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  • 1. V Very ienna Viennese Culture and Lifestyle Beyond its Clichées Power in Tranquility The Chinese Diaspora in Vienna Hands On, Minds On, Hearts On! Vienna’s Approach to Children’s Culture One Night in Vienna The City’s Vibrant and Unique Club and Bar Scene Step by Step Discovering Viennese Dancing Tradition
  • 2. V Very ienna Viennese Culture and Lifestyle Beyond its Clichées The Magazine Very Vienna was produced Dear Readers, Page Content by students of the Department of Commu- Thank you for picking up this magazine and for your 4 Power in Tranquillity nication of the university of Vienna. The interest. In connection with the May 2010 Austria-Day The Chinese Diaspora in Vienna department is the largest communication at Shanghai’s World Expo, we are happy to send a 7 Chinese New Year’s Concert education institution in the German- special greeting from Vienna, the capital city of in Vienna speaking countries in Europe in terms of Austria, to every single reader. You may agree that Vienna is famous for classical music, theatre, opera, 8 The First Chinese Lantern Festival students. Up to 6000 students are studying and for its wonderful imperial architecture. And, of in Vienna in Bachelor, Master or PhD programmes, each year about 1000 young people start an course, we are happy that you enjoy and admire all of 9 Step by step this. The world’s interest and admiration has given Discovering Vienna’ Dancing undergraduate programme. Fields of study Vienna got the reputation of being city of living Tradition include journalism, advertising, public history. Having a good image is an asset, but being relations, media management, communi- 12 Light, Shadows and Motion nothing more than that which an image presents cation politics, media paedagogy, media Vienna’s Unique Cinema would be bad for a city’s vital identity. psychology, communication research and Landscape That is why we would also like you to know that much more. 14 “Hands, on, Minds on, Vienna is more than just its history. On the founda- The Department runs an exchange Hearts On!” tions of history, a culture of reflexion, of presence, and programme with the Shanghai-based Vienna’s Approach to Children’s also of openness to the future is flourishing. One might Fudan University, Faculty of Journalism. Culture forget that beyond the clichés and stereotypes, the Each year, a dozen of Austrian students go gorgeous art, a marvellous show can only be realistic 18 Poems, Enzi’s and Tomatoes to Shanghai for a semester within the and credible if there is an intrinsically autochthonous Traces of Contemporary Art Media Communication Master programme and authentic side to it: the “Very Vienna” side. in Public Space MCM. In return, up to twenty students from You may know that Vienna feeds from its local genius. 19 An Urban Intervention Shanghai stay in Vienna and Salzburg for a That, however, you may not know well: the dialectic Soho Festival at Vienna’s couple of months. attitude in facing everyday life and wrestling with its Brunnenmarkt contradictions. This is called the ‘Viennese Mentality’ 22 One Night in Vienna and it is a blend of opposites: humour and sadness, will The City’s Vibrant and Unique to live and desire to die, astonishing beauty and Club and Bar Scene triumphant mediocrity, open and wide horizons and small minds, belief and scepticism, overpowering 25 Falafel, Sauerkraut and sorrow and sometimes negligent carelessness, easily- Dumplings offended criticism and irrational empathy and warmth. Vienna´s Exotic and Lively Inner All this, and so much more, embody the psychology of City Market an urban society characterized by rich social and 26 Problems? No, Creatives Seize cultural history, different cultural traditions, religious the Opportunity programs, and worlds of knowledge. Freud himself Creative People Giving & could not explain it. Benefitting in a City Filled with In order to give you an insight into Vienna as it is for Possibilities itself and through itself, the students of the Depart- 28 Richness of the 100 Voices ment of Communication at he Faculty of Social 100 Communities on TV to Show Sciences at the University of Vienna tried to portray Their Insights and Interests IMPRINT Vienna as it is not shown in worldwide mainstream 30 Architecture Macchiato: Very Vienna. media: as a space for creative art with a particular life Department of Communication, Garnishing Architecture University of Vienna style. We also wanted to portrait the city as a place of Young Architecture Contributing Schopenhauerstrasse 32, science and knowledge, but because there is only so 1180 Vienna, Austria to a Vital Cityscape much space in this magazine, we had to restrict our- Editor-in-Chief selves to some small examples –those should, at least, 34 The Baron and His Harness Thomas A. Bauer thomas.bauer@univie.ac.at show that creativity also matters in science. Aboard one of Vienna’s Famous +43 4277 49336 Fiaker Carriages However, there are big differences between Vienna Executive Editor 37 Death Must Be Viennese Axel Maireder and Shanghai, but there is at least one similarity: axel.maireder@univie.ac.at Better City, Better Life! Europe’s Biggest Cemetry and +43 4277 49375 a Sepultural Museum Editors Laura Bakmann Enjoy the magazine, Jelena Gucanin Edith Hammer Warm Regards, Fabian Kretschmer Josef Ladenhauf Judith List Katharina Oke Andreas Rainer Amelie Springer Michael Zita Dr. Thomas A. Bauer, University Professor at the English Proofreading Department of Communication / University of Vienna Iphigenia Moraitini Chinese Translations Celia Tsui Graphic-Design Karl-Heinz Maireder VeryVienna 3
  • 3. T Power in ranquillity The Chinese Diaspora in Vienna 25,000 Chinese live in Austria – most of them in Vienna. Four of them tell us how they live and why they think clocks are ticking slower in Vienna. By Jelena Gucanin “Shall I put on my Chinese cap?” Simon owner. “I’ve always loved food and cook- asks with a smile, before the camera ing.” The 47-year-old man was born in clicks. It’s 4 pm. At this hour there’s not Hangzhou, capital city of the Chinese much going on here. The noises behind province of Zheijang. By the end of 1988, the bar cover the room and the waiters he followed his sister Xie Fei Ru to are chatting in Chinese. Neither dragons Austria. nor golden ornaments decorate the According to “Statistik Austria” (2009) walls, dark red and white are the domi- there are about 10,000 Chinese people nant hues in the Chinese “On”- living in Austria. “We definitely know Restaurant in the fifth Viennese district. that there are about 25, 000. Most of “I somehow slipped into gastronomy by them live in Vienna”, counters professor accident”, recounts Simon Xie Hong, the Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik of the 4 VeryVienna
  • 4. Lesheng Chen (24), a student of sinology: “I love the Viennese coffee culture. If I have some free time, I enjoy it in coffee houses.” Jelena Gucanin Liu Xiu Ming (53), a painter: “I love arts and Vienna is full of it. Also, the tranquillity is inspiring.” Jelena Gucanin Simon Xie Hong (47), a successful restaurant-owner: “Just because Vienna is slow doesn’t mean it’s sleeping.” Jelena Gucanin Sinology department of the University of lot about its great musicians and writers. Vienna. “In professional jargon we call It also happened that I read Freud in them ‘sojourners’. They are people, who Chinese, his works were considered to be have a more or less defined migrant-sta- very elitist. That was Vienna to me.” tus.” Many people do not call themselves New home migrants, because they intend to some- Simon isn’t the only one who owns a day return to China. Most Chinese immi- restaurant in Vienna. “There are about grants hail from a few specific, once-poor 480 Chinese restaurants in Vienna”, says regions. In the case of Austria, this is the expert. “The Chinese locate them- mainly the province of Zheijang. selves according to a pattern. At first they As a successful restaurant-owner, Simon work in a Chinese restaurant. With the doesn’t want to return: “Back then I got money they save they start their own. If the travel bug, I wanted to get to know it works well, they aim to set up an im- the world.” After he had finished his med- port-export business. They foster a close icine degree, he worked at the university tie to China by doing so.” Through the use hospital for one year, before making the of global networks they contribute to last-minute decision to move to Austria. both the Chinese and the Austrian eco- “I only knew Vienna from books. I read a nomic development. VeryVienna 5
  • 5. But success doesn’t allow Simon to have a lot of spare time. He works seven days a week: “Before, I used to work five days a week. At the time when I couldn’t speak German, I used to go to the cinema and watch a lot of television. Not long ago I met Karin Resetarits [a famous TV host One of them is Lesheng Chen. “I’ve been in Vienna since 2001”, says the 24-year- old student. At first glance she seems to be very shy, but this is a false impression. Her knowledge German is good, yet she says, that she still has a lot to learn: “Unfortunately nobody speaks English in Otherwise living here would be point- less.” An Invisible Minority? S For Xie Fei Ru, all could have ended differ- ently. “My life is full of lucky coinci- dences”, she smiles. She came to Vienna A/N] and said to her: ‘You were my first Austria ”, Lesheng laughs. She comes in 1986: “I worked at a friend’s restaurant. German teacher.’ Back then I didn’t from Qingdao and belongs to the new The start wasn’t very difficult for me, be- understand a word, but her television middle class that emerged in China over cause I instantly felt comfortable”, says programme fascinated me so much that the course of the last decade. Her parents the confident 55-year-old woman. Later my eyes were glued to the screen.” sent her to Vienna to give her a competi- she ran her own restaurant in Mistelbach tive advantage on the Chinese job mar- near Vienna – including a hotel and a Simon came to Vienna in the 1980s. “In ket. “Vienna is very musical and a little cinema. She successfully paid off the the 1970s and early 1980s, Austria bit old fashioned, too. That’s why my par- debts of the former owner. “I enjoy being opened up to immigration”, explains ents chose Austria for me.” In addition to able to make my own decisions”, notes Weigelin-Schwiedrzik. “Chinese mainly her study she works as a waitress. She Xie. Today, she runs the “Association of came as guest workers, but there were hopes to graduate from university soon: Chinese Women” in Vienna – a club, in students and people from international “I’m a bit lazy. I could still do more. But which Chinese women can organize companies, too.” Another wave of that’s what I like about Vienna: I’m al- their spare time. migrants was caused by Austria’s entry lowed to take it slow.” into the European Union: “For many The organised functioning of the com- Chinese, Austria became a rest stop So does the painter Liu Xiu Ming. For her, munity is in some ways one of the rea- before moving on into other European the clocks in Vienna are ticking slower, sons for which it functions a little like an countries.” Economic factors are still de- too: “In Vienna I can work calmly. In “invisible” minority, according to profes- cisive in migration today. Furthermore, a China there’s so much motion every day, sor Weigelin-Schwiedrzik: “Chinese don’t lot of students come to Vienna in order to it’s so exhausting sometimes.” At her attract attention in public, because they study. bright studio, which is full of books and have a tradition of self-organization and CDs, the 53-year-old woman admits that make no political claims.” In contrast to her beginnings in Vienna haven’t always other big cities, there is no Chinatown in been easy. In 1987, she came to Vienna on Vienna. Locally seen, the centre of the the invitation of a married couple. She Chinese community is situated around studied at the University for Applied Arts the Naschmarkt, the large farmer’s mar- with Maria Lassning and later obtained ket in Vienna’s fourth district. “In Vienna her Master’s degree at the Academy of you could solely eat in Chinese restau- Fine Arts in Vienna, with Arik Brauer: “At rants, buy in Chinese shops, read Chinese the beginning, not everybody was newspaper and go to Chinese events – friendly to me. Added to this, I had diffi- and you wouldn’t have to meet any culties with the language. However, it Austrians at all”, the professor smiles. happened that Maria Lassnig showed my “We don’t need any Chinatown in paintings in front of the whole master Vienna”, Simon insists. It’s 5 pm. It’s get- class. From then on, I was respected”, she ting dark outside and the restaurant is remembers smilingly. Because of her gradually filling up with people. Simon is cheerful manner and of the leopard-print getting up several times in order to greet blouse she wears, she looks about twenty his guests. Most of them know him by years younger than she really is. Drinking his name. “Cultural exchange is impor- Chinese tea, she reflects about Vienna: tant”, he says. “I’ve lived here for such a “Vienna is full of arts and culture. In older long time, people here are kind, friendly times, many Chinese thought Vienna and honest. We are all widely scattered was in Australia”, she laughs. “However, and that’s good. Why should we build a it’s very important to make use of the fortress?” many advantages this city has to offer. 6 VeryVienna
