20 installations– 1 public space
June 30th until October 26th 2016
We want to use the exhibition “GeschichtenOrt Hofburg” and the “Theme trails Hofburg” in order to attract increased interest to the urban space between Michaelerplatz and the Museumsquartier: for it is the cultural and historic centre of this country, where history meets the contemporary, where not only history of power but also the one of democracy and emancipation have been made, and where European policies take place as well as urban everyday life and leisure time activities
Austrian history has been focused to a considerable extent on the Hofburg Vienna and its surrounding areas. Its buildings, squares, and parks convey the stories of how this country developed. Nevertheless, there is no information for visitors and citizens on this history in any of the public places around the Hofburg. As a consequence, the Burghauptmannschaft Österreich, which manages the building complex and the public squares of the former Imperial Residence, has initiated the exhibition “GeschichtenOrt Hofburg”. The latter aims to present this area’s topography to the Viennese population and visitors from a new point of view.
Having been at the heart of political power, the Hofburg has been a symbol of Austria’s rule throughout history. Today, it is the ever-present stories about the empresses and emperors which visitors will apprehend on these premises. But what about the stories beyond the big tales of power and ruling dynasties? What about the ones which revolve around the everyday life of ordinary people? Or around civil protests and democratic movements?
“GeschichtenOrt Hofburg” is an exhibition situated in public space which aims to search for traces of this past (curators: Ingrid Holzschuh, Maria Welzig). While the presence always serves as a point of departure, the past becomes an eye-opener and source from which we can draw conclusions for life today. The stories are told via 20 installations exactly where they happened. Its designers, feld72 and Bueronardin, created individual settings for each of the places and themes, inclusive of tailor-made colour, form and material concepts.
The exhibition is staged within the urban district of the Hofburg: from Josefsplatz to Museumsquartier, from the public park Volksgarten to the one of Burggarten. This area demarks an urban quarter of its own, although it has ceased to be perceived as one today.
Implemented in public space, the installations are “snapshots” of individual events and give an insight into the political and cultural history of this “city within the city”. Titles such as Turkish traces on the Hofburg premises, Movement in the Burggarten, Karl Kraus’ satirical criticism, Keys to the Hofburg, From tournaments to pillow fighting or Tyranny on the streets point to the wide array of issues that come with these areas. The exhibition’s installations invite visitors to playfully get in touch with (hi)story and embrace it despite its gravity.
“GeschichtenOrt Hofburg” constitutes the first public presentation of the project “Theme trails Hofburg”. Initiated by the Burghauptmannschaft Österreich and realised by the curators, the projects will also be accessible as a virtual exhibition in the upcoming years: On the Hofburg premises, visitors may discover a plethora of historic places via audio and visual contents as well as through texts and films. Urban furniture has been exclusively designed in order to better transfer and connect the stories of the past into this time and real space.