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Mega and Leitner

Kunstlerhaus, Wien

Mega: Manifestos of Presumptuousness. Mega stands for: great, grand, generous. Nowadays. In former times it was a synonym for being excessive. It is necessary to think over the meaning of Mega... Bernhard Leitner, Soundspacesound: Bernhard Leitner's sound spaces are time-spaces.

comunicato stampa

mega: manifestos of presumptuousness

forum for experimental architecture
Künstlerhaus Vienna
10 April to 2 June 2002

babylon syndrome and modern architecture
Kunsthaus Mürz
27 April to 31 July 2002


Why mega manifestos
The forum for experimental architecture offers architects an opportunity -beyond their routine works in the offices- to show their ideas on architecture (space, form, future etc.) by designing and producing a contribution (called manifesto) especially for the exhibition. Within the exhibition mainly young, not yet established architects will have the opportunity to realise and to test their thoughts and ideas in an abstract and yet concrete way. This is how the public will be informed on the ideas architects do currently have.

On the theme
The modifier mega stands for: "big", "long", "powerful".
The term mega-architecture is to be interpreted in a critical but not necessarily in a pejorative sense. What is to be analysed is whether and how thinking in mega-categories is needed for the solution of current architectural and urbanist problems, i.e. whether mega-ideas are operative. The term mega is to induce the participants to take up again the culture of utopian thinking that got lost at the time of postmodernism and to use it for purposes of practical architectural reason. The actual, the basic theme of the exhibition is the word and/or the phenomenon of presumptuousness - as an expression of a principal attitude: its philosophical implications in the aesthetics and ethics of architecture, its normative power needed for the development of the idea of design and for its practical realisation.

Housing in a mega time
The world's society is about to experience the most complex and most dynamic trend of its entire history. The processes of economic and political concentration result in enormous structures that tend to spread all over the world, to be interrelated and to reach mega dimensions. This trend is called globalisation. We are just at the beginning and yet we are right in the middle of it all. Probably none or just a few fields of normal human life have remained unaffected by these megatrends. The fields of work have already been affected by those changes and the fields of housing, leisure and culture have already felt the first effects of it. The new functional interrelations also challenge architecture, particularly the architecture related to housing.
The apartments and thus also the housing complexes of the near future will have to assume many functions and tasks that have up to now been assumed by other fields: working certainly being the most important one followed by recreation, education, health, care of the elderly etc. All this happens within an area formerly called "apartment" and /or an area close to the apartment that has probably remained more or less traditional.

Concept and structure of the exhibition
Künstlerhaus Vienna.
The exhibition is divided into several independent parts that are interrelated with each other. The forum for experimental architecture held in Vienna consists of 8 parts:

Around 40 Austrian and foreign groups of architects, among them some fine artists are invited to present their thoughts and ideas on the theme mega in an architecturally adequate form. The participation of architects from those countries neighbouring Austria that will soon join the European Union is particularly important. Discourses: during the exhibition each of the original contributions (manifestos) will be opened individually and will be discussed by the creators and one of the invited experts - counterparts, also called opponents - coming from different fields (literature, physics, philosophy, art, psychology, religions, economy, medicine, astronomy etc.). The exhibition can therefore also be described as a megasymposium that will be intensively held for several weeks.
Archives. A comprehensive, encyclopaedic collection of material on the theme mega that can be accessed via a kind of readers' café is to serve as a basis and a place (workshop) for student seminar works at universities and will make additional information on the laboratories available. Students of architecture, art, theology, psychology, history of art are invited to use it and will result in a Babylonian mixture of technical languages in the archives.
Beautiful exhibition. It is a show informing about the development of megathinking and megadimensions in architecture and offering a framework of references. It has been conceived as an addition and an opposition to the manifestos. It contains:
+ works of art and artists' projects.
+ architectural objects and projects: selected originals (approx. 40-60 drawings, collages, prints, models, photos, posters, publications, tracings) are to offer very important examples of fantasy-mega-architecture and to inform about representation techniques.
Sehnsucht Babylon/ Babylon nostalgia. (Slide-essays). Choreographed slide projections showing aspects of megathinking, examining not only architectural and art historical but also anthropological, philosophical, religious, political and psychological aspects.

