Book look: Fukushima & football photography

Almost four years have passed since the nuclear power plant of Fukushima was seriously damaged due to massive SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAwaves caused by an immense earthquake. An Austrian journalist wanted to find out what the disaster meant to the people living nearby. She travelled to Japan to speak with inhabitants of the region of which wide areas could remain uninhabitable for decades. Judith Brandner – who has been producing acclaimed Ö1 Radiokolleg reports on science, history and music for many years – carefully created 13 very personal portraits. Many of those who were forced to leave their homes after the occurrences of 11 March 2011 are desperate and sad. However, Brandner and photographer Katsuhiro Ichikawa also discovered lots of determination and self-confidence as several of those affected refuse to let the natural and nuclear tragedy get them down.

Zuhause in Fukushima. Das Leben danach: Portraits
By Judith Brandner
Published by Kremayr & Scheriau (

A Dutch photographer has travelled across Europe to demonstrate what football really is about. He took pictures of amateur league matches in France, Belgium, Portugal and other S4022594mercountries. His photos (“Spielfeld Europa. Landschaften der Fußball-Amateure” – European Fields: The Landscape of Lower League Football) are more than just action shots as they rather focus on the surroundings. While the teams fight for the victory, residents go for a walk or do some gardening in the backyard. In his foreword, Hans van der Meer underlined the similarities and immense contrasts. Both Champions League stars and regional competition players wave to the audience, regardless whether tens of thousands or “two men and a dog” turned up. His images seem wonderfully peaceful – despite the frantic fight for the ball, a thrilling penalty shootout or a brawl among players. The lovely details, from the poor conditions on the brownish pitches to the idyllic landscapes, make clear that this sport is more than the chase for glory – nevertheless, many of the players on van der Meer’s photos have probably not yet given up the dream of their breakthrough.

Spielfeld Europa. Landschaften der Fußball-Amateure
By Hans van der Meer
Published by Steidl (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: theatre & TV

125 years are quite a remarkable period in the fast-paced entertainment industry. A Viennese theatre has now taken a highly unusual approach to celebrating its anniversary. vthThe Volkstheater asked artists, writers, politicians and fans for their contributions. Actors like Andrea Eckert, Marcello de Nardo and Erni Mangold but also author Josef Haslinger and late parliament president Barbara Prammer designed one page of the new book “Was soll das Volk im Theater? 125 Antworten aus 125 Jahren Volkshtheater”. Their acknowledgements and personal thoughts reflect the institution’s unabated influence. Old documents and an overview on the theatre’s 2014/2015 anniversary season company are featured as well. Overall, “Was soll das Volk im Theater?” is an immensely multifaceted demonstration of the importance of high-class stage art in the 21st century.

Was soll das Volk im Theater?
By Carsten Fastner and Julia Lautner
Published by Christian Brandstätter Verlag (

It seems as if television series managed to surpass movies in various ways these days. Actors starring in series are not automatically b-list celebs anymore. While series used to be SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAregarded as nothing but a welcome career steppingstone for ambitious young actors aiming for Hollywood fame, high-quality productions for TV are nowadays the goal of actors around the world. A new book lists 66 of the most legendary series. Iconic productions like “Dallas” are included as well as the popular series of the 1990s such as “Baywatch”, “Emergency Room” and “Beverly Hills 90210”. For “Das ist legendär. Die 66 besten TV-Serien”, TV experts Valerie Höhne and Oliver Hüttmann researched regarding actors, directors and scriptwriters. They list memorable statements and fun facts about “Lost”, “The X-Files” and many other productions of various genres from the US, England, Germany and other countries which are as popular as ever.

Das ist legendär. Die 66 besten TV-Serien
By Valerie Höhne and Oliver Hüttmann
Published by Knaur (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Sachslehner and Sedlacek

Exhibitions, books, panel discussions – there was a lot of interest last year in information about the beginning of World War One. The year 1914 meant dramatic sachslehnerchanges for Europe – politics, society, economy and culture were not the same ever again after the devastations of WWI. Now an Austrian historian has investigated the collapse of the Habsburg Empire four years later. In “1918. Die Stunden des Untergangs”, former Jagiellonian University Krakow lecturer Johannes Sachslehner (“365 Schicksalstage”) reconstructs the dramatic events of 28 October 1918. His 290-page book is a precise analysis of the political developments. His researches help understanding why the monarchy had no future. Sachslehner’s examinations are richly illustrated – his book features newspaper headlines, many documents, various photographs and a drawing by Alfred Kubin. His texts but also the chosen photos present the different aspects of the world in 1918: soldiers in the trenches and a portrait of Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