  • 6. S tarting the Year of the Tiger The Grand Chinese New Year Concert toire balanced Chinese traditional and with the Wu Promotion folk songs as well as contemporary Chinese music. Between great sym- phonic pieces, the significantly different China’s Traditional tones of diverse instruments shine through, next to breathtaking percussion Broadcast Orchestra solos. Many different nationalities and a history spanning several thousand years of tradition in music are the origin of By Josef C. Ladenhauf these amazing melodies and broad vari- ety of styles. Chinese listeners are coming every year A hot cup of plum wine, blooming jas- known as karaoke lovers and fans of to attend the New Year’s Concert of the mine flowers and a fish tank with beauti- ABBA might be attending that, most of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and ful koi-goldfish are the first things an Vienna’s Chinese would head for hall F, some might already have tried Austrian Austrian listener visualises, when the where a very special event was taking food in the Österreicher-Haus in Orchestra sets in for their first song. place on that same evening: The annual Shanghai as well. Echoing this, fans of Except for those, who have really experi- Chinese New Year’s Concert with splen- Chinese cuisine may in turn come to the enced China, all find themselves back in did costumes, traditional music, original Chinese New Year’s Concert next year as the last Chinese restaurant they visited. instruments and more than eighty musi- well. People who have been to the “Middle cians. This event became a remarkable Kingdom” might hear the whispering success shortly after it was first held in wind in the cherry trees of Hángzhou 1998. Back then, China’s Traditional along with the gentle sound of the flutes, Broadcast Orchestra had performed on visualise Guizhou’s Huangguoshu the premises of the famous Musikverein Waterfall while listening to the beats of Wien, where the Vienna Philharmonic the kettledrum and let the rhythmic Orchestra performs the annual Austrian melodies evoke the paddle stroke of a New Year‘s Concert. Since then, the Great dugout canoe gliding through a rice Chinese New Year‘s Concert has become field, with the Great Wall curling over a tradition in Austria. hills in the background. The well-filled -but not crowded- hall On the 12th of February 2010, the great was decorated with simple black and red ABBA-Show is scheduled to take place in designs, whose only elements were four auditorium D of Vienna’s town hall. And chains, each carrying three lit lampions even though a couple of Chinese fans, that shone gold and red lights. The reper- VeryVienna 7
  • 7. The First L Chinese Traditional dances and antern Festival martial arts at the Chinese lantern festival in Vienna. Judith List in Vienna By Judith List When the Confucius Institute invites all students of the Heilongjiang University students and friends to welcome the Year of Chinese Medicine. of the Tiger, the ballroom of the After a warm welcome address by Wu University of Vienna is crowded and Ken, the Chinese ambassador to Austria, even the last seat is taken. More than 300 the colourfully dressed performers pres- guests want to attend the multifaceted ent traditional dances, different styles of performance of the 18 young artists, all Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Wu Shu, a Beijing- Opera Rap and a performance of the Huangmei-Opera. When the artists offer a short practical introduction of Qi Gong the stage is immediately filled with guests, all eager to stretch their legs and arms in all directions,. After a brilliant two-hour show, a tasting of gourmet Chinese food is scheduled. The guests had the opportunity to try, for instance, the traditional sweet rice balls known as ‘Yuanxiao’. The Confucius Institute’s first Chinese Lantern Festival ends with a relaxing glass of wine. It has been truly an evening to remember and repeat. 8 VeryVienna
  • 8. S tep by Step Discovering Vienna’s Dancing Tradition Looking at the tradition of dancing and balls in Vienna, some might only see a decadent way for the elites to spend money. And yet, with such a wide variety of events, there is room for every Viennese to dance a night away in one of the many ballrooms. By Judith List The ballroom is illuminated, the guests them seem quite nervous. Maybe it is the are looking fabulous and everybody is first time they are opening a ball. Either tensely waiting for the opening cere- way, they have been practising for this mony. No matter if it is a less formal High moment for weeks. The choreography School ball or a traditional event, this pic- has been rehearsed many times, the ture is quite common for most Viennese forms have been elevated to perfection, balls. More than a hundred ‘debutants’ and every movement was practice, so as are standing at the entrance, ready to to be executed at the exact same time. All The debutants have to practice their steps launch another wonderful night. Some of eyes are on them and as soon as the mu- many times. Sometimes weeks in advance of the ball-evening. Stefan Bugovsky VeryVienna 9
  • 9. Everything but ordinary – the life ball announces a new theme every year and many guests follow. Stefan Bugovsky sic starts playing, they are marching in Then, 19 years ago, Vienna’s gay commu- step, parading into the huge ballroom. nity founded the “Rosenball” (Rose-ball) The official Vienna Ball Season starts on and appointed this day for it, establish- the same day as ‘Fasching’ (Carnival), ing a new tradition. While at the State which is the 11th of November. It ends af- Opera, selected guests always dressed ter ‘Faschingsdienstag’ (also known as “black tie”, with formal tuxedos and ex- ‘Shrove Tuesday’ or ‘Mardi Gras’). From pensive floor-length ball gowns, the countless formal balls, for instance by guests at the Rose-Ball participate in a High Schools or professional groups, to huge unconventional party, which every- rarer, gigantic charity events like the “Life one is invited to join. Aside from the Life Ball”, the season is a mixture of very dif- Ball, this is a colourful benchmark of the ferent events. Carnival is when most tra- annual calendar of gay events. Catharina, ditional balls happen, although some who opened the last Viennese Opera Ball large events can occur during the rest of as a ‘debutante’ has already made an ap- the year. pointment to visit the Rose Ball next Many of those are steeped in their own year. Contrasting with the traditional long tradition. The “Wiener Opernball” white ball gown she is planning some- (Viennese Opera Ball) always takes place thing different. ”I won’t wear jeans or on the last Thursday of the season. anything ‘normal’, although that is also Possibly the most famous world-wide accepted. I still want to stick with ‘spe- and thus the one that makes the most cial’, so I will definitely wear something imitations, it has already been copied freaky, including hairdo and make-up”, and exported to New York, Dubai, Zagreb she says. and Kuala Lumpur. Many High School balls also claim specific dates and loca- “Everybody can dance!” tions as “theirs”. Their annual balls are The many dancing possibilities may also usually organised there, coordinated by be why many Viennese learn to dance the institution’s senior students. early in their lives. There are almost 30 dancing schools in Vienna, offering ball- Ball-tradition meets different room dancing courses for all age groups. lifestyles “People coming to our dancing school are The Opera ball’s history can be traced between 14 and 84 years old”, states back to the 19th century and has always Georg, dancing teacher at the “Kopetzky” been a highlight of the season for a spe- dancing school, established in 1878. It is cific segment of Viennese society. It is, now the second oldest dancing school in however, not the only event that makes Vienna. “It is important for dancers to Vienna’s ball tradition so very special. It have fun and have the opportunity to is the diversity of the offerings that does meet and connect with other people that. These grant all of Viennese society sharing the same interests”, he says. Even if the ball is intercultural, the sweets – nights of entertainment and were tradi- Meanwhile, a dancing course for seniors the “Krapfen”, a kind of doughnut – tionally organised by various ethnic and is being held in one of their studios. “Back are still a Viennese tradition. Stefan Bugovsky professional groups (the latter are the – step – Cha Cha Cha” shouts the teacher, successors of the ‘guilds’). For a long time, and although the steps are far from be- Viennese Opera Ball was the only event ing perfect, the senior dancers seem to be scheduled to take place specifically on having lots of fun. “Dancing is a hobby the last Thursday of the carnival season. we love”, a 75 year old participant states. 10 VeryVienna
  • 10. At the “Bonbon Ball” (sweetmeat ball) the visitors might meet a lot of different traditional Austrian candies in person. Stefan Bugovsky Dancing teacher Georg is working 80 hours a week to fulfil his dream of a dancing school for everyone. Judith List “We live next door and no matter what ways have somebody to dance with. the weather is like, we are here every Second, you can debut at balls you would Friday. We also love going to balls. In fact, otherwise never afford regular tickets you can never dance all the steps you for.” Although there are several expenses learned in class there, it is too crowded. associated with attending a ball, she But still, it is fun and as long as we can thinks that everybody can do it if they dance, we will.” want. “There are some balls where you Everyone can dance, and there is no need need neither expensive gown nor tuxedo, to be perfect. “In the past, it might have and for some events tickets cost ten been something of a requirement for a Euros. Going out to a club is sometimes specific social class. These days, our more expensive than that.” courses have participants from all the walks of life”, Georg remarks. “The tradi- Celebrating variety: tion of dancing schools is about to wearing a “Dirndl”, a ball-gown change. In the past century, the focus was or a costume on etiquette; now, it is much more impor- Looking at the annually published official tant to create an area in which to spend Viennese ball calendar this might be true. one’s rare spare time away from the The beginning of the 20th century fea- stress of daily life,.” He adds that dancing tured the “Laundresses’ Ball” or the might be the perfect opposite to the on- “Coachmen’s Ball”. Today, professional line-world, in which the younger dancers groups still have balls. While subway attending courses for teens are “living”. drivers have their own ball at the town “Nowadays, meeting new people some- hall, chimneysweeps celebrate at the where, in bars or clubs, is very difficult. Parkhotel Schönbrunn and the pharma- This is why we want our dancing school cists at the Hofburg. School balls or the Stanek Dancing School Stefan Bugovsky to be a colloquial place”. Incidentally, that balls of several Universities are the stu- is how his parents met – in a dancing dents’ number one choice. Very often, the course at “Kopetzky”. Looking at Viennese dress code requires a ball gown, but the dancing schools, it seems much easier to younger crowd also occasionally attends find a life partner there than anywhere in a cocktail dress or even the “Dirndl”, a else, and this irrespective of one’s age traditional Austrian costume. Strolling group. Courses for singles are usually through the crowd at the “Inte- booked out and quite often lead to more grationsball” (Integration Ball) one might personal pairings. even spot guests wearing jeans and T- Many teenagers visit a dancing school shirts. Everyone can find his niche in the because their parents want them to. “My Viennese dancing scene. parents took me to a ball once and when I Tourists are very welcome to join the was unable to dance I decided it was time Viennese ball scene as well. One might to learn”, Catharina states and then most often identify them at the bigger demonstrates her dancing skills. and very exclusive balls at the Hofburg. Although she quit taking lessons after a Wandering through the vaulted rooms, while, she loves going to balls now. looking at the pomp that characterises According to her, being a ‘Debutante’ these dignified premises, dancing a “was a lot of fun and also has some sig- Viennese Waltz in one of the countless nificant benefits. Firstly, since you go ballrooms they probably decide it is with your dancing partner, you will al- worth visiting again. VeryVienna 11
