Pasta Roach

Papa Roach have caused pure pandemonium in Bologna as the nu metal veterans put in a thrilling performance – despite some setlist and sound controversy.1

Scheduled to perform at Estragon Club the next day – a rather inhospitable tent on the outskirts of the Italian city – the band published a photo showing them putting the finishing touches to an unplugged interpretation of some part of their oeuvre. However, the noughties hitmakers abstained from playing a laid-back version of any of their ballads or rock tunes. Instead, singer Jacoby Shaddix commemorated late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington and deceased Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell before launching straight into an electrifying interpretation of The Prodigy’s “Firestarter”.

Papa Roach kicked off the show with the title track of their new album, “Who do you trust?”. The record was met with mixed reviews due to the band’s sudden focus on pop. Continuing with “Between Angels and Insects” and “Getting away with Murder”, guitarist Jerry Horton and his bandmates played mediocre new songs like “Elevate” and “Not the only one” as the outstanding new tracks “The Ending” and “On Top of the World” have not made the cut.

Founded in Vacaville, California, in 1993, the battle-hardened four-piece – whose song “Last Resort” propelled them to global stardom back in 2000 – might reach broader audiences with sing-along songs such as “Feels like Home”. But “Who do you trust?” will eventually turn out to be more hype than substance – in contrast to their gripping hard rock albums “The Connection”, “Crooked Teeth” and the dramatically undervalued “F.E.A.R.”

“Last Resort” and “Born for Greatness” sealed a sweaty and intense night overshadowed by the horrific acoustics of a venue utterly unfit to host internationally celebrated artists like Papa Roach.

A few more questions for… Heinz Stephan Tesarek

This is the second part of the Austrian Culture Channel interview with Heinz Stephan Tesarek, an Austrian photographer whose pictures have been printed by renowned publications such as Der Spiegel and the New York Times. His book “Zwischenzeit. Bilder entscheidender Jahre” (Interim. Pictures of decisive years) balances between images showing extreme poverty and despair and photographs reflecting reckless richness.

Did you release your book (“Zwischenzeit. Bilder entscheidender Jahre” / Interim. Pictures of decisive years) on your own, without the support of a publishing house? If so, how did that work – and how are the sales?

The reason for self-publishing the book was to be fully responsible for its content. Self-publishing the book was like signing it to me. If this book ever will be published again, this first edition guarantees the independence of its content. Now, having the book published, I am finding myself confronted with a strange, new task: Trying to sell something, I just wanted to put to discourse.

Is photographic art represented sufficiently in Austria? Vienna’s Westlicht and Ostlicht galleries are well known, but – apart from those two venues – there are no other big places where photographs are on display on a regular basis.

I don’t know, maybe. The gallery business is a strange land to me.

Are you just working as a freelancer, or are you also on contract with some magazine as your images appear quite often in (Austrian weekly) News?

For more than 15 years, News is one of my main clients. They assign me mostly with foreign politics stories, which is the focus of my work. However, I am a freelancer, and my clients include a variety of newspapers and magazines, but also corporations and individuals.

Is it possible to make a living by being a photographer in Austria?

I’ve been asked this questions ever since. Yes it is.

Newspapers editors and media company owners are resetting their focus from print to online due to dwindling sales and advertisement earnings. Do you think that photographs are getting more important in connection with news on the internet – or are the changes in the media business of harm to images and those who took them?

Pictures will be important, photographers not necessarily. Only on the first view a contradiction…

What is your opinion on today’s developments of almost everyone taking pictures everywhere and all the time with their smartphones? Do you think ‘real’ photo art suffers because of that?

Recently I found myself, not being able to find out if the pictures of a story on a major photo agencies website were the result of algorithm or talent. Algorithm kills talent. Not only in photography.

Is there a decisive moment in history you would have wished to be present to take pictures?

There is no time in history, which I would find more interesting to cover than ours. If I could travel through time, I’d like to shoot the same book as I did now, but starting 1925.