1918. Die Stunden des Untergangs
By Johannes Sachslehner
Published by Styria Premium (

Magical mystery at the museum! The Wien Museum’s Franz Sedlacek exhibition – which ended in April – was certainly one of the highlights of the 2014 cultural calendar of Vienna. SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThe tradition-rich Viennese museum presented paintings which are part of its own collection but also many which are private property or part of the collections of other prestigious galleries. Sedlacek’s oeuvre balances between realistic approaches and dreamlike panoramas. His paintings show cars on streets leading through idyllic landscapes, town scenes and flower still lifes. Dark skies with the clear white snow as the only contrast create a chilly atmosphere. Another significant aspect is the uncertainty of his storytelling. The spectator anticipates some kind of disaster but Sedlacek ensures that he is sometimes unable to tell what is really happening. Sedlacek – who started his artistic career in Linz before being reported as missing during World War Two – has rarely got the attention of museums, collectors and auction houses. The Wien Museum exhibit “Franz Sedlacek. Chemiker der Phantasie” proved the overwhelming force of his brilliantly composed paintings. Everyone who missed the exhibit can catch up by acquiring the official catalogue published by Residenz Verlag. The book not only features all the paintings which were on display at the museum, but also an introduction by Wien Museum director Wolfgang Kos and informative articles by the exhibition curators, Gabriele Spindler and Ursula Storch.

Franz Sedlacek. Chemiker der Phantasie
By Gabriele Spindler and Ursula Storch
Published by Residenz Verlag (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Finland and football

The architecture of Los Angeles, culinary delights in Salzburg and the politics circus of Washington, D.C. – the spectrum of subjects presented by Piper’s SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAGebrauchsanweisung series is remarkable. Now the publishing house has released an updated edition of Roman Schatz’ Finland manual. The director and actor investigates the Scandinavian country’s excellent education system, confusing language aspects and its sauna culture. Schatz, who was born in southern Germany, moved to Finland in 1986. “Gebrauchsanweisung für Finnland” takes a look at the effects of the region’s brutally short winter daytime periods on its inhabitants and the country’s post-Nokia perspective.

Gebrauchsanweisung für Finnland
By Roman Schatz
Published by Piper (

Legendary statements and jokes by players and managers as well as remarkable football facts turn a recently published calendar into a great companion for 2015. “Das Runde muss ins SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAEckige!” by Christoph Dirkes offers 365 special facts and quotes regarding the popular sport. Funny and memorable moments are guaranteed thanks to the immense variety of subjects – with football as the topical link. The compact calendar – now out by Südwest publishing house – reveals unusual injuries, a ranking of soccer songs and much more.

Das Runde muss ins Eckige!
By Christoph Dirkes
Published by Südwest (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Walde at the Westlicht

A new exhibit reveals the unknown side of a great painter – his passion for photography.

Alfons Walde’s snowy mountain paintings and village sceneries are famous, but little is known about his photographic oeuvre. “Schaulust. Die erotische Fotografie von Alfons Walde” (The Erotic Photography of Alfons Walde) – now on display at the Westlicht gallery in Vienna – features around 120 photos by the Kitzbühel-based artist who died in 1958. Already before World War One, Walde discovered how much he enjoyed photography. His main focus was soon set on erotic shots.

The exhibition (curators: Rebekka Reuter and Peter Weiermair) does not just consist of portraits of bare-naked women. Pornographic material and self-portraits are on display as well. It is fascinating to see how some photographed poses were later on captured on canvas by Walde.


::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Kopfball & Kitty Kino

A German television programme is celebrating its 25th anniversary by releasing a remarkable book. “Kopfball” – the German term for a header in football – started SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAexplaining scientific phenomena 25 years ago. In 2006, the WDR programme began focusing on viewers’ questions to get even closer to solving everyday problems. However, “Kopfball” fans have also asked the journalists to clarify myths and thrash rumours they came across. The new book – out now by publisher Riva – is, as the TV programme – infotainment at its best. On 250 pages, extraordinary situations such as being trapped on a defunct skiing chairlift are under investigation as well as the remarkable capabilities of various animals. Furthermore, the “Kopfball” editors analyse the human body – and reveal whether fairy tale claims are true.

Warum gehen Seifenblasen im Regen nicht kaputt?
By Mareike Fallwickl-Glavnik and Ingo Knopf
Published by Riva (

A Viennese filmmaker has discovered the positive aspects of the malfunctions and weak technical features of her mobile to create art. Kitty Kino, a director and author S4022544(“Lara und die Insider”) started taking pictures with her old Nokia mobile in 2007. Being disappointed with the quality of the images taken at daytime, she gave it a try at night – and was fascinated by the Nokia gadget’s blurred, almost mysterious shots. Now a picture book has been published, containing more than 100 photos created that way. The images show – or rather indicate – City Hall, the new DC Tower, the imperial gardens at Schönbrunn and many other sights and popular meeting places in Vienna. The artist explained that she loved her old cellphone – despite its small storage and modest battery power. An edition consisting of 1,000 books signed by the artist is out now by Edition Lammerhuber.