  • 11. The filmmuseum, where exhibitions “take place at the screen” filmmuseum L ight, Shadows and Motion Vienna’s unique Cinema Landscape With roughly 40 cinemas, Vienna is one of Europe’s main film capitals. The cinema landscape is diverse: alongside modern multiplexes, Vienna The worldwide oldest cinema still in use Anna Nitsch-Fitz’s relationship with the has many unique and prestigious arthouse cinemas, as well as the cinema is a family affair. Her own grand- oldest movie theatre in the world. mother owned one. When, in 1969, she By Fabian Kretschmer had the opportunity to take over the Breitenseer Lichtspiele, she did not think twice. “I bought the cinema at a time A normal Saturday evening at the Apollo Founded in 1905, the Breitenseer Licht- when it would clearly not make much Kino, one of Vienna’s modern multiplex spiele is only one of Vienna’s countless economic sense. Television was increas- cinemas: outside, huge placards advertise arthouse movie theatres; but is stands ingly competing and audiences stayed at the newest blockbusters; inside, there are out as the oldest of its kind in Austria and home more and more. But for me, it was long queues at the cash box. To get to the in the world. Today, it shows a different like a childhood memory,” says Nitsch- high-end cinema hall, one must traverse kind of cinema. A normal Saturday Fitz. a labyrinth. At the end, a mostly young evening goes somewhat like this: Anna Another unique arthouse cinema is the audience loiters, noisily eating popcorn Nitsch-Fitz, the 72 year old owner, sits be- Stadtkino. Seen from the outside, it looks and sipping soda. hind the little cash box by herself. On the a little bit plain. People on the street That is why Alex Schindler, a 24 year old wall there is old film memorabilia – might just pass by without noticing it. former film student, sometimes passes a super-8 cameras and posters – all of But this impression is worn,g since the Saturday evening with a different cine- which predate the 1970s. Inside the little Stadtkino is one of Vienna’s most remark- ma experience. “For me, there is too cinema hall, a handful of people are able arthouse cinemas and the oldest of much claptrap inside multiplex cinemas. sitting on wooden seats, staring at a it’s kind in Austria. It sometimes feels like a circus; that mis- small screen, which has the look of the It was founded in 1981 as a communally ses the point. In an arthouse cinema, it is original, the one that was set up when financed cinema. “The goal was not only simply about watching a special film and the old, tented mobile cinema was made to show ambitious cinematic art, in its enjoying a more familiar atmosphere.” permanent in 1909. original language with German subtitles, 12 VeryVienna
  • 12. The Stadtkino, Viennaís most famous art- house cinema Fabian Kretschmer Anna Nitsch-Fitz, Alexander owner of Viennaís Horwarth, oldest cinema behind director of the her counter filmmuseum Fabian Kretschmer filmmuseum Haneke, winner of the 2009 Cannes unique. Martin Scorsese obviously appre- Festival Golden Palm award. ciates this as well: In 2005, he gladly took up the position of president emeritus of The cinema as a film museum the filmmuseum. Just a stone’s throw away from the And yet, this Saturday evening, arthouse Stadtkino, in the basement of the famous fan Alex Schindler nevertheless decided Albertina, lies the filmmuseum, Austria’s to visit the Apollo multiplex. “If you want only museum of cinematic art. Unlike to watch the latest blockbuster with your other film museums, it does not exhibit friends, you definitely should avoid art- cameras, costumes or other film related house cinemas” says the 24 year old. He item but the films themselves. The slo- smiles and adds: “In most of them it is gan next to the entrance should be taken even forbidden to eat popcorn and drink seriously: “The filmmuseum is a cine- a coke!” matheque. The exhibitions take place on the screen”. but also to provide it permanently to Nonetheless, the filmmuseum is much society. We archive every one of our more than “just” a cinema: “For the pub- films, acquire the rights and distribute lic, it is not so obvious that a great deal of them to all of Austria,” says Claus Philipp, our work goes into our archive. We the manager. steadily collect and restore films, particu- “We try to screen innovative new movies larly focussing on the avant-garde, Soviet which would not have the chance to be revolutionary cinema and German- shown elsewhere.” Claus Philipp’s profes- speaking exile cinema” says Alexander sional philosophy is to realize his cine- Horwath who has been operating the matic vision without any compromise, filmmuseum since 2002. which is of course not the best way to His goal is to provide a large outline of in- turn a profit. “Two thirds of our films fail ternational film history, so that every to be profitable. But still we attract inter- generation of cinephiles might get in est. I would immediately quit my job if I touch with it. The exhibits take place in had to show movies which I think are so- the so called “invisible cinema”, a room cially irrelevant” states Philipp who which is entirely black, except for the started started out as a film critic. screen. “We purposely abandoned every Nevertheless, he does not regard the decor that attracts attention. Nothing Stadtkino as an elitist institution: should distract the viewer from the im- “Actually, every movie that we show ages” says Horwath. ought to concern everybody in this coun- He does not only curate film programs. try”. The program of the Stadtkino in- Indeed Alexander Horwath is truly an cludes international arthouse movies allrounder: He holds lectures about cin- from international directors such as Jim ema for universities and schools and Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki and Chris publishes books and DVDs. Even interna- Marker, as well as locals like Michael tionally, the filmmuseum is absolutely VeryVienna 13
  • 13. Youngsters visiting lectures for children H experience new cultures and gain scientific knowledge. ZOOM “ ands On, Minds On, Heart Vienna has found a New Approach to Children’s Culture Looking through children’s eyes, seeing what they want and putting that into practice is the secret and the policy of several Viennese institutions aiming to prove that cultural activities can also be suitable for kids. By Judith List “Creativity has a high acceptance in our and lasting impressions, a place to study society”, says Brigitte Rollett, Professor of the world, have fun and spend their developmental psychology at the Uni- leisure time. Children are naturally more versity of Vienna. “For children, creative curious and enthusiastic about discover- activities have to be fun and relate to ing and understanding the new worlds new knowledge. This leads to the so- that are contained in a museum. They called ‘flow’ or ‘aha-experience’.” For have the right to be seen as an important youngsters, entering a museum can be target group for cultural offerings. That museums and discovering the worlds like discovering a whole new world. A is, for example, the case for Leander, a they contain. Offering Leander cultural world of new knowledge, exciting stories four-year-old boy who loves exploring content to examine usually leads to loads of new stories and adventures to nurture his mind. These days, many Viennese institutions offer special programs for children, such as workshops, often during school holi- days. Meanwhile, famous institutions like the Viennese State Opera stage plays for youthful audiences. But few of them focus on the needs of children as much as the Dschungel theatre (jungle theatre), where youngsters are at the heart of the productions. In fact, the Dschungel has al- ready staged many performances fac- Kaspler, Pezi the bear and Dagobert toring children into the action. It is quite the dragon have usual to find professionals developing been entertaining projects and working together with generations of children. young artists. An attempt is made to Wiener Urania coax the youngest into reflecting on Puppentheater 14 VeryVienna
  • 14. ts On!” what is happening in the show, maybe Teaching Children about Sciences even finish thoughts or answer questions and the World that have not been addressed on stage. Children are eager to learn more about lecture “How do children live in Looking at the various productions, one the world, often far more than school China?” Teaching children involves can easily recognise that this is not any can offer. Focussing on this fact an different methods. “I had to show, that random theatre, but a place where un- own University for school children things Chinese children do or play known worlds and cultures can be expe- between 7 and 12 years was founded in with exist in their own world too, that rienced. In fact, some of the plays are per- Vienna seven years ago. Youngsters the border between their two cultures formed by foreign artist groups. might also visit the Children is not stiff.” And how did she catch Vienna’s ZOOM Children’s Museum also is Museum’s lectures during the year. their interest for a two-hours lecture? an environment created specifically for Both organisations try to cover several By showing examples and by bringing children. Approaching the colourful win- topics of different sciences, adapted for a Chinese colleague and his son she dows of the museum from outside, you the young audience. While at a normal involved the audience and even set off university usually the focus is on the children asking questions. can already guess what this place is for. knowledge transfer, lectures for While the Children’s Museum offers Leander immediately wants to look at children also have to be fun. lectures during the school year, the the colourful badges. Inside, he cannot How is it possible to catch the Children’s University offers its decide where to turn and what to ex- children’s attention? “There have to be program during school holidays. amine first. A little display, featuring a topics which children are related to”, Visiting a children’s class might lead submarine that can be guided up and says Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, into trying the new knowledge out down by remote control buttons is so Professor of Sinology at the University within another project or maybe even interesting that he has to forcefully be of Vienna. She recently offered the into finding their later profession. VeryVienna 15
  • 15. Leander is trying to solve the underwater puzzle. Judith List reminded to take his shoes off before en- European countries. In line with develop- tering the exhibit’s area. “Look, look, it ments elsewhere, two projects emerged moves!” he shouts, pressing himself first, the aforementioned ZOOM against the glass pane to study the tiny Children’s Museum and the equally noted sub’s movements. Dschungel theatre. Nowadays, these in- These days, children’s voices echo fluence the cultural scene for teenagers through a museum, saying “Show me! I and infants in Vienna the most. That want to know how it works!” They are both institutions are now located cen- voices proof that the entertainment of trally, in Vienna’s ‘Museum Quarter’ cul- youngsters has changed with time. This tural hub, is a lucky coincidence. would have been quite unusual in Founding a new institution targeting a Vienna 15 years ago. Of course, while young crowd offers many opportunities. some possibilities to entertain children One of the main benefits is that the chil- did exist, they were both rare and most dren themselves can be the starting often not attuned to their needs. point for all the projects. Thus, at the Vienna has a long tradition of puppet ZOOM, everything is tacitly designed to shows, and one can still hear children accommodate a different perception of shouting for “Kasperl” and “Pezi” to come the world: that of infants and school- on stage. These puppets were once popu- children. “Children love to play, that is lar features of shows meant for school- how they acquire knowledge”, mentions children, and most Viennese older than Elisabeth Menasse-Wiesbauer, the mu- 30 remember them clearly. The limited seum’s Director. “We think that those number of available puppet theatres, like who are led by their own interests are the Urania or the Apfelbaum (apple tree) more curious and this way they have a and the Theater der Jugend (theatre for totally different approach to the exhibi- youth), which mainly staged plays for tions.” All displays and workshops are teenagers, were more or less the only hands-on programs where discoveries barely finished her introduction when he projects geared for younger audiences. can and should be made autonomously. sets off, practically running through the They remain features of the cultural The “ZOOM Ocean” is one of those proj- first floor’s underwater world full of sea- scene today. ects: designed for visitors of up to 6 years weed, sea anemones and coral reefs. In the 1990s, opinions concerning cul- of age, it sets itself apart by being acces- Where there is a whole universe to dis- tural offerings for Viennese children sible and welcoming for toddlers. As cover, explore and touch, where should started to change. At that time, soon as he enters the dark blue and green one turn first? While smaller toddlers Children’s culture became a political cave full of fish, Leander snuggles into stay in the “under water” area down- question, and theatres for youths fol- the cuddly water-snake toy. Clearly stairs, Leander climbs on the deck of the lowed the progression observed in other everything is just right. The guide has ship, the better to catch fish, signal to the 16 VeryVienna
