Book look: Essl Museum

“Eine kleine Machtmusik” is a play on words and the name of an exhibition currently on at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg near Vienna.
Rene Block chose the unusual title which refers to “A little serenade” or “A little night music”, one of the most famous tunes by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the legendary Austrian composer of classical music. While the original title of Mozart’s composition is “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”, “Macht” means “might” in German. Speaking to the directors of the Essl Museum, Karlheinz and Agnes Essl, Block admits that he felt “overwhelmed and powerless” by the vastness of their collection.

Karlheinz Essl asked Block to organise an exhibit based on the pieces of art the museum’s storage offers. In his introducing words for the catalogue, Essl reveals why Block named the exhibit “Eine kleine Machtmusik”. The catalogue – now out and on sale at the museum’s gift shop – includes lots of information about Block and his intentions. The long conversation which German art expert and former head of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel held with Karlheinz and Agnes Essl is part of the catalogue – as well as a reproduction of all the objects Block picked for the varied exhibition.

As part of “Eine kleine Machtmusik”, paintings and installations by Arnulf Rainer and Hermann Nitsch are on display. Furthermore, visitors get to see renowned Viennese photographer Heinz Cibulka’s documentation of one of Nitsch’s so-called painting events. Paintings by Christian Ludwig Attersee and Maria Lassnig were considered by Block as well. While Lassnig’s paintings became famous across the globe only recently, little is known about her creative output as a sculptor. Block did not forget to portray Lassnig this way as well – and picked some sculptures by Lassnig, now on display at the Essl Museum alongside objects created by Erwin Wurm.

Eine kleine Machtmusik. Bericht aus dem Depot.
By Rene Block
Published by the Essl Museum (

Book look: Jagoda Marinic

A new ‘manual’ for a country has been released kroatienby Piper, a renowned German publishing house.

Piper’s Gebrauchsanweisung series has been popular for years because of its fresh approach to portraying a country or a city. Previously, Gebrauchsanweisung books about Paris, Greece, Spain and many other popular holiday destinations have been published. However, the books’ authors do not focus solely on touristic aspects. They also write about living in the countries and cities. People’s problems and economic difficulties are not ignored.

Jagoda Marinic was born in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, to Croatian parents. She spent every summer of her childhood in Croatia before moving there after finishing her studies in Germany. Having resided in Zagreb and Split, Marinic now lives in Heidelberg in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

In her “Gebrauchsanweisung für Kroatien”, Marinic tells from Croatian culinary delights, the country’s national parks and its beautiful seaside towns.  Furthermore, the author of “Eigentlich ein Heiratsantrag” and “Die Namenlose” portrays Zagreb’s young art scene, gives advices regarding encounters between vacationers and residents and writes about important religious traditions.

“Gebrauchsanweisung für Kroatien” comes at the right time as the country recently became the 28th member of the European Union (EU). Marinic offers interesting insights as foreign media criticise Croatia for failing to fight corruption.

Gebrauchsanweisung für Kroatien
By Jagoda Marinic
Published by Piper (

Book look: French fun, Viennese tunes and Rafati’s story

Foreign language calendars are increasingly popular as they help learners to improve day by day. Langenscheidt’s French calendar for next year features facts about France and its people as well as langenscheidtrecipes and various informative but also entertaining facts. Solutions to the exercises can be found on the back pages – accompanied by helpful additional information about grammatical rules. The author of the calendar, which is nicely illustrated, is Fabienne Schreitmüller. Further features of this new Langenscheidt release are quotes by famous authors and philosophers. “Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2014 Französisch” also informs what happened on that very day 15, 25 or 40 years ago – from landmark political decisions to the decease of celebrated artists.

Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2014 Französisch
By Fabienne Schreitmüller
Published by Langenscheidt (

The Perlen-Reihe publishing house and its series of pocket-sized books of the same name have a long tradition. Previously, books about card games, knitting and mushroom-picking have been released. The broad spectrum of the company has now been expanded further by a new edition: a quick guide into the Wienerlied, a legendary genre of Viennese songs. Wienerlied tunes have a history of around 200 years. They are sung by artists at Vienna’s popular Heuriger wine taverns. Often, guests sing along as many of the songs are well known. For “Das Glück is a Vogerl. Die schönsten Wienerlieder”, Herbert Zotti has collected the notes and lyrics of famous tunes and newer Wienerlied songs. Short texts inform about their background and topical range. The “Wiener Fiakerlied” from 1885 and “Ein Krügerl, ein Glaserl, ein Stamperl” – a song written by Gerhard Bronner in 1960 – are just two of the many songs featured in this wonderful book.

Das Glück is a Vogerl. Die schönsten Wienerlieder
By Herbert Zotti
Published by Verlag Perlen-Reihe (

Football fans all over the world were horrified to hear that one of Germany’s most renowned referees tried to kill himself. Babak Rafati, who was born to Persian parents in Hanover in 1970, was found seriously injured by his refereeing team colleagues in his hotel room hours before a Bundesliga match in Cologne in November 2011. Rafati survived – and decided to speak out about his depression and how he finally managed to get over it. However, the former FIFA referee also reveals all about the dark times before his suicide attempt. Rafati started refereeing matches in Germany’s top-flight league eight years ago. He previously worked as referee in lower leagues. After several matches in international competitions, Rafati felt increasingly pressurised. “I’m doomed to lose this game,” he often thought to himself ahead of matches in front of tens of thousands of rivalling clubs’ supporters. The former referee’s decision to end his life sent shockwaves across the globe around two years after German national team keeper Robert Enke killed himself. Rafati’s story had a happy end after all – now he is ready to tell it.