+ Theory: Besides the discourses on manifestos, invited experts will hold double lectures on the subject "Syndrom Babylon Wien".
+ Film: numerous films on the themes Mega, Babylon, Tower of Babel, towers and skyscrapers, gigantomania etc. will be shown during the exhibition.
+ Readings by poets: contemporary authors will read on subjects of the exhibition.
+ Parties: all the events, particularly the exhibition's opening and closing as well as the discourses on manifestos will be held as parties.
+ Auction: on the last day manifestos, pieces of furniture, material donated by sponsors etc., released for that purpose, will be put up for auction. The proceeds will go to the originators and will be donated for charitable causes respectively.
Theatre play "Ein Engel kommt nach Babylon" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt on the 25th May 2002 (a cooperation with the Erste Wiener Lesetheater and the Theater TRIO, directed by Curt Raub).
Secret project "Babylonische Hure/ Babylonian whore"
World record project EBB-Babylonian railway"

Kunsthaus Muerz.
The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Muerz is an integrated part of the exhibition mega:manifestos of presumptuousness. Forum for experimental architecture", housed by the Künstlerhaus in Vienna. It has a concept of its own and it is autonomous.

Participating architects and artists
A-clan * Norbert Artner & Edgar Honetschläger * as_architecture * aud.Tillner/Richter * Ausflug * awg_AllesWirdGut * BAU|KULTUR * BEHF * Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber *
BKK-3 * caramel * con: * Dana Cupková & Martin Myers * D+ * Delugan_Meissl * Bernhard Denkinger * D.U.M. * Eiblmayr & Buchinger * feld72 * gerner°gerner plus * m.gilbert * "heri&salli" * HH architekti * IVA * Jabornegg & Pálffy * Kohlbauer & Kohlbauer * Brigitte Kowanz * ksa. * Kuba, Pilar architekti * Mascha & Seethaler * Architekten Mühlbacher Marschalek * noncon:form * nullmaschine * Opperer & Unterberger * PEANUTZ * phase1 * Pichler & Traupmann * PPAG - Anna Popelka und Georg Poduschka * Raith & Gallister *Rosenberg & Vietzke * Büro Rosinak et Le Flaneur somnolent * ma.schin & Werner Skvara * Lisa Schmidt-Colinet + Alex Schmoeger * SPLITTERWERK * STADTGUT * Superreal * transparadiso * UrbanFish.Architects * Virtual DynamiX und Marion Kuzmany * Karlheinz Wagner & David Moises * Weichlbauer/Ortis * Zünd-Up

venue Künstlerhaus, ground floor
entrance Akademiestraße

duration of exhibition 10 April to 2 June 2002

opening hours daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., thursdays 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
fridays 10.a.m. - 8 p.m.

admission 7, reduced 4,50

curators Peter Bogner, Ursula Horvath, Henny Liebhart-Ulm, Anna Soucek, Jan Tabor

exhibition architecture Bernhard Denkinger

archives Christine Müller

website Willi Mahringer, Andreas Buchberger
(Mokka Medienagentur)

visual design neuwirth@steinborn

megacliplayout Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber

megacliptechnique Alice Durst, Martin Putz

megabookediting Henny Liebhart-Ulm, Anna Soucek

coordination k/haus Simone Bader, Sønke Gau

cooperations Filmarchiv Austria, Graphische Sammlung der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, architektur in progress, ÖGFA

consultants Matthias Boeckl (architectural theory), Dieter Bogner (contemporary art), Ulrike Dembski (theatre history), Volker Dienst (contemporary architecture), Barbara Feller (town history), Sven Hartberger (contemporary music), Brigitte Hilzensauer (literature), Oliver vom Hove (theatre), Andrej Hrausky (Slovenia), Marianne Jobst-Rieder (film posters), Gabriele Kaiser (architectural theory), Wolfgang Lamprecht (PR), Tahani Nadim (Great Britain), Christian Maryka (posters), Emil Prikryl (Czech Republic), Elena Stolicna (Slovakia), Olga Wukounig (Great Britain)

project partnerships Austrian Airlines, Hollywood megaplex, Roco

bernhard leitner


Künstlerhaus upper floor
10 April - 2 June 2002

Space can only be perceived through the perception our own body within shifting boundaries. Bernhard Leitner's sound spaces are time-spaces. The concept of "here and now" plays a vital role for his sound-space instruments, sculptures and installations, the concept of "here" referring to the creation and realisation of space, the concept of "now" to that of time.