  • 16. amazing for adults to find out what their children like the most.” After one hour, everybody has to go back through the came to leave… Although, nobody really seems to want to leave. “When do we come again?” asks Leander, running back into the underwater world. It is a good thing that there are many more paint- ings, films and displays on the way out, to distract him from the fact that the visit is over. The willingness to share professional creativity and knowledge with a young audience might be the distinctive feature of the Viennese cultural offerings for children. While the “Dschungel” supports projects with young performers and chil- dren working together, the “ZOOM” mainly employs young artists to teach the workshops. “The main goal is not the making of a perfect product, but tipping over into the working process without caring about what is happening around”, indicates Elisabeth Menasse-Wiesbauer. Stephan Rabl, Creative Manager and Director of the “Dschungel” theatre sees another benefit in working with and for kids: “Children will be enriched, if they have the chance to consume theatre. It can activate the potential to reveal and support creative processes or identifica- tion”. Sharing a stage with artists may be a good introduction into the field of culture, especially for toddlers. Ent- husiasm of this kind might lead to dedication and eventually offer them a lot more fun as they grow and mature. According to Brigitte Rollett, there is a huge lack of cultural reporting in the media nowadays. As a result, children need outside help to get a better under- standing of these matters. “Children who are in contact with culture benefit doubly. They have discovered the artistic On the ground level, world and therefore develop greater toddlers explore the seabed imagination and creativity, which is why Judith List they will never be bored.” While public media do not support the creative devel- lighthouse, explore an Eskimo’s life or for the adults to follow. However, this opment and interest of our youngest look into a submarine. A tube-telephone, area at least is not just for young visi- generation very much, most museums which connects several parts of the sub- tors. “Parents should have fun too. You and theatres in Vienna offer specialised marine, eventually becomes the star should never do anything you don’t like programs and are worth visiting. As attraction. After calling “Hello! Hello? with your children. Never start com- museums and creative institutions Can you hear me? Are you there?”, plaining about the exhibition. You increasingly see that children are their Leander fairly squeaks with excitement, don’t have to see the whole thing. If future audiences, they realise that it is because it ‘really works’. Meanwhile, two or three objects are fun, that’s the worth investing time, creativity and other children are hurrying from one best thing that can happen”, states money in giving them strong cultural exhibit to the next. This seems difficult Brigitte Rollett, “Sometimes it is foundations. VeryVienna 17
  • 17. P oems, Enzis and Tomatoes – Art in Public Space The metropolis of classical music’s world is not only about violins and horse carriages – Traces of contemporary art in Vienna By Josef C. Ladenhauf You might imagine a standard city trip as walking through the streets, sipping on a soft drink, window shopping, or really any activity you might do in your own city – except in a new location. Com- mercial messages and info screens sur- round us, no matter where we are. But what happens when the ads disappear? When art leaves halls, museums and ex- hibition rooms and infects public spaces, many people feel lost. Art in public makes us question what we take for granted and what is new and unfamiliar to us. As a means of awareness and consciousness, it helps us to find out more about the Visitors listening to the live music way we live our lives. coming from the store window Photo of a Band in a store window Götz Bury Insipring Places In modernity, art is no longer exclusively Museumsquartier is also not to be for wealthy, educated elite. It became missed. It’s just five minutes’ walk from common to engage with the arts, no mat- city hall, and it’s the heart of Vienna’s ter what background or social class one contemporary art scene. No matter if you might be from. Finally, art was not just a decide to go to an exhibition in the pastime for the upper classes – it became Leopold Museum - famous for its collec- accessible to everybody. tion featuring Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt It no longer celebrates the great master- - or the MUMOK, which has a more con- pieces only, but can happen in diverse temporary collection, you won’t be disap- contexts anytime, anywhere. Anyone can pointed. express themselves artistically. The City of Vienna encourages art in public Cinema on Public Squares spaces. Local politicians have set up an Another rather popular initiative in annual fund of 800,000 EUR to support Vienna is the promotion of arthouse art projects, such as the weekly Falter films. On squares in different districts, magazine articles. At Rathausplatz in the Volxkino takes place over the sum- front of the city hall, various events take mer. People gather in the open to watch place all year round. If you look through alternative movies together for free. the city’s arts calendar (available online), Afterwards, Austrian and foreign artists The courtyard of the Museumsquartier is there are always cultural activities, such are given the possibility to show their the place to meet on balmy afternoons Axel Maireder as concerts, readings, or cabaret. films, so as to meet a broader group of in- 18 VeryVienna
  • 18. An Urban Intervention When Soho meets Vienna, a bustling neighbourhood becomes the stage for critical art Initiator and participating By Edith Hammer artist Ula Schneider Edith Hammer Once a year, the upscale urban neighbour- let out a song that would echo from balconies we can look at it, feel it, and, learning from hood around Brunnenmarkt in Vienna’s and roofs as it would in an alpine canyon. In that, become aware of what we really are multicultural 16th district becomes the setting addition, an exhibition explored the role of suffering because of it“, Stephen Mathewson of a two-week art festival. Ula Schneider, its work songs around the globe. explains. initiator and participating artist, describes it Under the motto “Kick the habit“, this year’s “The Barbie Trap”, an exhibit by artist as “a project that concretely intervenes in the festival, to be held in May, approaches the Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe is pre- city“. Soho in Ottakring is more than an art problem of racism as if it were just a common sented with the purpose of connecting with festival; over the last ten years, it has become “bad habit“. One of the exhibits aiming to the World AIDS Conference that is to be the setting of discussion and criticism. “It‘s counteract racism will be the “Prejudice hosted in Vienna later this year. It is com- not about harmonization, we also try to point Extermination Machine”. Built out of boxes, posed of pink helium balloons that refer to out conflicts“, says Mrs. Schneider. Local as wires and pipes in cooperation with local the artifices that define the feminine, in the well as international artists come together schools, visitors will be invited to feed it with context of HIV in Africa, and challenges the every year to present their works on open air their personal prejudices and then get rid of idea of women being dolls for men. stages or in empty shop windows and them by being “brainwashed”. Soho in Ottakring transforms urban area encourage visitors to participate in the into a party zone, without losing track of the International artist and musician Stephen projects. issues it aims to underline. In the words of Mathewson initiated an “Informal Research The topic of last year’s festival was “To work Lab”, where he and a team of other artists the aforementioned festival creator, “A lot of or not to work“. Among the many creative review and discuss a vast amount of material people come to hear musical acts or enjoy contributions, the “Urban Yodelling Project” on racism. The development of artistic the crowds of visitors and some people start should be mentioned. The alpine tradition of reactions to this material – in the form of participating in the discussions and deal yodelling was brought to the city. Before music, exhibits, performances or other forms with the topics. Receiving a response on the sunrise on the first day of the festival, all of artistic expression – is transparently open contents of the festival is what I call appointed singers, or “Juchezins”, gathered to to all visitors. “We cannot avoid racism, but success”. VeryVienna 19
  • 19. terested spectators. Finally, the audience Gardening in the City exhibiting their paintings and sculptures shares a snack from the vegetarian buffet Vienna’s abandoned spaces are going in this building for more than hundred and discusses the movies seen. green! So-called ‘guerrilla gardeners’ are years now. The tradition of the Secession Brunnenmarkt in the sixteenth district is planting tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs goes back to Gustav Klimt and other a place worth visiting for anyone inter- and flowers in any spot that’s vacant. Is great artists in the times of the so-called ested in art. It is a farmer’s market sur- this art? “It’s innovative, that’s for sure. fin de siècle. As an Austrian saying goes, rounded by distinctive architecture and Something new - a movement - and it’s “plenty of water has run down the unique shops. Brunnenmarkt hosts the growing,” says Claudia Bender, a twenty- Danube” since the end of the 19th cen- annual multicultural festival Soho in three year old guerrilla gardener. She tury when it was built. Ottakring, which offers mind-blowing in- adds, “And of course it is art!” Claudia sights into the work and lives of migrants considers guerrilla gardening to be a Poems on the Bus and artists in Vienna. rather progressive contemporary form of Only a few minutes away from the art. Secession is Karlsplatz U-bahn station. As Deleting Advertising She suggests that different art styles in many European cities, the transit au- In June 2005, the Austrian art duo arise in a certain historical and social thority has started posting poems for Steinbrener/Dempf presented a work en- frame, but is echoing a famous slogan of commuters to read on their journey. In titled “delete!” where they removed or Vienna. Der Zeit ihre Kunst, der Kunst Vienna, the so-called “post-it poet” is covered all advertising from Neubau- ihre Freiheit – “Each epoch shall have its even more popular. He writes one- or gasse, an important high street in the art and art shall have its freedom” - is a two-sentence poems, and sticks them seventh district, for a period of two slogan written on Vienna’s Secession randomly in public places. They have weeks. Many people felt unsettled walk- building. This museum and its gold- been found on trees, walls, traffic lamps ing down a street with no advertising, plated cupola is one of the most famous and metro stations. Since 1974, he has with yellow foil providing the colour usu- exhibitions buildings in Austria’s capital, spread millions of his poems all over the ally given by posters, signs, lights and and a rather popular sightseeing spot for world, especially his hometown. He also banners. tourists. Contemporary artists have been received a lot of threats and complaints,