As a photographer, do you have an idol?
interim_06_0140
There are many artists, whose work I find inspiring. Some of them are photographers, others are moviemakers, painters or journalists…

Is there a certain person in the world you would like to spend a few hours with – to portray him/her in a setting of your choice?

US-dissident Edward Snowden, maybe. He is a bit pale, though.

There are so many kinds of photographic assignments – taking pictures for book projects, newspapers and magazines / red carpet shots / artistic and fashion photography. Which activity do you like the most – and which one do you despise?

I value every job I am assigned for. No matter, if it is a story in a crises area or a high-class wedding. As long as my work serves a good purpose, I am fine. But I despise, when my images are used to illustrate words, describing what I never witnessed.

Stamina, patience, intuition for the right moment, talent, readiness to compete with others – what’s most important to become a successful photographer these days?

Healthy, editorially driven newspapers and magazines.

>> http://www.heinztesarek.com

A few questions for… Heinz Stephan Tesarek

Heinz Stephan Tesarek (www.heinztesarek.com) has been assigned many times by News, a leading Austrian weekly. However, the Vienna-based photographer is also focusing on own projects. Tesarek recently released a book called “Zwischenzeit. Bilder entscheidender Jahre” (Interim. Pictures of decisive years). the Austrian Culture Channel had a few questions.

You have been to warzones all over the world. Have you ever been afraid?

I have been to some warzones, but I am not a war photographer. I tell you frankly – a sudden tax pay back can be frightening, on a much higher scale.

Have you ever been in danger while at work?

If you decide to work on a certain kind of stories, there is no way around a certain amount of risk. I try to keep it to a limit.

When did you start getting interested in photography?© Heinz Stephan Tesarek / www.heinztesarek.com

At the age of 14, I saw a documentary about cameraman covering the Gulf War. This seemed very exciting to me. Soon afterwards I quit my technical education and started to take pictures.

Do you remember your first camera and set of pictures you took?

On my 10th birthday, I got a Polaroid 1500 Land Camera, and a film including 10 Polaroid pictures. The first image I took was my grandfather in our garden. Then I shot a portrait of my mum near a window. Then a school excursion to a monastery and my bicycle. I still have those pictures in my archive.

All of the pictures in your new book (“Zwischenzeit. Bilder entscheidender Jahre” / Interim. Pictures of decisive years) are printed in black and white. Do you think they are ‘stronger’ and have a bigger impact than in colour?

I work much in black and white, because of its abstractive power. Black and white is a strong reminder to past times. It puts our time in a historic context. I am much influenced by the German expressionistic silent movies of the 1920s and 1930s. This time shows a lot of parallels to ours. And unlike today, artists seemed to have a developed sense for political and social developments lying ahead.

It seems you wanted to leave important questions concerning violence, poverty and injustice unanswered with the photos of “Zwischenzeit”. Was it your intention to make people think about the problems of today’s society?

My intention was to collect evidence of today’s events. To collect photographs – in order to avoid words. The book does not give answers on the questions asked today. But maybe these questions will be asked tomorrow.

A few more questions for… Danielle Spera

The Austrian Culture Channel had a few more questions for Danielle Spera, the head of Vienna’s Jewish Museum (JMW, http://www.jmw.at).

Right-wing politicians in Austria used to attack Jewish people in speeches, especially during election campaigns. It seems that, in recent years, they rather focused on criticising Muslims for their alleged refusal to integrate. What are your thoughts on these developments?

Also these politicians have to recognize that Austrian society is changing. We have lots of pupils and students as our visitors in the Museum, these classes are totally different now, they are much more multi-ethnic and therefore very interesting to work with in educational terms. Politicians who close their eyes and do not acknowledge the transition will eventually lose their electorate, which will definitely be a positive development.1

Speaking of your current exhibition – do you have a favourite Jewish joke, comedian or entertainer?

