Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

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1st day of the presentation | 22.10.2020, 04.00 - 08.00 pm
Duration | 23.10.2020–17.12.2021
Venue | Akbild Forum, Getreidemarkt 12/3, 1010 Vienna

Jean Baudrillard spoke of a “language of things” as early as the 1960s, anticipating ideas we now consider self-evident in what we know as “thing theory”: there is no conglomeration of neutral “objects” surrounding us, instead, the world of objects is already imbued with specific subject-object relationships. Or as Bill Brown put it in “A Sense of Things” (2014), “As they circulate through our lives, we look through the objects (to see what they reveal about history, society, nature, or culture – but particularly what they reveal about us).”

1 Image from the inventory database of the Academy © Academy of Fine Arts Vienna 

In their project poodle orange bin ich aufgewacht [I woke up poodle orange], Cosima Baum, Florian Hofer, Fabian Puttinger and Michael Reindel – four (alumni) students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna – set out to trace this language of things at an institutional level. In an extensive study they set out in search of the stories that the chairs and other furnishings of the academy can tell us about the institution itself. Whether it be special requests from professors, unique pieces made by students, functional objects, collectors’ items, purely decorative objects or provisional items. The spectrum they examined included the Correalistic Instruments (designed by Friedrich Kiesler) in the office of the Institute of Art and Architecture, the sculpture and life drawing boxes, the bright orange shag rug made by former rector Eva Blimlinger with the model name “Poodle Orange”, and even the marketing symbol of a summer lounger with the academy logo on it.

Bild aus der Inventardatenbank der Akademie Image from the inventory database of the Academy © Academy of Fine Arts Vienna 

Many of these objects and seating configurations will be presented in changing constellations over the course of about a year as part of the artistic design of the Akbild Forum at Getreidemarkt 12. Collages serving as documentation as well as associative leads, will also constitute part of the overall design, and viewers will be invited to explore the formative moments of the academy’s history and specific characteristics of the institution’s self-image through confrontation with and use of its artefacts.

Central to the project is a multi-volume catalogue offering a comprehensive insight into the academy’s entire inventory. Browsing through this materialised image archive, a key point emerges: the fact that the academy’s inventory was required to be “usable” due to the needs of an art school has meant that the boundaries between commodity and artistic object were often blurred. Through the selected objects and catalogue the Akbild Forum presents a selection of design moments which characterise the academy and spatially encapsulates them over the period of a year.

Collage mit Bild aus der Inventardatenbank der Akademie Image from the inventory database of the Academy © Academy of Fine Arts Vienna 

Cosima Baum (born 1993 in Hamburg) joined the stage design class at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna after abandoning a dramaturgy course in Leipzig. In her artistic practice, she works textually, associatively, well researched, spatially, theoretically, bodily and covertly. Recently with shop windows, as a sitting posture experimenter and archivist.

Michael Reindel, born in 1993, lives and works in Vienna and is currently studying textual sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. To bind sculptural elements of his work with a given narrative, he repeatedly transforms and translates these structures into different media. Individual works thus enter a network of stories and relationships. He creates much of his work within the collective “Profi Reality”, together with Selina Lampe and Valentin Hessler.

Florian Hofer born in Linz in 1993, is currently in the textual sculpture class at the Academy of Fine Arts. His works focus on the human body as a meeting place of internal and external influences. Through contact with materials and spaces, ephemeral constructions like presence and sensuality emerge.

Fabian Puttinger, born in 1992, works as an architect in Vienna. He studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He is currently working on social housing with a focus on issues of perception and the socio-cultural effects of the built environment.