Double bill for art fans

More than 50 galleries are presenting outstanding artworks at a prestigious fair in Vienna this weekend.1

The 8th Art Austria opened on Thursday at the Leopold Museum, one of the Austrian capital’s best known locations for contemporary art. Works by Heimo Zobernig, Hermann Nitsch, Gottfried Helnwein and many other renowned artists are on display on around 2,600 square metres until Sunday.

The Kleine Zeitung underlines that the fair’s offer does not just feature high-priced paintings by stars of the scene like Arnulf Rainer. Lovers of art are benefiting from the event managers’ partnership with the Leopold Museum. The purchase of a museum ticket includes entrance to the fair.

>> http://www.art-austria.info

>> http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

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

Book look: Football in Nazi Austria

A team of renowned authors and journalists have investigated the situation of football in Austria during the Nazi era. Matthias Marschik, Alexander Juraske, Ilga Maria Fritsch 1and others contributed articles for Fußball unterm Hakenkreuz in der ‘Ostmark’” by David Forster, Jakob Rosenberg, Georg Spitaler. The writers focused on the personal fate of players and club officials in the country in the 1930s and 1940s.

Several Austrian teams competed in the German league in this period after Austria became part of the Third Reich in 1938. Based on an uncountable number of sources, the authors tried to find out whether non-Jewish soccer players got off better than other individuals as the repression by the NSDAP regime intensified. They also checked claims that many popular footballers benefited personally during this period.

Their 350-page book does not just focus on the tradition-rich Viennese clubs Rapid, FK Austria and First Vienna Football Club. “Fußball unterm Hakenkreuz in der ‘Ostmark’” – also contains information regarding developments in Salzburg, Vorarlberg and other rural Austrian regions. An own chapter is dedicated to Rapid’s 1941 championship.

This release comes a few years after “Grün-weiß unterm Hakenkreuz”, a publication dealing with the actions and attitude of Rapid bosses and players in the years before and during World War Two. Rapid officials’ engagement in this regard received unanimous acclaim in Austria and abroad for being the first Austrian football club ordering a profound investigation.

Fußball unterm Hakenkreuz in der ‘Ostmark’
By David Forster, Jakob Rosenberg, Georg Spitaler and many others
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

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

Bedtime Stories

Paintings, photographs and sculptures are on display as part of a new exhibit about beds in art.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

“Schlaflos. Das Bett in Geschichte und Gegenwartskunst” (Sleepless. The bed in history and contemporary art) is the title of the exhibition now on display at the 21er Haus (www.21erhaus.at), a Viennese museum focusing on contemporary art from Austria and abroad.

The current exhibition has a very international setup, with photographs by globally renowned snappers like Jürgen Teller. The portraits of Kate Moss and other celebs are just one part of the rich variety “Schlaflos” has to offer. The exhibit presents artworks representing topics like birth, disease, romance and death.

Visitors may find it hard to detect the guiding theme as the special exhibit’s strategy is not very coherent, despite the star-studded list of featured artists – too many subjects from a period of several hundreds of years can cause a sense of confusion. “Schlaflos” should be considered as a daring experiment with artistic areas consisting of medieval paintings, metal objects from the 20th century and recently created video installations.

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

Book look: Glavinic and the Golden Apple

Thomas Glavinic has revealed he suffers from stage fright. The Viennese literature star – whose new book “Meine Schreibmaschine und ich” is out now – SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAtold Rolling Stone magazine about a reading attended by 1.600 fans: “As an author, you’re not used to such a number of people. I’ve never been that nervous before.” Glavinic – whose first novel “Carl Haffners Liebe zum Unentschieden” was released in 1998 – also admitted being lazy now and then. “I like what I’m doing, but sometimes I really have to force myself to write something.” Speaking about the effect his books have on his state of mind, the Rapid Vienna supporter told the magazine: “’Das größere Wunder’ has quite a positive vibe. It’s an ‘affirmative’ book. ‘Die Arbeit der Nacht’ feels sinister and therefore negatively affected my mood.” Asked why he is also writing columns, the award-winning novelist said: “I do so for pecuniary reasons. Because I can’t handle money. This enforces me to earn as much as possible as I’d spend it on useless stuff.”