Definitely John Stewart. I love his news shows. Talking about Austria, I grew up with great comedians like Karl Farkas. My parents watched all his shows on TV. And of course Ephraim Kishon.

Are you satisfied with the way the JMW is positioned in cultural Vienna today? First of all I am satisfied that is now positioned at all. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the museum, it was overdue that has found his way to the cultural map of this city which was influenced in so many ways by the Viennese Jews over the century. With our new permanent exhibition we will be happy to position the museum also as a tool to tell the recent Austrian History from a Jewish perspective and with that fill a void, which unfortunately was existing.

Many people are unsure about visiting a museum which focuses on Jewish culture because of the terrible actions before and after the war. Especially an exhibit about Jewish humour could be something lots of people might have problems to relate with because they rather link Jewish culture with mourning and commemoration of the Nazis’ victims. What would you like to tell them?

The Jewish religion is a very joyful one. It is imperative that you live your life in a positive manner and take advantage and wisely use of all the preconditions that have been given to you at the time of your birth. The Jewish wit and humour plays an important role in the Jewish history. It could not vanish all the sorrow and painful experiences that happened to the Jewish people but it certainly made it easier to overcome them. It is vital to show also this aspect. We as Jews do not want to define ourselves only over the Shoah. It is definitely the most horrible event in our history but we have to look to the future. The same is the case with our narrative in the museum. To show the great history with all its discontinuities and of course also the Shoah, but at the same time to concentrate on Jewish life in Vienna today. 68 years after WWII there exists a vital an very vibrant Jewish community, small but very energetic.

A few questions for… Danielle Spera

Danielle Spera was one of Austria’s most popular television personalities before becoming director of the Viennese Jewish Museum (JMW, http://www.jmw.at). Read here what Spera thinks about her very special farewell at national broadcaster ORF and if she misses working as anchorwoman.

What was your happiest moment being in charge at the Jewish Museum of Vienna – and what was the hardest?

Luckily there are so many happy moments and very few hard ones. I feel content whenever we are successfully opening a show, which always is a great teamwork. It is a wonderful experience to be able to work with a great group of curators, who support the new positioning of the museum now wholeheartedly. I also was very glad when we managed to get a budget to renovate the Jewish Museum’s main building, which was left to me in a devastating state – concerning the technical and logistical equipment and when we reached the goal to open after a very short renovation period. There were very few difficult moments when I started to take over the museum’s management, which I consider as good learning experiences.

What did it feel like to lose your voice during your final “Zeit im Bild” appearance?

Unfortunately I had caught a cold right at this very day. To lose the voice is a nightmare for everybody who has to work with it, like singers, actors or newscasters. I was sorry that I could not say good bye to the audience in my regular way after 22 years of being an anchor of the prime time news. But on the other hand it was an unforgettable news-show for the viewers as well as for me. It will always stay in my memory.

Do you miss the journalistic work?

No I don’t because I am still working a lot in journalistic terms. I am writing for the Jewish newspaper NU, holding lectures and I am a representative on the board of ORF3 and the European TV channel arte.
1
What is more stressful – being anchorwoman of the ORF’s most important news show or director of a museum located in the heart of Vienna?

It is not a matter of stress, both – my profession as a reporter and newscaster as well as my current position – mean a lot of interesting work which causes a lot of positive energy which is very fulfilling. The Jewish Museum Vienna is one of the most outstanding cultural sights in Vienna and definitely one of the most interesting Jewish Museums in Europe. Therefore it is a pleasure to work here, to prepare exhibitions together with a group of exceptional curators. At the moment we are not only working on our changing shows but first and most important on our new core exhibition which will be the only exhibition in Vienna that also deals with the current Austrian History since 1945.

Apart from the Viennese Jewish Museum, which other Austrian museums and galleries do you like?

Fortunately Vienna offers a broad range of culture, so it is a pleasure to choose among such a great variety.  It also depends if I am attending a museum on my own or with my family.

