Winter 2019/20
Urban explorations – Field trips to public art/ space

Art is ever-present in urban space and characterises the cityscape. While certain artistic works are deeply anchored in the collective awareness and thus enjoy public attention – Rachel Whiteread’s  Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial for instance –, others go almost unnoticed, or aren’t immediately identified as artwork. Among these are interventions or compositions that subtly (often temporarily) inscribe themselves into an urban context, like Marcus Geiger’s house façades painted in the colours of Euro banknotes at Wiedner Gürtel (just opposite Erste Bank Campus).

The recent, passionate debate over the removal/destruction of Lawrence Weiner’s lettering SMASHED TO PIECES (IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT), which was painted on the flak tower in Esterhazypark in 1991 and since then has characterised the building and virtually made it a landmark, raises the question what to do with works conceived and produced specifically for a site when the site itself is subject to change – and demonstrates how sensitive this issue is. How can these (now obsolete?) works be collected and archived? Or how can they be transferred into a new context?

This semester’s course will focus on art in architecture projects and the aspect of their respective temporality. On weekly field trips, we will discuss about prominent and less known examples of public art, and visit a wide range of different building types and public spaces. Some artworks were conceived and designed for an architectonic detail – a staircase, for instance – others are currently threatened to lose their “carrier” due to necessary renovation or modernisation measures.

more Info at the Base Angewandte


Image: Arenbergpark, Jeanette Pacher, 2019