Bernhard Leitner's work goes back to a phase of artistic research work he did during his early New York period, i.e. to his analyses (from 1969 to 1975) on experiences of spaces, sculptures and architectures that are formed, designed and composed by means of sounds. His sound-spaces create new kinds of aesthetic perceptions. Besides the haptic sound qualities such as being light, massive, and possessing volume, the movement of sounds, the accurate three-dimensional shape of a moving sound-from plays an essential role. In his project "Doppelgewölbe / zeitversetzt" (double vault/move in time) sound waves are produced to form a vault above the viewers, while in "Vertikal / für eine Person" (vertical/for one person) the body standing on a basis filled with sound sets off a sound that rises in a vertical axis above the head to the upper end of a sound column freely fixed within space. Bernhard Leitner's works for one person show how much our perception of space varies with different movements, such as walking, sitting, standing.

All the objects, sculptures and installations are characterised by a visual precision and clarity. Vision and hearing are and become interrelated in very different ways. Thus in "Fließender Stein" (Flowing Stone) you can hear the sound wave of the stone, can hear its threads and fibres. To experience the transcendent and interchangeable nature of our senses makes us aware of the complexities underlying the concept of space.

After 15 years Bernhard Leitner moved from New York to Berlin, where he realised his first permanent installation of sound architecture. The installation was followed by large, permanent, urban sound-space installations displayed in different cities. At the documenta 7 he showed the "Ton-Würfel"(Sound Cube), at the Biennale in 1986 he displayed his "Große-Raum-Wiege"(Large Space Cradle) and his works have been exhibited in museums in Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Paris and New York.
The exhibition at the Künstlerhaus features ten Sound Sculptures/Sound Installations that have all been realised within the last few years. It also includes installations, sketches, drawings and models from his New York research period.
Whereas in his earlier projects, Sound Spaces are moving between structures of loudspeakers, in this exhibition Bernhard Leitner approaches the concept of space using large heavy metal plates designed as sound sculptures. Focus is on the question as to how we define our physical boundaries within oscillating fields, resonance areas, and acoustic intensification. Separated from its place of origin sound evolves to become a magic sound picture in space.

Permanent installations (selection)
1984 TON-RAUM TU BERLIN, Technische Universität Berlin
1987 LE CYLINDRE SONORE, Parc de la Vilette, Paris
1991 TON-RAUM BUCHBERG, Buchberg Lower Austria
1992 TON-FELD IBM, Wien
1994 BLAUES WÖLBEN, Austria Tabak Forschungszentrum, Vienna
1997 RAUMQUELLEN, Atrium Friedrichstraße, Quartier 203, Berlin
WASSERSPIEGEL, Donautempel, Donaueschingen
2001 STRÖMUNGEN, Otto Wagner Spital, Orthopädiezentrum, Vienna

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1979 Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
1981 Museum Moderner Kunst Vienna
1990 Ruine der Künste Berlin
1999 Hamburger Bahnhof, Nationalgalerie Berlin
Klangkunstforum Potsdamerplatz, Berlin
2001 Kunsthalle Bremen

Exhibition participations (selection)
1979 P.S. 1, New York
1980 Für Augen und Ohren", Akademie der Künste Berlin
1981 Neuburger Museum, Purchase, N.Y.
1982 documenta 7, Kassel
Ars electronica Linz
1983 Musée d´art moderne de la Ville de Paris
1986 Biennale Venedig
1993 Mediale Hamburg
1996 Sonambiente", Akademie der Künste Berlin
1998 Crossings", Kunsthalle Wien

duration of exhibition 10 April to 2 June 2002

venue Künstlerhaus, upper floor, entrance Akademiestraße

opening hours daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursdays 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

admission Euro 7, reduced Euro 4,50

project management Doris Rothauer, Daniela Zyman

organisation Susanne John

press Claudia Kaiser
Astrid Mund
fon +431 - 587 96 63 21
fax +431 - 587 87 36

karlsplatz 5
a 1010 wien
fon +43.1.587.96.63.21
fax +43.1.587.87.36

The Great Escape
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