Do you agree with the way the official Austria deals with its dark past (World War Two, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust)? It took a very long time until Austria finally faced its past and many people still have problems in dealing with the history. But it was in fact the so called- Waldheim affair, which made this process possible and a politician like Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, who was the first high ranking Austrian politician, who openly acknowledged Austria’s role in the holocaust. Since then things are developing in the right direction.

A few more questions for… Stefan Fiedorowicz

This is the second part of the Austrian Culture Channel interview with Stefan Fiedorowicz (www.stefanfiedorowicz.com), a renowned Wiener Neustadt-based artist from Canada.

While creating a painting, do you sometimes stop in the process because you are not happy with the way it is going?

I sometimes have to stop myself to reflect upon what it is I am doing and feeling. Sometimes there is confusion, and when there is, I end up having to change what I am doing, to feel that flow again, that easy flow. I am constantly in a state of change as I think most people are. Yes, I can honestly say that I am surprised. The end result may never turn out to be what I originally intended to do. Even in those situations.

You cannot push it. It has to happen by some other force.  For example, I did a piece called “Your Shadow Still Lingers Here”, and if you look, you can see what I am trying to express about my stefan2relationship with my mother who died years ago. I was feeling like she was still here in the real world because I sensed her presence.

Do you decorate your walls with your own creations or paintings by someone else?

Yes I do have many other pieces of art done by different artists – works that I have purchased here in Europe and in Canada. I only have four paintings of mine on the walls that have permanent places.

Did you ever paint for charity? And is there a non-profit organisation or charity you would like to make aware of?

Indeed I have made a few donations to charitable organisations here in Vienna and in Canada as well. Hemayat for example, just to mention one agency. It is one way to expose my work and to assist NGOs in their quest for funding.

Is there some kind of community of foreign artists in Austria? / Are you in touch with other painters in some way?

I think it is also very crucial as an artist to know other artists. When I moved to Vienna, I thought it was important for me to test the waters with my art. But then I discovered that I also needed to connect with other artists to learn the ways and establish relationships. I actually prefer to have group exhibitions for that very reason.

A few questions for… Norbert Kettner

It is hardly an exaggeration claiming that Norbert Kettner is one of the busiest men in Vienna. Kettner heads WienTourismus, the immensely successful Viennese Tourist Board. In his reactions to the Austrian Culture Channel’s e-mailed questions, Kettner gives his opinion on the ongoing discussion about shopping on Sundays – and reveals his favourite Austrian dish.

(…) is my favourite sight in Vienna because …

… the view from St. Stephen’s Cathedral’s north tower. The north tower offers a great view over the city leaving a lasting impression both on visitors and inhabitants of the city.

(…) is my favourite other place in Austria but Vienna because …

Ausseerland. / … because you can experience the essence of rural Austria there.

Vienna’s tourism institutions can learn a lot from those of (name of a city) because …

Melbourne. / … because together with Vienna Melbourne is among the leaders in worldwide surveys focusing on quality of living. Like Vienna, Melbourne knows how to take advantage of this asset. The cities’ tourist boards can learn a lot from each other, that is why we recently implemented mutual exchange of expertise for the benefit of both cities.

The Sunday shopping debate is …

… a necessary one. A touristic hot spot like Vienna needs liberalisation of shopping hours to remain competitive amongst other destinations. It could be done in a moderate way and with regard to social issues: not everywhere in the city but in areas frequently used by visitors; not on every Sunday, but at times, when there is specially high demand (like weekends before Christmas, for example).

If you eat in a typical Viennese restaurant, you must try the …

… Tafelspitz, literally meaning tip (of meat) for the table. It is boiled beef, served with a dip of horseradish and apple and is considered a “national dish”.

I don’t think there are too many hotels in Vienna because …

… Vienna’s touristic figures are steadily growing. 2012 was the third record-breaking year in a row, with 5.6 million arrivals and 12.3 million overnight stays.

