Paintings, free to take

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Here’s why my district quite definitely is most avant-garde in the whole of Vienna.

Today, an artist who apparently has his studio in the building next to ours, took his paintings and set them up next to the road and inside a neighbouring building’s courtyard. While I was snapping away, documenting this event, a nice fella stopped and said that they were free to take. Now, I was too shy to talk to the artist, who was sitting somewhere in the courtyard, maybe suffering from whatever nervous breakdown triggered him to do this (or not…I didn’t talk to him, so I’m speculating), but if he’s indeed giving away those paintings, well, then he’s one cool cat.

And if our flat wasn’t already packed, I’d of course want the dirty painting.

Click here for more pictures.

Public Restroom – enhanced

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Austrian art-group gelitin will open their first large-scale exhibition tomorrow in the Kunsthaus Bregenz, here in wonderful little Austria. Avid Boing Boing readers will know them for their giant rabbit.

One of the highlight’s will be a free-of-charge installation on the ground floor. Here’s a snip from the official text on the Kunsthaus homepage:

On the ground floor, for example, the artists will be constructing a public restroom complete with balcony in the KUB Arena;

According to another source, that public restroom will be enhanced by a whole lot of mirrors, so you can actually watch yourself taking a dump. I never again want to hear anyone saying all art is useless.

On unprofessional thieves

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After three years of being buried in a forest in Austria, the Saliera is back. I think it’s strange how unprofessional the thief acted during the last few days. I mean, he (and one or two more cat burglars) stole that piece in quite an impressive way. And now, after three years of cat and mouse chases all over the place, he turns himself in because he was filmed buying a mobile phone. Oh well, so it goes.

Porno Viennese

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Well, Austria’s made international headlines again. In the course of a government sponsored art project which lasted all year, posters were put up all over Vienna depicting the lower torso of a woman, wearing nothing but panties displaying the logo of the EU. Adding to this lewd image fit to send each and every law-abiding, righteous Austrian into a screaming seizure of indignation, another poster was put up which depicted three people wearing the masks of The Queen, Bush and Chirac engaging in what seems to be a sexual act.

Today these posters were pulled from the streets. There is of course all sorts of screaming and finger pointing going on as well. The opposition and various officials of the Catholic church (who know their way around pornography scandals) want to see blood and a few heads rolling; the most prominent right-wing newspaper is in a constant state of hysteria over public funding for “so-called art” and everyone’s screaming murder anyways.

I won’t add much more to this self-explanatory development, but I’d like to point you to the Wikipedia entry of “L’Origine du monde”, a painting by 19th century artist Gustave Courbet, which served as the original for the EU logo poster. Now, considering that Austria’s billboards are covered by almost nude and sometimes even nude models trying to sell you everything from shower-gel to yogurt, I think the artist couldn’t have proved her point much better than by having the posters taken down. History’s repeating itself, and hypocrisy uncovered is still as much fun today as I’m sure it was back in the 19th century.