Meine Schreibmaschine und ich
By Thomas Glavinic
Published by Hanser (www.hanser-literaturverlage.de)

An Austrian author has reinvestigated the history of orient and occident in times of worsening cultural conflicts. Georg Mayrhofer, who co-wrote a book about Prince Eugene of SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASavoy in 2013 (“Prinz Eugen. Heros und Neurose”, with Konrad Kramar), reveals the surprisingly large number of aspects which link these counterparts. Unlike many other writers, Mayrhofer did not focus on the differences between the orient and Western Europe. In four chapters, he recounts the history of cultures and religions to show how many successful partnerships have existed recently and in the past centuries. “Die Reise zum Goldenen Apfel explains conflicts regarding religious symbols like the crucifix and various sociological disputes. The book also informs about fruitful alliances between political and religious leaders.

Die Reise zum Goldenen Apfel
By Georg Mayrhofer
Published by Residenz Verlag (www.residenzverlag.at)

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

Bilderbuch – the boasting boys’ breakthrough

Austria is experiencing a pop phenomenon as a hardworking rock band develop into the country’s hottest pop sensation.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Critics in Austria and abroad are unanimously praising Bilderbuch’s new album, “Schick Schock”, and it seems as if the band managed to take their musical style to another level. Having toured across the country for years, performing independent rock, the Vienna-based band is now seen as Europe’s spearhead for electronic rock.

On their 12-track record, the four-member band manages to merge powerful melodies, relentless riffs and seducing beats without appearing artificial. In recent interviews, singer Maurice Ernst defended the band’s transformation, describing the changes of their sound as a natural progression. Speaking of the band’s main influences recording the new album, Ernst named Kanye West and other American hip-hop artists.

Ernst – who dislikes the term ‘hype’ – deplored the negative connotation of the word ‘mainstream’. He also denied his band being the latest representative of the legendary Austropop genre. The Bilderbuch front man told online music journal laut.de: “We didn’t sat down with pencil and a sheet of paper, planning to radically change our sound. It’s just the logical result of working together for many years.”

The band – whose debut album “Nelken & Schillinge” was released six years ago – are currently gearing up for an eagerly awaited tour as several of their upcoming concerts are already sold out. It still has to be seen whether the fuss about them is short-lived. But considering songs like “Maschin” and their witty lyrics, it seems as if these boys can pull it off.

>> http://www.bilderbuch-musik.at

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

Guitars! Great Melodies! Di Giulio!

A fresh breeze of pop music is coming from Italy.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Tommaso di Giulio proves to be one of the most remarkable artists of his generation. His second album “Per Fortuna Dormo Poco” is an immense vibrant and versatile demonstration of talent. The young singer-songwriter’s tunes are founded on guitar-led melodies. However, the 12-track album’s high-quality production is impressive as the bowed string elements are the icing on the cake.

Di Giulio – who communicates a lot with his growing number of fans on Facebook (https://it-it.facebook.com/tommasodigiuliomusic) – masters mid-tempo songs as well as ballads. Many of the tracks on “Per Fortuna Dormo Poco” bear resemblances to classic Britpop arrangements, while his Italian lyrics add some southern spice to this treat. A third album – “L’ora Solare” – will be released later this month.

Di Giulio is not yet a household name in Austria. Nevertheless, some of his songs were recently presented in Ö1 programme “Spielräume”. The Viennese radio station also considered his oeuvre when it came to selecting the musical frame for a portrait of Rome (“Diagonal”). Keeping fingers crossed for some live shows in Austria!

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

Lavish landscapes, terrific towns

lsc2Contemporary landscape photography is the topic of a new exhibition in the Viennese city centre.

After a series of superb art exhibits – especially Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec drew the crowds – the Bank Austria (BA) Kunstforum (www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at) is presenting large, powerful photos by Andreas Gursky and many other photographers who might not be as famous as the German.

The range of subjects is surprisingly wide – uninhabited islands, Eastern Asian skyscrapers, idyllic Italian towns and a black and white aerial photograph of Los Angeles are on display. While some images are strikingly realistic, others are deliberately confusing and misleading.

“Landscape in my Mind. Landschaftsfotografie heute.” (curated by Florian Steininger) demonstrates the artistic force of photographic achievements.

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