Prejudices about the people of Vienna are …1

… that Vienna as a city with great cultural heritage is a slightly dusty museum – and its inhabitants backward-looking and conservative.

… that Viennese have a funny-sounding dialect and a special kind of humour that is not easy to understand.

The following prejudices about Vienna and its residents are true / not true:

Vienna indeed is a city displaying its imperial heritage in many ways, combined with classical culture, music and arts flowing through Vienna’s veins, but it also offers a huge variety of contemporary culture and arts as well as a vibrant and glittering nightlife able to compete with other metropolises around the globe.

Especially for our German-speaking neighbours, the Viennese dialect may sound a little bit funny. Paired with this comes the Viennese humour, which sometimes is considered to be black and grumpy but also very quick-witted. Its essence fully opens only to real connoisseurs of Viennese culture.

A few questions for… Stefan Fiedorowicz

Stefan Fiedorowicz is a Canadian artist who lives in Lower Austria. His work has been on display in various exhibitions in Vienna. The Austrian Culture Channel had a few questions for Stefan.

As a child, have you been more creative than your classmates?

Let me tell you a wonderful story I heard years ago. It goes something like this. An elementary school teacher was giving a drawing class to a group of seven-year-olds. At the back of the classroom sat a little boy who normally didn’t pay much attention in school. But in the drawing class he did. For about 30 minutes, the boy sat with his arms curled around his paper, totally involved in what he was doing. The teacher was very curious, so she approached him and asked what he was drawing.  Without looking up the boy said: “I am drawing a picture of God”.  Surprised, the teacher said: “But nobody knows what God looks like.” The boy said: “They will in a minute.”

The point of this story is to illustrate that all children are so wonderfully confident in their imagination. I was just like every other child in my class who had imagination and we all were good at expressing our creativity. So I was not any different. I loved to draw, I loved to paint, I loved to draw birds and then colour them. I was fascinated with birds and got so much pleasure colouring them. I felt I was in my element then.

Do you always paint at the same time of the day?

A creative moment comes and goes with me. I cannot explain it. My inspiration to paint though does sometimes come when I am alone, sitting in my studio, staring at a blank canvas.  These moments actually scare me. I feel intimidated but something internal then happens to me. I face my fear and overcome the anxiety. While painting I usually listen to music. Music moves me and stirs something inside of me. It hits me. When this happens I flow into my zone. The place where I enjoy to be. Where my passion lies. Music is for me one way, a nonverbal way of connecting that takes me deeper.  I sometimes go through periods of drought just like other artists and it takes me sometime to overcome this period. I feel though I am most prolific in my painting when I am in preparation for an exhibition. Some days I can do three to four pieces, one after the other.

What does it take to get you in the right mood for creative work?

As mentioned earlier, I prefer to paint with music playing, but at times I chose to get lost in silence – a silence that can be heard, and it is just the canvas and me with no distractions. Many pieces that I have done are based on human relationships. I have found that my best work is done when I am going through an emotional crisis or if I am experiencing emotional pain of some sort.

I do not believe in pre-planning a piece of work. Abstract art must be spontaneous: whatever comes out, comes out. This is the part of my work that is the most thrilling to me: What happens next? Lyrical abstractions require the viewer to contemplate, study and ask themselves: “What am I feeling?” I also enjoy being a part of the interactive experience with the person viewing a piece of my work that is why I believe it is important to be able to explain my work with real live people.

What attracts me most of all is the visual effect my work has on me. I also want the viewer to be moved emotionally by a finished piece, whether they go away with a positive or negative opinion, that does not really matter to me.
stefan1
The act of painting is always ongoing for me. I am always discovering aspects about myself and others as well. And the goal for me as an artist is also to evoke some universal emotion.

How do you like the cultural offers of Vienna?

Vienna is an exciting, vibrant city that offers so many diverse cultural events, whether it is exhibitions by world famous artists, theatre, plays, film. You name it, Vienna’s got it.  Tourists come here in droves to discover Vienna’s charm and its historical perspective.

Do you have a favourite museum in Austria / in the world?

Definitely the Albertina, Leopold Museum and Museum of Modern Art. These are the “biggies” here in Vienna. These are happening venues.  I also love the Tate Modern in London.

Attracting as many visitors as possible without overly commercial and superficial approaches – how should museum directors act in today’s increasingly intense competition?

Continue to bring in famous work and to begin to consider work by emerging artists.  Controversial work creates attention as well.  Like the Naked Men exhibition that was held sometime ago.

If you were given the chance to possess a priceless painting, which artist would you go for?

Definitely “Girl With A Pearl Earring” by Jan Vermeer. I have always been drawn to this work by him. It pulls me in. I believe that a piece of artwork should be “treated like a prince, let it speak to you first.”  This one definitely does.

>> http://www.stefanfiedorowicz.com

Hello Austrofred!

Enjoy the second part of the Austrian Culture Channel’s encounter with Austrofred. Here, the The Champion – who rose to fame by merging the music of Queen with Austrian lyrics – speaks candidly about money, football and songs that shake you awake after a tough night.

The stage star’s website, http://www.austrofred.at, draws the masses with juicy content such as the infamous online diary. However, the section where live dates are supposed to be listed, is currently empty. In the meantime, Austrofred fans may seek consolation at his homepage’s store which boasts with the cult Austrofred reflective vest “Fire, Light & Austrofred” and several books, including the hilarious autobiography “Alpenkönig und Menschenfreund”. The Austrian Culture Channel leaves it up to readers whether this could be regarded as clever tactics by the star who also excels in promoting himself as a living legend.

My favourite drum / guitar solo in music history: …
Best drum solo: don’t know
Best guitar solo: Steve Howe (Yes) on “Yours is no disgrace” (Live
version on the Yessongs triple album)

Money…
Must be

The Euro2012 – my verdict:
Very good tournament!

My fans…
They make everything possible

Facebook…
Good promotion tool

(Dis)advantages for artists of being active on Facebook, Twitter etc.: …
You involuntarily sometimes stumble over not so nice things about
yourself. But one has to be professional about such things.

Interview requests during my holiday…
A rock artist of my stature has no holiday in that sense. If there is
promotion work to do, it has to be done.

Revealed! The best Austrofred concert of all time: …
Probably something in a very small location. These things are very hard
to do and I am very proud when I can pull it off.

Try this song to get out of bed after a short night: …
Van der Graaf Generator “Darkness”

My dear fans, one last thing: …
Live your dream!

Giving Gas – wise words from Austrofred

Austrofred has dedicated some of his precious time to the Austrian Culture Channel’s e-mail Q&A. Find out what he thinks about festivals, the Queen musical and Austrian football. Check out the Austrian Culture Channel for part two next week when The Champion (www.austrofred.at) reveals all!

My best gig so far this year…
Donauinsel was great because of the mass of fans, but others were also
good. I very much liked the dynamics of my Ebensee show.

Touring…
Hard work, but good money if you know how to do business

Performing on the Austrian countryside…
“Different”

Festivals…
Many people, but often problems with the catering. Plus dirt. Normally I
prefer a good club show to a festival, but as an entertainer you have to
be where the people are.

My online diary…
way to communicate with my numberless fans

Backstage catering…
Essential

The Queen musical…
Totally ok with me, but don’t ask me about the concerts of “Queen” with
Adam Lambert!

The day Freddie Mercury died…
Maybe the saddest day of my life. Even sadder than when as a child my
rabbit Lastwagen was cooked. Lastwagen was the name of the rabbit.

Austrian football…
Better than some people think, although I suffer very much because
Salzburg flew out against Düdelingen.

To fight corruption, I would…
What is “Selbstanzeige” in English? No, this is fun of course. I am very
uncorrupt.

My secret guilty pleasure: …
After Eight