  • 20. The pink pieces of city furniture “Enzi” in and occasionally was in conflict with the pieces of Helmut Seethalers artwork. He Museumsquartier are perfect for arelaxing law. Eventually, the Supreme Court de- is the so called “post-it poet” of Vienna, afternoon. writing tiny poems, often only one or Axel Maireder cided his poems are accredited art and are to be protected. “I won’t stop, I will two sentences, just a thought, sticking continue,” Seethaler promises. “That is them anywhere in public; at trees, on my job, that’s what I will do.” walls, traffic lamps or metro stations. Where ever you are in Vienna, try to go to Since 1974 he spread millions of his po- the city centre and listen to music stu- ems all over the world, especially his dents playing the violin on “Michaela hometown Vienna. He got a lot of threats Platz”. There, you will get the feeling that and complaints, even got into conflict art is not something that stands on its with law several times because of that, own. It is a product of history, of the art but finally the supreme court decided his that came before it - of our own develop- poems are accredited art and shall fur- ment. The old masters and the young thermore be protected. “I won´t stop, I artists of today are using the same tools, continue”, Seethaler promises. “That is playing the same instruments, and my job, that’s what I will do.” telling the same stories - all that differs is Where ever you are in the city that’s said the final work. to be “different“ and has a lot to offer besides classical arts, come also to the Poems at the Busstop center of the town and listen to the violin Only a few minutes of walk away from playing of a music student at “Michaela the secession at Karlsplatz for instance Platz”. There you get the feeling: Art is one might discover writings on the wall nothing that stands on it’s on. It is and of the metro station such as „more and has never been isolated to anything, to more violence is shown, more and more history, to other kinds of art, to our own people see violence, until they´ve seen it so development. The old masters and the often, they want to be seen themselves young artists of today are drawing the showing violence” or „the less one has same lines, playing the same tunes, than the other, the more she prentends to telling the same stories – just with have more than the other”. These are different means. VeryVienna 21
  • 21. One N When the Museums close, ight in Vienna Vienna’s Clubs and Bars open their Doors for the Partiers. Everybody knows Vienna as the home of art, culture and Sigmund Freud. However, not many outside of Vienna are aware of the fact that Vienna offers a very vibrant and unique club and bar scene for the young at heart. By Andreas Rainer At four in the morning, Fayola is having her first bites of a Viennese Käsekrainer, a fried sausage made with small chunks of cheese, which doesn’t exist in her home country of Kenya. Anna from Germany is sipping a can of beer, while Konrad, the only Austrian in our group, is having a conversation with strangers on how to solve the economic crisis. We are in the first district of Vienna, at a Würstelstand, a place that sells sausages and cold drinks and that acts as a gather- ing point for the rich and poor, party victims and street workers of the city. “In Kenya, all the clubs look pretty much the same and play similar kinds of music. In Vienna, there is a club for every kind of music,” Fayola says of the night that lies behind us - a night which started more than six hours ago at the Schikaneder. Watching a movie, Viennese style The Schikaneder is a mix between a cin- ema, a club and a bar, one of many places in Vienna with a unique concept where one can start a Saturday night. At ten in the evening, the place is already crowded with people who came for the movie that was shown before and are now en- joying a drink at the bar. A group of people are sharing a huge birthday cake, one of them offering a piece to Anna, apparently confusing her with someone else. “Lots of students, intellectuals and artists come here to watch an artsy movie and get drunk afterwards,” Konrad explains to the non-Austrians in the group. As on most nights, a DJ is playing right in front of a wall on which a car- toon movie is projected. The sound of the movie is muted and the projection serves only as the visual backdrop for the club: it is not to be confused with the actual cinema, which is in a separate area. Who said Austrians don´t dance? 22 VeryVienna Michaela Schwarz
  • 22. Smoking is still allowed in many clubs in Vienna Michaela Schwarz Wuzzler: Austrians suck at soccer but they rule at the foosball table Michaela Schwarz There is a dance floor next to the DJ, but nobody is dancing. The Viennese in general are not too eager to dance, espe- cially the Schikaneder crowd. Listening around, the topics of conversation are music, movies, art projects and, of course, a lot of complaining, the favourite pas- time of the Viennese. All the seats are already taken, the most sought after being right next to the entrance, where a few canvas chairs are standing on a little stage that is perfectly visible from the outside, through the glass window pane. “The Schikaneder is a place where people go to in order to be seen by other people. There must be something regal about people-watching while sitting on a stage. It is funny how the Viennese are so eager to be seen by Acting on the Artists, the Vitamins of Society, play scripts never seen strangers yet don’t want to get to know them,” Konrad adds by way of explana- First Read before © Nick Albert tion. Drama Slam since 2007: When Poetry Looking around the Schikaneder, every- Masters meet Actors Art By Michael Zita body is holding a wine glass or a beer bottle in their hands, and for most people It could have been any moment in a rehersal; it is definitely not the first drink of the actors are standing on chairs with papers in their hands and reading out : “It is a Test!” night. It gets more crowded by the “A Test?” “Don’t you realize, all the Cameras, minute, so our group decides to move on they’re watching us!” However, given the to another place that is within short large audience watching and voting for their walking distance. On the way there, two favorites, the event seems to be of a diferrent men in medieval uniforms hand us some nature: It is Drama Slam again. Jimi Lend, the concept’s creator, presents this type of society and hence important in flyers. “We would like to invite you to of theatre as follows: “Authors write short plays; everyone’s life.” come to our session tonight. We will talk actors will read up to ten different plays each [www.dramaslam.eu] about communist ideals and how to re- night. This is different from thousands of other implement them into today’s society,” performances because the actors have never seen one of them explains. We politely the scripts before, they play ‘prima vista’. This way, every performance is a masterpiece of im- decline. provisation.” It sounds experimental, but its suc- cess speaks for itself. The idea has already started Clothes shopping at midnight to spread around the world, with performances We arrive at our destination, a place in Berlin, Saint Petersburg and Graz. called Mon Ami. It looks like an average The City of Vienna became aware of the success and is now sponsoring the organization that initi- club at first sight, but is much more: at ated the process: The ‘Vitamins of Society’, an as- the back of the club, a door leads to a sociation founded in Moscow with the following clothing shop that is part of the club. straightforward motto: “Artists are the vitamins VeryVienna 23
  • 23. DJ and support Michaela Schwarz F People can browse through handbags, usually from Eastern Europe. Club OST is mittens, t-shirts and many more articles enormously popular, probably due to of clothing while sipping a glass of wine Vienna’s proximity to the East and the and listening to a DJ. Anna insists on fact that the city is home to many immi- buying a red wool beret. “It matches my grants from the Balkan region. glass of red wine very well,” she says, jus- Tonight’s band comes from the Ukraine tifying the price - probably the double of and features an especially unusual per- what the beret costs at a regular clothing formance: it includes the band members, store. Her friend from Berlin backs her up all of them in their late 40s, getting on this: “You can’t put a price tag on naked on stage, cheered on by enthusias- shopping at midnight while enjoying a tic chanting from the audience. What’s glass of Chateau, I guess. That is what more, they address the crowd after al- fascinates me about Vienna. You don’t most every song - in Ukrainian. “I guess find these kinds of places, even in Berlin. language barriers vanish as long as the Vienna always manages to put an artsy music is good enough and the alcohol side into everything.” doesn’t run out,” Konrad yells over the At half past one, it is time to turn up the screaming guitar riffs. heat a little bit and finally move to a Every night comes to an end, and ours place where even the Viennese dare to ends rather early by Viennese standards dance. at the Würstelstand. Anna just ordered another round of beer and Konrad and Balkan fever in Vienna his new friends still haven’t figured out In Club OST, the locals mingle up with an how to solve the economic crisis. eastern European crowd, who are so ea- Long before the Würstelstand closes, we ger to dance and party that even the make our way home using the conven- Viennese can’t continue hiding behind ient Nightline system, which on Satur- their beer bottles. They start hitting the day night seems more like another club dance floor. The music seems to be ex- than a means of public transport. It never actly the same on every weekend: Balkan takes long to get home, which reminds beats mixed with electronic music, us again that while Vienna is big enough everything that gets people moving, per- to get lost in for a night, it is always small formed by DJs and one or two bands, enough to find your way out again. Buying the perfect party outfit while partying Michaela Schwarz 24 VeryVienna
  • 24. F Shopping at Vienna’s big ‚snack market’ the Naschmarkt, the place for all kinds of delicacies Fabian Kretschmer alafel, Sour Crow d and Dumpling ing here. And most of the people coming to the Naschmarkt are really friendly and s Vienna´s biggest Inner City Market is an exot nice.” A great deal of the shops around the Naschmarkt area is Chinese. Many Viennese even call the neighbourhood and lively Place ic “Little Chinatown”. The streets are full of Asian supermarkets as well as Chinese restaurants in which serve a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes. “The most popular dish is probably Beijing duck” On Vienna´s seventeen markets you can satisfy all your culinary desires. says Liu Bing, who works as a waiter in The most famous of all market is the Naschmarkt, a truly international one of the restaurants vis-à-vis to the and urban place feature which is appreciated by locals as well as tourists. Naschmarkt. But Chinese dishes in By Fabian Kretschmer Vienna are nevertheless a little bit diffe- rent. “We have to pay attention that the It is a sunny Saturday morning in around, take pictures and enjoy the food doesn´t become too spicy” Says Liu Vienna. The trams are filled with families atmosphere. with a smile. He then ads “Because most on a weekend excursion. On the touristic One of them is Vanessa. The 26-year old Europeans are not used to that”. and crowded Karlsplatz, bunches of peo- biology student moved to Vienna two [http://www.wienernaschmarkt.eu/] ple are snapping pictures in front of the years ago: “One of the places I appreciate opera. Not far away, in a little pedestrian most in this city is the Naschmarkt. I area right between two main roads, lies come here every Saturday or almost. the Naschmarkt. Even for tourists who Most of the time I don´t even buy any- lost their map on the way it is not diffi- thing but just take a walk” says Vanessa. cult to find Vienna´s biggest inner city Like her, lots of people treasure the urban market: Just follow your nose! and multicultural quality of the Nasch- Entering the 2,153 hectare area feels like markt, whose history reaches back into entering another world. Small, narrow the 18th century, when it was a farmer’s alleys, with little market booths on both market. sides, all of them stocked with countless Mustafa is a 39 year old man of Turkish kinds of food and drinks, vegetables, origin. For four years now, he has worked spices, herbs and wine, for instance. The at the Naschmarkt selling Dönerkebab, a innumerable passers-by are talking in a flatbread filled with lamb, salad and a colourful mixture of languages. Every- special yogurt-based sauce. With instinc- where, merchants praise their goods and tive expertise Mustafa holds his long- argue noisily with their customers about bladed knife and cuts the meat from the the price. rotating skewer. The snack, originally a A literal translation of Naschmarkt Turkish specialty, became popular in the would be “snack market”. And indeed, German-speaking world, and is now many go to the Naschmarkt to taste among a favourite dish in Vienna too. some fruit, wine or special pastry. But on Mustafa likes his work area mainly for the other hand, many cof the Nasch- one reason: “Something is always going markt’s customers go there just to stroll on. I never felt bored since I started work- VeryVienna 25
  • 25. P S ems? robl tives Crea No, he eize t unity Creative & benef P eople gi itting in ving a City filled wi th Possibili ties employs over 120,000 people, and this number is growing continuously. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Manager of the Viennese Departure fund [www.de- parture.at] – an instrument of the City of Vienna intended to strengthen Creative Industries - says: “Vienna’s Creative port Industries haven’t had to hide behind the Op creative sectors of any other metropolis, perhaps because New York and London are too far for that. Our strategy is using innovation to make up the difference. Departure considers itself a partner in the development process from creative The Power of Networks, Cultural Inspiration and Ideas is the strength idea to an economic success.” Since its of the Vienna based Creative Industries. Small firms can realize that foundation, Departure has sponsored no way projects that are elsewhere made by much bigger units. less than 259 projects in 43 project calls. By Michael Zita The digital advertising pillar, one of Departure’s sponsored projects, was Have you ever seen an advertising pillar, system? No, it was three brothers – a mu- developed by the brothers Thomas, but with a single big screen instead of a sician, a graphic artist, and a web deve- David and Gregor Lechner, who moved multitude of posters? That is possible, loper – and their small enterprise, from Lower Austria to Vienna to start although current systems – such as the “Phoenics” [www.phoenics.eu]. their studies. The brothers appreciated one presented by the Fraunhofer the broad cultural foundations offered by Institute – need several projectors. The The Economical Importance of Vienna, particularly the multiple univer- prototype presented in Vienna only Creativity sities and colleges with artistic and musi- requires one. Was it a multi-million dollar Creative Industries already amount to cal curricula and the a wide range of his- company that brought experts from more than ten percent of all Austrian torical objects of artistic value, architec- various fields together to develop such a companies. In Vienna, the creative sector ture and music loved and respected 26 VeryVienna
  • 26. Changing perspectives make successful solutions / Making Creativity sound like Music: Harmonic acts fitting in the world at large phoenics worldwide. On the other hand, the city inherent organic growth seem to be the also possesses less famous cultural offer- keys of success in the creative field. ings in the fields of electronic music and modern art. On the other hand, the less Looking for the perfect solution Sponsoring Creative famous cultural offers in the field of elec- tronic music, modern art and especially But being creative requires more than just business opportunities. Chances and Ideas to their creatives in the fields of visualization, web technology and other small niches. possibilities to find new solutions are re- quired, or, in most cases, problems that Economical Success Soon, the brothers found their own niche need to be solved. Five years ago, Michael By Michael Zita next to their studies of musical composi- Diwald [www.stream-it.at] was sitting in tion and graphic design by forming a bar at midnight with a glass of good Many great ideas have no happy end. Often there is not enough money to develop them further. Here “Phoenics”, which in its first incarnation red wine. The music was fine until a com- departure comes into play, the city of Vienna’s lift- is an Electro-Jazz band. pletely different style of music followed off service for the creative industries. With multiple But let us go back to the first steps in the this one great song. Diwald thought that project calls each year, departure sponsors projects creative business and the smallest unit of this was just wrong, went to his home in with up to 60 percent, or to a maximum of 200.000 creativity, the single entrepreneur: the second district of Vienna and started Euro of the development costs. This may be money needed to develop a prototype, or for necessary Marion Korwik [www.kwikart.at] com- to write down ideas in his basement specifications and processes for serial production. pleted her master’s degree in multi- study. The basis, simple but complex to The sponsoring depends on the size of the project media. Today, she develops web pages, handle, is to mix great music in a style- and the specific nature of the project call. illustrates print products or stands be- and genre-consistent way and distribute But this not all what departure does. Departure also hind large video cameras, filming events. this via the Internet to bars, shops, shop- tries to establish project connections with indus- Her network of contacts, originally her ping centres or even hotel rooms. trial partners, hence supporting creative folks in finding their missing counterpart needed to turn college friends, allowed her to start out as With connections from former jobs, he ideas into sellable products. Besides projects, depar- a self-employed professional. She says: found a business angel who invested in ture arranges events that generate attention, show “Every finished project is a business card his idea. Hence, Diwald and his team different and new possibilities, or connect different for new customers, as a satisfied could develop the idea to sellable product forms of arts, in a new way called intercreativity. customer is the best recommendation and meet all the legal challenges (e.g. Why should a book only be read as an audio book if you can visualize it as well, like a VJ does it for a DJ? you can have.” A network of partners, rights to mix music and perform in pub- [www.departure.at] good experiences with these and some lic space), technical difficulties and other VeryVienna 27
  • 27. obstacles that had to be overcome, partic- ularly in marketing and communication. After a long line of happy customers and again significant word-of-mouth recom- mendations that rendered adverting un- necessary, the next step is in sight: a large investment by a big firm, which would allow him to pay out his first investor and take his idea to a larger market: Stream-it will pass the borders of Austria and come to all of Europe. The rebirth of the Phoenics This also happened to “Phoenics”. The musical performances got them contacts who needed websites, so the band soon morphed into a creative studio. These projects yielded recommendations and Richness of Elektro-Jazz Band Phoenix Phoenix of TV production at very low prices, with additional discounts for Okto show pro- ducers and students. They cover all sorts of technical skills as well as the needed the 100 Voices knowledge of media law, presenting and speaking on TV, video journalism, impor- tant intercultural aspects that are ad- dressed in community TV. 100 Communities on TV show their Insights and Interests 12 chances: popular or not Barbara Eppensteiner, Okto’s Director for Okto, a Community TV Broadcaster, gives Communities a platform to Programme says: “Every programme speak to their own. This commitment helps make other opinions and should have an equal opportunity to be seen.” To ensure this, every programme is cultures visible. repeated along a fixed and well-con- By Michael Zita trived pattern. For instance, each episode of the aforementioned architecture pro- Monday night at the Schikaneder, a small [www.okto.tv/akku] and produced for gramme can be watched on Monday alternative club in Vienna. Next to a bar community broadcaster Okto by a group nights and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and a dance floor, one can find a small of architecture enthusiasts. They make twelve times all together. Okto pro- cinema with big, comfortable couches. the ‘only’ architecture programme in grammes can also be watched in But today there are no students, clubbers Austrian TV. Felicitas, editor of Akku Germany as the channel has partners in or kissing young couples watching an art adds: “This programme is only possible Hamburg and Berlin as well. Every week, movie in the 50-seat auditorium. Today, because there is a TV broadcaster like Okto broadcasts about 90 minutes of three architects from Arbeitsgruppe 4 Okto – offering a channel and the equip- programmes from these German part- are on the programme for admirers of ar- ment to make this kind of TV.” ners, which is meant to help pro- chitecture. The programme is called Akku Okto is a TV Broadcaster that bases itself grammes reach more people. on the participation of committed people With one hundred groups making regu- The beautiful anchor woman of Latino.tv and communities, mainly based in lar programmes, Okto has 3 hours of new preparing for the next broadcasting. Michael Zita Vienna. They make their own pro- programming every day, one more than grammes to show their interests and is needed for an Austrian private TV li- views to others and produce TV for their cence. A fourth hour of daily material communities. These communities in- comes from the New York programme clude – among others – austro-africans, Democracy Now! And this is achieved fans of heavy metal music or students with a yearly budget of only one million who are on TV or making TV pro- EUR, largely sponsored by the City of grammes for the first time. If a group has Vienna. The community TV broadcaster a realistic concept and can commit to is not allowed to air commercials, but producing at least 15 minutes every two programmes can be under the patronage months, it can make its own TV pro- of a company – for instance the WKO, the gramme. association of Austrian corporations, Since nobody is born a television profes- runs a programme called “bUnter- sional, Okto offers courses on the basics nehmen Wien”, about businessmen and 28 VeryVienna
  • 28. soon, a network of partners and new presented them with a simple problem: customers was established. Something that such photography is not best dis- like this is probably only possible in a city played in print. As there was no device, with plenty of small business units and someone had to invent it. With their own potential customers willing to invest in money, they built a prototype and ap- creative solutions, and at the same time plied for sponsoring. There is always only feasible thanks to a network of money for great ideas, and today, creative people who inspire and help out Phoenics has received a grant from the with recommendations, small aids and departure program which allows the cooperation. A city with both cultural brothers to take on fewer jobs and con- history and inspiration, but at the same centrate on developing the idea of a digi- with the technical infrastructure and tal advertising pillar. This in essence per- possibilities. In other words, a city fects the “Litfaßsäule”, the German name neither too big nor too small – like of the advertising pillar. Over 150 years Vienna. But then, the Phoenics was re- ago, a Mr. Litfaß invented it, and advertis- born again. ing took an important step in its history. 3D panorama photography was a hobby Perhaps someday, Phoenics will be for the Lechner Brothers, a hobby that known to have done the same. Okto show people how their voice can be heard. Okto lating stress”, say the creators of Latino.tv during a studio visit. It could be stretch- ing to achieve a slightly better quality in every episode, which is what each small production unit is aiming for. When you see that your work makes a difference, you will wish you had a little more time to devote to it. [www.okto.tv] –women with a migrant background. TV is more colourful and has its own The programme is probably the only way ways to explain things. The proud show to reach this particular target group. producers see their programme as “help- ing to make Austria the new home, Colour and interest, or fame through culturally targeted information and glory? and presentation, that feels like the long- But what inspires people to create televi- abandoned Spanish-speaking home”. Barbara Eppensteiner, Director for Programme gives every sion programmes for free? It can’t only be In fact, that is exactly the mission that programme an equal chance to be seen. Okto for fame and glory. Alejandro, editor of Okto’s founding Publisher association Latino.tv [www.latinotv.at] tells us: “For a had in mind: To make quality TV, to give single 30-minute episode, one needs 7 groups that are neither seen nor ad- man-days of work on average.” The mak- dressed by mainstream media a voice, so ers of Latino.tv, a programme for the that they can participate in Austrian cul- Spanish-speaking Austrian community tural and social life. Topics should be dis- see the need to cover Austrian topics in cussed from different perspectives, Spanish. They address the community in bringing new views and aspects to is- two ways, firstly by approaching topics sues. that are interesting for Spanish speakers How can this goal be reached? In prac- with an immigrant background and sec- tice, with much volunteer work on Friday ond by keeping to a completely ‘Spanish’ nights. “Friday Nights that could be fun format for the shows: Spanish-Speaking and interesting while also full of stimu- VeryVienna 29
  • 29. Architecture Macchiato: Young meets old at historic Karlsplatz: Garnishing A façade inspired by the idea of a fence which grants protection, yet still allows adequate illumination. Katharina Oke Architecture cover an artistically decorated residential with modern converted attics, it is fre- Vienna – A capital city of young building in the midst of the historic fa- quented by Vienna’s young profession- architecture which contributes to a vital cades. It is this mixture, flavoured by als. cityscape that combines old and new. young architects, which is Vienna’s spe- According to the City of Vienna and its By Katharina Oke cialty. architecture exhibition entitled Young Viennese Architects, which recently On Vienna’s Ringstrasse, monuments Young architects at the end toured Europe, everybody under 45 is a like the opera house and the Hofburg of the tunnel young architect. take you back in time. Besides these em- “In Vienna, young architects design “Young architecture is young by heart,” blems of past glory, memorials for small, affordable pieces for young peo- says Michael Anhammer, one of the renowned Pritzker Architecture Prize lau- ple,” says Marion Kuzmany from the founders of SUE Architekten, who are all reates like Hans Hollein and Jean Nouvel Architekturzentrum Wien (Architecture in their thirties. Architects could still be enliven the cityscape. New, magnificent Centre Vienna). “young” when they reach their fifties, he buildings like the Donau City skyscrapers An urban room for guests called Schon says. To him, young architecture is sim- are the new signatures of Vienna’s archi- Schön (inherently beautiful), designed by ply experimental when it comes to prob- tectural landscape. SUE Architekten (sue architects), is an ex- ing what buildable architecture can be. When you leave buzzing Lerchenfelder ample of young architecture in Vienna. “Some young architects operate in the Gürtel for Wimbergergasse, you walk Schon Schön is an all-in-one living com- margin between graphic-design, indus- down a small street lined with plex which includes a restaurant, a hair- trial design and architecture,” says Volker Wilhelminian style buildings. You could dresser and a boutique. Located in the Dienst from Architecture in Progress. The easily feel as though you had stepped seventh district, where Wilhelminian- Enzis, designed by young architects, ex- into a Vienna of the past until you dis- style residential buildings are capped emplify this blurring of the boundaries. 30 VeryVienna
  • 30. Every summer, the oversized, flexible fur- they wanted a forum to exchange new niture turns Museumsquartier, the ideas. They created platforms like Viennese cultural district, into a public Architecture in Progress and ig- recreation area. Architektur, a community for architects. Their aim is to foster innovative architec- The Networkers ture, encourage new entrepreneurial “We know each other quite well, and help projects and channel the interests of each other,” says Michael Anhammer young architects. The community is about the young community in Vienna. united by similar challenges, which only It is a movement characterised by trust the small and medium-sized firms tend and appreciation. As an example of this to face. The young architects make use of confidence, young firms meet once a their network, for example by referring month for the ironically named Fight each other to useful resources and con- Club. There, they present projects they tacts in other firms. In this way, they use are currently working on to other archi- the know-how of a larger group, while re- tects, and listen to the criticism of other taining the flexibility of smaller firms. Young architects in the starting blocks: Adam Orlinski, 22, and Bika Rebek, 24, professionals. The time of the lone fighters in Austrian studying architecture in Vienna. In the 1990s, young Viennese entrepre- architecture seems to be over. The young verena neur-architects started to get together. firms are formed out of 2-4 architects. Most of this group had worked in estab- “They often have boyband-like names as lished architectural firms for a while be- Silberpfeil (silver arrow), propeller z and fore starting their own businesses, and x-architects. Furthermore they have flat The building combines new, young architecture with the historic urban rail network designed by Otto Wagner. Katharina Oke VeryVienna 31
  • 31. 5 March 2010: Communication Day at the IPKeurope “The important Thing in the Economy is People” Christopher Leitl Communication is a paradoxical Communication Certificate“ (Eco-C), endorsement by the Austrian state, word. On the one hand, everyone and has already developped a but the presence of the EU-coordina- communicates all the time, more so following in Austria. But what is the tor (Mrs. Karina Kaiblinger) and the now than in centuries past; and yet, Eco-C? In the words of the pannelists person responsible of the Hungarian in our day and age, we have finally present that day, it is a way to gain program (Mr. Laszlo Kovacs) further come to recognise that the fact that some kind of certification in an area suggested that this program is we talk, does not mean we are in any where competency is otherwise already transcending the boundaries way adept at communication. There difficult to attest. It is a label of of the country. are two parts to a successful quality for employers to seek out exchange: the speaker, and the when recruiting, especially in the listener. Overlooking the importance young and newly-qualified whose of either to the proper transfer of a soft skills could otherwise be brought message is unlikely to result in into question. It implies a desire to successful communication. help people understand the dual nature of the process, and benefit That is one of the messages that a from this understanding. pannel of experts sought to establish at the headquarters of IPKeurope on Together, the pannelists represented “Takingme a Eco-Cthings. taught the few course 5 March 2010. On this day, a press the academic world (Prof. Thomas For instance, I know now that being conference was held and streamed Bauer) as much as the professional shy – like myself – does not live online, concerning an innovative world (Mr. Christopher Leitl). necessarily mean that a person certification which covers four im- In addition, the attendance of is a poor communicator, nor does portant issues: Communication, Self- representatives from Austria’s being chatty make someone Marketing, Teamwork and Conflict national employment agency (AMS, resolution. The programme itself is represented by Mrs. Inge Friehs and a good communicator ” known as the „European Marion Carmann) conveyed a strong Brian Kroll, Programmer 32 VeryVienna
  • 32. Vienna style: A 3m2 gazebo serves as an accessi- ble enlargement of a museum in the midst of hierarchies,” says Volker Dienst from STEP 05, which provides a planning tool wilhelminian style facades. Katharina Oke Architecture in Progress. aiming to ensure the establishment of “We are a pack of architects,” laughs Vienna as a metropolis in south-central Adam Orlinski, 22. He is studying at the Europe. University of Applied Arts, which is one Residential buildings, historically a defin- of three universities teaching architec- ing aspect of architecture in Vienna, are ture in Vienna. (Approximately 4,800 also part of STEP 05. Marion Kuzmany Architecture in Progress young architects study at the University has determined that new, innovative Architecture in Progress serves as a of Applied Arts, the Academy of Fine Arts concepts are being applied when it platform for young and innovative and the Technical University Vienna.) comes to construction activity. New architecture. Its aim is to foster con- Adam Orlinski and his colleague Bika references to public space, common temporary, high-quality architecture Rebek, 24, appreciate learning from rooms, and approaches to new work en- in Austria and abroad. Architecture in world-famous architects like Zaha vironments (such as working from Progress organises events and Hadid, Gregg Lynn and Wolf Prix – and home) are reflected in modern residen- projects in the field of architecture. they call these distinguished artists by tial buildings. These concepts attract ar- http://www.architektur-inprogress.at their first names. chitects from all over Europe to study in (German only) “In class, nothing is right or wrong,” says Vienna. Adam about the way they are taught. Other areas, like the Karmeliterviertel, AzW – Architecture Center Vienna “We are trained to find our way in differ- are experiencing gentrification. In The Austrian architecture museum ent situations and solutions to different Vienna, this process can be described as serves as a meeting place for problems. Everything is very dynamic gentle urban development, and commu- devotees of architecture. It offers and based on dialogue.” Bika adds, “You nity participation is a keyword in the po- exhibitions, as well as being a centre have to defend your own opinion.” The litical and urban planning of this process. of knowledge and research and a students apply these soft skills not only Converted attics and new bars, designed source of information on the field. in class, but also when they work with by young architects, already enrich the On Sundays, it offers excursions to well-established firms on small-scale Karmeliterviertel: some cafés are even the newest architectural sights of university projects like Architecture Live. serving designer coffees, which were un- Vienna and the surrounding area. seen in this area until recently. http://www.azw.at/ Shaping Vienna “Vienna could use many more people,” This year was ushered in with a wreck- says Marion Kuzmany. “This way schools Y.o.V.A. – Young Viennese ing ball in Vienna. The station concourse and flats would be needed, and this Architects of the Südbahnhof rail station was re- would lead to jobs, and more interesting The exhibition serves as a platform moved in order to make space for a new projects.” The self-confident students are for young Viennese architects. Its aim hybrid train station – Vienna’s Main ready. Bika proclaims: “We would build is to showcase projects by individuals Station. It is one of the core components anything.” and groups who form part of Vienna’s of Vienna’s Urban Development Plan young, urban architecture scene. Exhibition and catalogue in German and English. http://www.wieninternational.at/en/ node/13571 (on Y.o.V.A. in 2009) VeryVienna 33
  • 33. The Baron and His Harness Behind the Scenes of Vienna’s Vienna, Stefansplatz. Twelve horse car- riages are waiting for customers. Hardly anyone is interested in them. Twelve parked horse teams on a wintery day. Now and then, some children stop to pet the animals, which pleases neither the horses nor their drivers. While the former flatten their ears and snap at each other, the latter abruptly tells the animal lovers not to touch the horses. The place smells of horse urine. A man with a long ponytail, wearing a top hat famous Carriages ‘Fiaker’ and a beard of the kind you hardly see nowadays crosses the square with a dustpan and a broom: “The others don’t care about the cleanliness of this place. Fiaker belong to Vienna like to Gondolieri to Venice. Looking behind Me, I am a born coach driver, I do the tailcoats and top hats, the coachmen can tell a lot of stories of dirty work, I even remove cigarette stubs classical Vienna. Especially a special character like Georg Fasching, and horse droppings , ‘cause there once was a graveyard underneath this square. Vienna’s self proclaimed Fiaker Baron. I have respect for the resting souls. My By Laura Claire Bakmann colleagues are lazy; dirt on the ground 34 VeryVienna