Ich pfeife auf den Tod!
By Babak Rafati
Published by Kösel (

Book look: Hubert Burda

Hubert Burda was editor in chief of Bunte, a tradition-rich magazine, for 10 years in the 1970s and 1980s. Now he has released a book about this era. However, Burda is not only looking backwards.

In “Die Bunte Story. Ein People-Magazin in Zeiten des Umbruchs” he also shares his thoughts on today’s challenges for media managers such as social media and online networking websites. Contemporary developments mean that news are all over the web within seconds. The key question for print publications such as Bunte is how to react to that.
Bunte is still widely considered as a magazine which people only read at the hairdresser’s. However, the glossy magazine would not have survived without a solid readership over the past decades. Its policy has changed from providing news and rumours about Europe’s different royal families and Germany’s high society to attempting shaping people’s lifestyles by broadening its offerings. American magazines became important role models for Bunte which managed to attract an increasing number of young readers.

Apart from interesting details about Bunte’s battle against Stern, Burda’s book also features great photographs showing him with former German chancellor Helmut Kohl and late global leaders like Egypt’s Anwar El Sadat and Ronald Reagan, president of the United States between 1981 and 1989.

Die Bunte Story. Ein People-Magazin in Zeiten des Umbruchs
By Hubert Burda
Published by Pantheon (

Book look travel special: Stockholm

Recommended sightseeing routes, SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAshopping tips and lots of general advices – Dumont’s new Stockholm guide has got it all.

The compact 120-page book by Petra Juling – who previously wrote tourist guides for Sweden and England – includes a foldable map. Juling’s summaries of the city’s highlights – from the Royal Palace to city hall – are illustrated with great pictures.

An own chapter is dedicated to the Vasamuseet (, a museum about a battleship which sunk on its maiden voyage. Finished in 1628, the royal army hoped that the Vasa would make it invincible. Visitors of the museum get an insight into living on a ship at that time. Furthermore, the museum includes interesting facts about the complex conservation of the ship.

Another attraction with magnetic appeal is the Moderna Museet (, a remarkable collection of contemporary art. The museum currently presents a Pop Art exhibit featuring works by Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and many others. Apart from that, the SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAachievements of Niki de Saint-Phalle are on display in several rooms. Some sculptures created by the late French artist attract people’s attention in front of the museum.

Dumont direkt Stockholm
By Petra Juling
Published by Dumont (

The Austrian Culture Channel would like to recommend the Birger Jarl Hotel to everyone planning to visit the capital of Sweden. A delicious breakfast buffet, modern room design and very friendly receptionists are the hotel’s assets. For room rates, visit
or call +46 867 418 09.

Urban architecture and DIY furniture at the MAK

Vienna’s Museum for Applied Arts (Museum für angewandte Kunst, MAK) once more surprises with extraordinary special exhibitions. The museum currently presents an exhibit focusing on architectural solutions in Asia as well as an exhibit featuring bicycles from the past decades. Furthermore, an exhibit called “Nomadic Furniture 3.0” is now on display at the museum located at Vienna’s Stadtpark.

“Nomadic Furniture 3.0” presents various ways to design homes by manufacturing furniture oneself. The exhibition also investigates the impact of Ikea’s approach to design. Ecological concerns and the way the global do it yourself culture developed over the years are also aspects the exhibit tdmconsiders.

As part of the MAK’s “Tour du Monde” exhibit, bicycles from the beginnings of the sport to models created recently are on display. The exhibition can be considered as a tribute to their beauty and functionality. Apart from famous French and Italian bikes, Austrian ones are featured too.

“Eastern Promises” shows the significant architectural differences of the capitals of Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan. Visitors of the exhibition are informed about urban planners’ attempts to meet residents’ demands. “Eastern Promises” also investigates whether the megacities’ authorities have managed to deal with problems such as pollution and the rapid growth of population.


MUMOK presents Oehlen

An interesting current exhibit is drawing the crowds at one of Vienna’s most important museums.

The MUMOK, the city’s Museum for Modern Art (, is hosting an exhibition of works by Albert Oehlen. The exhibit, called “Malerei”, not only features the large oil on canvas paintings from the 1980s when Oehlen started focusing on creating art. It also consists of drawings and small albert oehlen piccollages made of newspaper cuttings, pornographic images and oil colours. Furthermore, visitors get to see how Oehlen painted over advertisements, mostly of supermarkets in Germany and Spain. These paintings leave a strong impression due to the dominance of bright colours.

Brown tones, grey and black are most significant in the German artist’s early works. His approach to use mirrors like tiles on the canvases is unusual and effective. A self-portrait with a horse is the highlight of this part of the exhibition. An installation featuring a bed, vinyl records and several other objects might be the most remarkable piece of art on display as part of the exhibit overall.

The Albert Oehlen exhibition is not the MUMOK’s only attraction this summer. The museum – which is located at the Museumsquartier (MQ) in Vienna-Neubau – also presents outstanding paintings and sculptures of its collection and the Ludwig foundation. “In Progress” consists of works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon.

Book look: superb soccer, so many questions and lots of water

SportBild, Europe’s biggest sports weekly, has released a book about the 50-year history of Germany’s top-flight football competition. “50 Jahre Bundesliga” has it all – comprehensive statistics, brilliant pictures and spobiinteresting interviews with former players. The book portrays all of the Bundesliga’s stars – from Toni Schumacher to Giovane Elber and Bastian Schweinsteiger. It features the top line-up of each season and facts about the most spectacular transfers. However, the book is also full of anecdotes such as stories about the most embarrassing own goals and the league’s biggest scandals. “50 Jahre Bundesliga” is the perfect device to prepare for the upcoming season of the league which is set to start next month. Fans are eagerly awaiting the 18-team competition’s first kickoff. Once more, all eyes will be on Bayern Munich. Last season’s champions made headlines by assigning former FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. Now supporters of Bayern and the club’s rivals are engaged in discussions whether the country’s leading team can match the sky-high expectations of the public.

50 Jahre Bundesliga
By Matthias Brügelmann
Published by SportBild / Axel Springer AG (

Duden – a prestigious German publishing house – is a household name thanks to its excellent dictionaries and grammar books. However, the company’s entertainment section is doing well too. Over the past few years, Duden released a broad range of quizzes. Now the publishing house presents a calendar full of general knowledge questions. “Duden Allgemeinbildung 2014. Das große Quiz für das ganze Jahr” by Thomas Huhnold offers the perfect opportunity to expand one’s knowledge by featuring 365 questions for as many days. Its compact format makes the calendar the perfect asset for the breakfast table or the office desk. In only a few minutes, its owners can learn something new day by day. The calendar – which follows the release of “Testen Sie Ihr Wissen!”, a great quiz book by Heike Pfersdorff and Jürgen Hess – covers politics, history, science, sports and many other subjects.

Duden Allgemeinbildung 2014. Das große Quiz für das ganze Jahr
By Thomas Huhnold
Published by Duden (

Gerhard Tötschinger has written several books of cultural and historical background. Now the prolific author finished “Die Donau. Geschichte und Geschichten vom großen Strom”, a book about the Danube, Europe’s second-longest stream. Tötschinger explains the enormous influence of the river on several countries’ industry, but also writes about the effects on various battles. The Austrian’s new book features several illustrations of castles situated along the Danube but also maps. He tells from the most important artists which were influenced by the river – including Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto. Tötschinger’s book about the “queen of the streams” which rises near Donaueschingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, will please everyone interested in history, literature, art and architecture.

Die Donau. Geschichte und Geschichten vom großen Strom
By Gerhard Tötschinger
Published by Amalthea (

Enjoying summer at the Essl

The Essl Museum is focusing on Tim Eitel. An exhibit called “Besucher” (Visitors) is now on display at the gallery in Klosterneuburg near Vienna.

Black and grey dominate the pictures of Eitel who was born in Leonberg near Stuttgart, Germany, in 1971. He captures moments of daily life which seem rather trivial at the first glance: someone reading a book in bed, pigeons scouring trashcans for leftovers. However, all of his paintings have an enormous force and presence, even the smallest ones.
Those who cannot stand the heat of the summer will feel a chilly breeze caused by the power of Eitel’s pictures which are depressing and impressive at the same time. Everyone looking for some warmth and a more comfortable atmosphere should take the stairs to have a look at the Essl Museum’s “Sommerbilder” (Summer Pictures) exhibition.

“Sommerbilder” features works by several Austrian artists, including Herbert Brandl. The Vienna-based painter is well known for his large mountain pictures for which he mostly works with dark colours. In “Sommerbilder” he is represented with an untitled painting showing a summer landscape. Pictures by artists from India, Germany and the United States are on display too.

The Essl Museum hosts various workshops and special events on a regular basis. Visit for more information.

Adams’ achievements

Photographs by rock star Bryan Adams are currently on display at a new Viennese gallery.

The Ostlicht (, a venue for contemporary photo art associated with the Westlicht gallery in Vienna-Neubau, presents an exhibition called “Exposed”. The exhibit features large photographs taken by lohanthe singer in recent years. Most shots are presented in black and white.

The exhibition consists of two parts. Firstly, portraits of showbiz stars like Ben Kingsley, Mick Jagger, Lindsay Lohan and Elton John are on display. Secondly, the Ostlicht gallery presents Adams’ pictures of British soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Needless to say, this dramatic contrast is certain to leave many visitors speechless.

All of the images on display at the gallery – which is situated in Vienna-Favoriten – prove Adams’ skills and versatility as a photographer. It is about time to recognise the Canadian not just as a musician writing great songs but also as one of the best photo artists of the 21st century.