Kitty Kino Vienna
By Kitty Kino
Published by Edition Lammerhuber (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Brilliance. Beauty. Brauer.

A renowned museum is presenting a comprehensive Arik Brauer retrospective as the artist remains active.exhibit

Brauer – born in Vienna in 1929 – is still a source of energy and creativity. Over the years, the versatile artist sang commercially successful pop songs and designed opera stages as well as house fronts. However, his main focus has always been on painting.

The new Leopold Museum ( exhibition called “Arik Brauer. Gesamt.Kunst.Werk” features landmark creations by the artist whose family had to endure repression by the Nazi regime. Bible stories and worrying contemporary sociological developments always influenced Brauer. But some of his large paintings – as the special SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAexhibit demonstrates – deal with the disastrous nuclear accident of Chernobyl and other traumatic occurrences.

“Arik Brauer. Gesamt.Kunst.Werk” (curators: Franz Smola, Alexandra Matzner) also includes sculptures and photographs showing Brauer’s family and the artist attending various public events such as the opening of an exhibition in 1971 – attended by Bruno Kreisky, the late Austrian chancellor.

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: language barriers & lousy builders

Books on the funny aspects of language barriers are booming as Langenscheidt releases another collection of poorly translated signs. “Übelsetzungen. arnuSprachpannen aus aller Welt” features more than 100 incredibly erroneous warning notices, menus and user manuals. Examples from all over the world are featured in this sixth part of the renowned publishing house’s series of books with translation errors. German-speaking travellers probably decided not to buy this orange juice after reading the confusing list of ingredients while others maybe abstained from staying at the hotel with confusing information regarding the features of its rooms.

Übelsetzungen. Sprachpannen aus aller Welt
By Titus Arnu and Monika Schaffrath
Published by Langenscheidt (

The best photos posted on the internet by a popular Facebook group have now been collected for a picture book. “Pfusch am Bau” is the name of a Facebook page set up around two years diyago. Within months, an uncountable number of hilarious pictures of building site horrors have been sent to its founders. People from all over Germany and abroad contributed shots of unbelievable DIY nightmares and embarrassing construction errors. Wrongly installed toilets, ugly floors and staircases blocking emergency exits – photographs like these earned likes from all over the world. Now the best shots and funny proverbs regarding the do it yourself hype can be found in “Pfusch am Bau”, Marc Steiner’s book based on the Facebook page activities.

Pfusch am Bau
By Marc Steiner
Published by Riva Verlag (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

A Viennese gallery is focusing on fear and horror as a new special exhibition is drawing the crowds.fear

The Akademiegalerie – which is located at Schillerplatz, not far from the State Opera – presents outstanding paintings belonging to its collection. However, “Lust am Schrecken. Ausdrucksformen des Grauens” (Horror and Delight. Expressions of Fear) also features famous works of art on loan from museums in Italy, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian and others are on display as visitors can discover the fascinating appeal of paintings dealing with topics like fear, pain and murder. The exhibit consists of several rooms, all with different special subjects. “Lust am Schrecken” also includes sculptures, but the main focus is on the old masters’ brilliant paintings, depicting volcano eruptions, suicides and the seven deadly sins.


::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Kennedy & the 99-day king

The three days which John F. Kennedy spent in West Berlin in June 1963 were anything but routine. The US President’s trip was much more than just another state visit. Considering the Cold War and the recent kennedyerection of the Berlin Wall, it was a demonstration of western lifestyle and signal of support for democracy and civic rights. Despite the widespread disappointment about the rather reluctant policies of the United States towards the GDR after the Berlin Wall was built, Kennedy’s visit was met with enormous public acclaim. Thousands of Berlin residents lined the streets of the city to catch a glimpse of the charismatic politician. His “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech is one of the most memorable moments of the century. “Kennedy in Berlin. 50th anniversary” – which is now available in German and English – features the photographs of Ulrich Mack, a precise schedule of Kennedy’s different appointments in the city as well as texts by Jasper von Altenbockum, Hans-Michael Koetzle and Willy Brandt’s secretary and political advisor, Egon Bahr.

Kennedy in Berlin. 50th anniversary
By Ulrich Mack
Published by Hirmer (

Napoleon, Maria Theresa and Fredrick the Great might be much more famous and influential. But the achievements of Frederick III should not be underestimated. Liberal thinkers had pinned 99daystheir hopes on the monarch whose reign ended after just 99 days in 1888 as he died from laryngeal cancer. Frank Lorenz Müller portrays the Potsdam-born emperor as far as private life and politics are regarded. On 450 pages, the University of St Andrews historian creates a fascinated picture of his personality. “Der 99-Tage-Kaiser” – which is now on sale – earned acclaim by Christopher Clark (“The Sleepwalkers. How Europe went to War in 1914”) and The Times for its multifaceted spectrum and precise analysis.

Der 99-Tage-Kaiser
By Frank Lorenz Müller
Published by Siedler (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas