now on. My first impression of the studio is that it is really cozy and spacious.

On your website you are called a ‘transmedial’ artist. Could you give us a short overview of your artistic practice and what interests you most about working across different mediums?
In my work I combine video, sound, performance, documentation and installation with a main focus on the format video/film. I do not think that artistic mediums in general can be seen as enclosed ones – in my practice I try to enforce the overlapping of formats and genres, provoke a dialogue between categories and fields and thereby create moments that are between different mediums.

A characteristic that returns in a number of your works is the static camera and the so-called “Microcinema”. Can you tell us something about that approach and the idea behind it?
One of my working series consists of three shortfilms that have the same formal and content requirements: They show a specific space from one static perspective without zooming or moving the camera (format of a postcard) presenting concerts which are played by unexpected protagonists. While in OszillEntreNous a muted Bösendorfer-piano, the sounds a pianist produces while playing it and a listening audience form the essence of the show, 8 cars are giving a concert in Detroit Overture. In Liquid Sonic Palindrome an acoustic palindrome is performed by 12 swimmers.

As the image is static in all of the works, the viewers are invited to interrelate what they see to the sources of the sounds. In this way the viewers are involved in a Microcinema, which builds on the juxtaposition of silence and movement on a visual and an acoustic level. All of these films generate tension and musicality by using experimental intersection and by confronting stillness with movement in sound and image.

Weekly Conversations… with Katharina Aigner

Weekly Conversations… Katharina Aigner

In this week´s conversation we are talking to Katharina Aigner, who recently moved into one of our studios at Hegelgasse 14.

Interview by Juliana Furthner

Photo: Katharina Aigner by Kelly Ann Gardener, Videostill Ohne Titel (Bücher; Flurstücke 313, 314, 317, 318, 103/2, 109), work in progress

Can you give us a short overview of your artistic practice – especially the media you’re working with, as well as the themes and projects you are focusing on?
I am mainly working with videos and installations, which often have a performative aspect to them. In my artistic practice, I am very interested in queer lesbian (her)stories, recent projects circle around the writer Natalie Clifford Barney and a group of lesbian artists that formed around her salon in Paris during the 1920s.

In June, you received a one-year scholarship for media arts in Salzburg with your project I sketched, barely visible in pencil, our walk in her notebook…, in which you investigate the stories of queer, lesbian women in times of the National Socialism. Congratulations! What are your plans within this award?

I am researching about lesbian relationships during the Nazi regime with a focus on Ravensbrück, the biggest women’s concentration camp of the Third Reich situated in the north of Brandenburg. For this project, I would like to explore how care work expanding beyond filling historical gaps can lead to a discussion of the inherent fictionality of queer narratives and how this can be used to tell opaque, non-linear, ambiguous narratives that challenge our current views of history and emphasize the urgency of revisiting the archives.

You have recently moved into one of our studios at Hegelgasse, where you share the space with artist David Meran. Does this affect or influence your work in any way?
David and I have very different schedules and have not gotten to share a lot of studio time yet. However I really enjoy having my studio at Hegelgasse. It´s a super nice space and I love working alongside very interesting artists.

Weekly Conversations… with Lavinia & Sara Lanner

Weekly Conversations… with Lavinia & Sara Lanner

We continue our Weekly Conversations with the Studio Artists and sisters Lavinia and Sara Lanner, both working at Hegelgasse 14.

Interview by Julia Furthner

It is quite special that both of you chose an artistic career. How did that come?
Both: Honestly, it just happened! What might seem special from an outside perspective appears quite logical from an insider’s view. A logic path for both of us. After all, we consider our fields as quite distinct and far apart. Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves when we’re not of the same opinion in our frequent conversations. Of course, the line between personal and professional topics is quite thin, but this is what makes it even more interesting. Knowing each other so well and having an ally in all sorts of (professional) thoughts, struggles and – why not – shenanigans.

What we are often asked: None of our parents is a professional artist but both are art lovers. Art, especially music, was very present in our childhood and an artistic environment clearly given. Whether our parents think of their daughters being artists as a blessing or a curse varies. Oh, and there’s a third, the youngest, sister who just moved to Vienna and guess what – she’s going to be an artist as well, so there is more of this content to come in the next couple of years.

What are themes or projects you are currently focusing on?
Sara: The working title of my current project is Mining Minds in which I am dealing with performative and choreographic approaches to the topic of “mining”. There will be an exhibition as well as a dance performance at brut in 2021. Furthermore, I am preparing performances and exhibitions coming up this autumn such as an exhibition in the framework of the Ö1-Talentestipendium in Leopold Museum as well as a re-adaptation of the performance Mother Tongue at the Pelzverkehr Festival Klagenfurt. Last but not least my diploma and degree show will take place in November.

Lavinia: I am currently working on a new series of drawings with the title Not Long Now for a solo show in November. This led me to an extensive research about the art field as such. I’m reading biographies of artists, gallerists, papers about artistic practice as well as the perils and rewards of artmaking from an inside and outside perspective, and personal growth and perdurance. I am also experimenting with materials for sculptures to combine with my drawings in installations for a show next spring. What has always interested me is interdisciplinary work, being it audiovisual installations or collaborations.

Both: In the last couple of years, we both had residencies and stays abroad (Lavinia: Iran, Indonesia, Iceland, London, Paris, Rome, Sweden / Sara: Norway, China, Germany, North Macedonia, Italy, Denmark) and this year – probably due to Corona – we both had residencies in Salzburg, where we grew up, which is interesting to us – just as our careers aligned and approached in these particular times. We are convinced that our individual ways of entering the field, experiences, research and studies were essential. A kind of premise for having plenty to exchange now, reflect upon and carry further.

Do you think your artistic work overlaps at any point?
Both: We sometimes ask ourselves this question and joke about the fact that fortunately everyone has a field of her own. There is no interference or too close proximity, no discussions and misleading for the art historians of the future about who of the Lanners made a particular artwork – at least up to now. For people close to us, it is completely logical who chose which medium, as the way of expression also reflects our personalities quite well. Despite the fact that both studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, also our studies were very different from each other. Coming from two different fields, Sara from contemporary dance and performance art and Lavinia from drawing/painting, we of course cover two different perspectives.

Lavinia: But still, there is a lot of common ground, especially when looking at where it comes from, being the intrinsic search and expression through a medium. Whether this is the body or the pencil is quite secondary – at least to me. Do you agree?

Sara: Yes, and I would add that we both like playing with alterations of reality and tilted images. May it be drawn or performed through the body. We might deal very differently with aspects of space, however consider the audience’s sensorial perception very much in both our approaches.

Now that you are working „door-to-door“, did you ever think about a collaboration?
Both: We’re glad you asked. In fact, until now we only collaborated once. We are currently working on a concept for a collaboration hopefully taking place in the near future. Certainly, our adjoining studios encouraged us to do so. Sara usually works in dance studios or bigger spaces or venues. This kind of studio work is new to her, as she is experimenting with material in her current work. Working door-to-door is new to us.

We love to have people over and cook, which might be due to our Italian genes, this could now all happen in our studios. A lot of our friends and colleagues overlap and it is an interesting journey for them as well – having an insight into both artistic practices and just having to go next door. There is a connecting door between our studios – we haven’t agreed on the door policy yet – our ideas of being connected during the working process differ.

Lavinia: Just think of the advantages you’ll have of an open door – in case you need to borrow a hammer or a drill.

Sara: Yeah right – as if these were my main tools when creating ephemeral performances!