  • 34. A ‘Fiaker’ roundtrip always passes the Hofburg, Vienna’s imperial palace Anna Gonzáles Martí Fried fish, Shoemaker I ask him what kind of changes his pro- and Smithy fession has undergone. In reply, he states We are sitting in Vienna’s longest operat- that “in older times the coach-driver was ing carriage. It has been in use since 1866. an alcoholic with a criminal record. But The coaches are originals or replicas built things have changed. Nowadays, most of after archetypical Polish plans. The inte- the drivers do not drink at all, and blood riors are lined with velvet or leather. In alcohol levels are not allowed to exceed winter, additional blankets are offered. A 0,8 per cent.” About 30 years after the sudden jerk and the coach is moving. It first licence had been granted, the makes for the bank of the Danube, along Parisian word ‘Fiaker’, or‘Fiacre’, which Rotenturm Street, and eventually turns means coach or carriage in French, was left onto ‘Fleischmarkt’ (originally adopted. Originally, the term was named Vienna’s meat packing district). after an innkeeper in the Rue de Saint- The coach Baron has given numerous in- Fiacre, who lent out carriages. Since 1984, terviews in the past. With a smile on his female carriage drivers are also offering face and a sparkle in his eye, he speaks of trips. his occupation as “the most beautiful job Around 9 a.m. you can see carriages hur- in the most beautiful city in the world.” riedly making their way to the inner part The 43-year-old is a unique Viennese of the city. When they move through coach driver for the last thirteen years. morning traffic, they are even faster than Before that, he used to work as a waiter. usual: all long reins, flowing manes and “Legendary coachmen such as ‘Bratfisch’ upraised heads. They come from the sur- (Fried fish) Josef, and the personal driver rounding areas, the fields of the Prater of crown prince Rudolf, ‘Schuster’ and head into the first district, their best (Shoemaker) Franz, and ‘Schmied route. (Smithy) Hansl also had the honour of wearing a top hat.” Nowadays, the Baron Austrian operettas in is the only coachman in the entire of Japanese Vienna who wears one. During the A majority of passengers are weekend summer he is dressed in a vest and a sack tourists, business people, and vacation- coat, but in winter, warmth comes before ers. “If my customers are Viennese, they beauty. are usually celebrating a birthday, or a does not bother them at all. I am an aes- thete though”. Wolfgang Fasching talks about himself with a touch of roguish pride. He is Vienna’s carriage Baron, and that is the only way one can refer to him. After greeting every horse by its name, he sweeps away their droppings. Though they wear their so-called poop-bags which are supposed to collect the ma- nure, some of the horses are so devious that they always manage to aim else- where. That is because our four-legged friends like to stand in a certain posture, called “Schieldern” in German, so as to rest one or the other leg. Nearly all the horses are dosing. Some are pawing the ground, as if they wanted to eat some- thing. Others are nibbling on their neigh- bour’s harness and rubbing their throats against each other, much to the annoy- ance of the coach drivers. Vienna’s most famous coachman Georg Fasching is a Fiaker with his body and soul Anna Gonzáles Martí VeryVienna 35
  • 35. Being a Fiaker is a tough job Laura Claire Bakmann wedding, a company anniversary or re- its peculiarities. “There are Germans who sheer emotion. His favourite events are tirement.” The coachman’s trained eye start singing the moment they sit in the golden and silver wedding anniversaries. recognizes tourists from the way they carriage. On one occasion, I had Japanese “Suddenly old people become young and move, their clothing, and their appear- customers who sang Austrian operettas are deeply in love again. Now and then, a ance. “Locals walk at a more determined in Japanese. I was deeply impressed.” pair also chooses to take a trip in a closed pace; they barely look around.” In nine It is up to the coachman to decide what carriage, also known as a ‘Porzellanfuhr’. out of ten cases he can tell in advance stories to tell passengers during the trip. Although some of the cabs have a win- whether someone is interested in taking “I have such a vast store of knowledge dow between the coachbox and the car- a tour. that if I were to tell customers everything riage, in those cases, utmost discretion is Furthermore, he often has a feeling for I know, I would have to walk with them, called for: no turning around at all. people’s nationalities. Origins can be pin- stopping on each corner for ten minutes.” Nothing else should be of interest. And it pointed through fashion. This winter, for There are different types of customers. isn’t.” example, Russian women prefer fur hats “Some of them are mainly interested in During the interview with the Baron, á la Dr. Zhivago. Arabs, on the other hand, dates and facts. Others prefer the histori- other coach drivers are resting, eating in are often in a hurry. “In the carriage, their cal anecdotes. Still others enjoy the tour covered carriages, or having a smoke children jump around, eat, and do not in silence.” Good coachmen realize this with colleagues. Rarely do they display care about cleanliness. Sadly, most of by the time they reach the second street any sign of affection towards the horses. them are not all that interested in corner. The Baron never gets tired of They only communicate with them to Vienna’s architecture.” Every nation has talking enthusiastically about the city harshly warn them to stand still. These and its main historical characteristics. working animals seem to have adjusted Meanwhile, the coach roughly moves to the daily routine of urban traffic. past the Hofburg, across the bumpy sur- Nevertheless, some residents feel an- face of Michaelerplatz. noyed by the tradition. Their complaints concern animal abuse, odour- and noise Accused by a fur coat nuisance and obstruction of traffic. The “In thirteen years, I have overheard seven Baron says that, on one very cold day proposals, none of which was refused. (about -10°C), a woman in a fur called That is the heartblood of my profession.” him an animal abuser! Witty as he is, he The baron is discreet. When he realizes responded: “at least my animals are still that someone intends to propose, he will alive. Those you are wearing around your secure the carriage and take a moment to shoulders are already dead.” By now he smoke a cigarette on a street corner. That only smiles at these kinds of accusations. is how he occasionally happens to see The Baron personifies patience, and that men kneeling in front of his carriage, is the quality that his colleagues as well while their sweethearts weep out of as his horses appreciate the most. 36 VeryVienna
  • 36. D eath must be Viennese Funeral art in Vienna’s sepultural museum Amelie Springer and Laura Claire Bakmann It is said that Viennese People have a rather unconventional “Death must be Viennese” is the title of a famous song by Georg Kreislers. The relationship to death. In this context words as morbid, macabre quest to understand the unique relation- and bizarre are often used. This special attitude of the metro- ship between Vienna and death leads to polis located at the Donau is supposable due to an eastern the Sepulchral Museum of Vienna’s influence. The Viennese famous Zentralfriedhof is, according to Funeral Services, located in the Gold- the number of dead bodies, the biggest cemetery in Europe. eggasse. This museum was established 1967 as From Laura Claire Bakmann and Amelie Springer the first of its kind. “The visitor’s ages VeryVienna 37
  • 37. Zentralfriedhof, Europe’s biggest cemetery in terms of corpses Amelie Springer and Laura Claire Bakmann range from three to 90 years. You cannot deeply. Consequently, in 1785, Emperor My friend the death start dealing with dying early enough. In Josef II commanded that a ‘Sparsarg’ In the catacombs of St. Stephen, under the end, you would not have the time to should be used. This special coffin made the Viennese Stephansdom, a tomb bur- do so anymore”, says Mag. Dr. Wittigo of wood had a flap so that the corpses, ial vault holds the preserved entrails of Keller, the curator of the museum, with a which had been sewn into a linen sack the Habsburgers as well as skulls and whimsical smile. Keller is a short man in before, were falling through the open- bones piled up like firewood. Her- blue jeans and a leather jacket. He wears ings into their graves. This manner had metically sealed to prevent decay, copper his greying hair in a ponytail. With his the advantage that the coffin could be coffins contain corpses of bishops. Since sparkling smile and positive spirit, he reused. Now, the people felt that a fu- that space gradually dwindled, the really does not look like a person who neral was an event and wished to cele- creation of cemeteries provided an out- engages with death every day. While brate the procedure. This caused the idea let. A few decades later, Vienna having guiding us around the exhibition he of the ‘beautiful corpse’ to take root. Thise expanded steadily, those cemeteries almost shines. Listening to the words of term is commonlyonly used in Austria. were in the middle of the city. In 1874, the this artist, cultural anthropologist and art This describes the pomp and parade-like Zentralfriedhof was founded in Simme- historian may surprise you, as he nature of a funeral. One example thereof ring, one of the outer districts of Vienna. explains how vivid the end of a life can is the following: People, who owned or Today, this cemetery is one of the largest be. Once a year, the museum offers a rented a flat in a spot with good visibility, in Europe when it comes to the number special event, where visitors can actually rented their window spaces for quite of buried corpses. It hosts about 3 million test the coffins themselves, though of some money. These ‘lodge seats’, from corpses of people who, in life, followed course without dying first. According to which one could watch the procession different religions, in an area of almost Keller, lying in one of those coffins is a while enjoying coffee and cake, were in 2.5 square kilometres. The Art Nouveau special feeling. “There’s nothing like high demand. That was said to have been architecture and a great many graves of angst… Instead, you feel relaxed”, so a custom until the death of the last distinguished persons make the Zentral- Keller. Austrian Empress, Zita, in 1989. In the old friedhof to one of Vienna’s most famous Vienna, cemeteries were located in the sights. The beauty of the corpse inner city, since relatives wanted to be as Death also has found its way into fa- At the end of the 18th century, corpses close to their deceased loved ones as pos- mous Viennese songs, mainly as the were speedily transported through an sible. But with grave arches cramped Grim Reaper. Another example of the underground pipe connecting the city since the time of the Black Death, unique relationship of Austrians with centre to a collective tomb. While this Emperor Joseph II eventually forbid fu- death can be heard in the locally well- kind of mass grave was due to reasons of nerals under churches in the city centre, known song by Wolfgang Ambros “Es efficiency, it shocked the Viennese for reasons of hygiene and sanitation. lebe der Zentralfriedhof”, written in 1975. 38 VeryVienna
  • 38. Wittigo Keller, director of the sepultural museum in front of a coffin for sitting bodies Amelie Springer and Laura Claire Bakmann The title translates as “Long Live the in case of any movement and alert the “This shall be accompanied by didgeri- Central Cemetery”. According to the cemetery guard who lived next to the doo music.” His favourite dish will also song, “Death is no enemy to the Vien- storage area. The alarm never stopped come be put in the coffin with him. nese”; it always accompanies one like a ringing. This was not due to masses of When speaking of his own death and shadow, a friend with which one goes to still-living people, but to corpse decay: burial, his eyes once again shine. “You a pub. the developing gases cause bodies to can be scared of dying, but not of death This goes against the medieval belief contract, and hence, move. itself.” that Death would come to take people Another absurdity from today’s point of [http://www.bestattungsmuseum.at] away against their will, rich and poor view is the first photo studio for corpses, alike. Instead, an hourglass filled with which opened in the 1850ies in Vienna. sand appoints the moment of one’s Applied glass eyes and retouching made death. The Grim Reaper realises when dead bodies seem alive. Bodies in rigor this time has come and ‘harvests’ the mortis where simply bent into their person at the right moment. photo poses. To get to the studio, the surviving family members drove in a Apparent deaths and special carriage sitting next to the corpse the wishes for burials deceased. Again, for hygiene reasons, this In the course of exhumations, corpses was prohibited later on. could be found in different poses or with Another interesting oddity: a special broken fingernails. This caused a lot of series of postcards printed featuring the agitation, as people assumed that the dead Franz Josef II. Friends and relatives state of the corpses proved that the de- could thus receive a greeting from ceased had not been dead at the time of Vienna depicting the ‘beautiful corpse’ of their burial. Many inventors tried to save the emperor. people from these apparent deaths. The Another interesting item are black most famous invention was the “rescue cigarette packets with the inscription alarm”. Before a burial was allowed, the ‘smoking secures jobs, your sepulchral corpse would be stored in a mortuary for expert Kunz’, which can be found in the about 48 hours, for observation. In Sepulchral Museum. winter, those were even heated. The For his own burial, Keller wants to invite deceased got a sling around their wrist, surviving artist friends to embellish his linked to the rescue alarm. It would ring coffin by drawing on it with an airbrush. VeryVienna 39
  • 39. This magazine was edited by students from the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna.