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Opening: Thursday, 23 October 2003, 7 pm
Welcome address: Andreas Spiegl, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Introductory words: Irene Hohenbüchler, Guest Professor for Tapestry
Exhibition: 23 October - 9 November 2003, daily from 11 am to 6 pm
Aula and exhibition spaces of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna

… the Greeks had this idea of pneumo, or life force, which we have taken as the pneumatic, which is connected with movement and also has to do with breath. (Bill Viola)

"Pneumo," which describes a textile form of architecture, a sculptural conglomerate of transparent fabrics, was originally conceived, designed, and realized for the exhibition "Pulse: Art, Healing and Transformation" at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston by Irene Hohenbüchler and a group of students. The new installation to be seen in the Aula of the Academy presents this atmospheric space that offers surfaces for the projection of a video documenting the working process and a slide show.

Relying on craft skills, Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler focus on the field of tension between art and design and often collaborate with marginalized groups. They were invited to present the videos documenting their cooperative projects, like those with the Kunstwerkstatt Lienz or participants in the Northern Link Project at the Camden Arts Center in London, in the group exhibition "Pulse: Art, Healing and Transformation" at the ICA Boston from 14 May to 31 August 2003. This invitation was the occasion for developing the interdisciplinary exhibition project "Pneumo 2003" together with students of the Academy's Tapestry Department and Institute of Art and Architecture.

© Franz Wibmer   © Franz Wibmer  

The project was aimed at a collaboration between different creative areas and Academy classes and at an exchange of knowledge and possibilities of realization. The guidelines for the space included the kind of material to be used (transparent fabrics, plastic wraps), the spatial features at the ICA Boston, the subject matter (art and healing), and the contents (documentary videos). The result was a combination of various artistic approaches. The different sculptural ideas were woven together to create a spatial composition the production of which took several weeks of sewing work in the Class for Tapestry and Textile Design.

"The greatest problem of all was translating the designs into light three-dimensional structures. We tried to restrict ourselves to a minimum of individual constructive elements to achieve the impression of floating. After some unsatisfactory experiments, we decided to glue the sewn forms together since a certain degree of stiffness was crucial. The most voluminous element is a walk-in spiral consisting of an agglomeration of folds and spanning the space like an uroboros." (Irene Hohenbüchler)

The new installation of the project "Pneumo 2003" in Vienna includes the projection of a video documenting the development process at the Academy and a slide show presenting photographic works of textile elements of production.

© Franz Wibmer   © Franz Wibmer  

In parallel with the "Pneumo" presentation, Susa Schintler-Zürner will show her tapestry work "A find from the lost" submitted for a diploma in the Academy's exhibition rooms.

Irene Hohenbüchler holds a guest professorship for tapestry at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She studied at the College of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands. She has presented her work in international exhibitions such as at the documenta X (1997), where she showed "Herbar 13" together with the group "multiple autorenschaft, Lienz," and at the Venice Biennial 1999 (Austrian Pavilion, "Open Practices").

Participants: Jan Blaschko, Manuela Janz, Barbara Jenner, Vincent Jenner, Parsia Kananian, Christina Lenart, Veronika Mali, Maria Männing, Melanie Mitas, Richard Schaffranek, Susa Schintler-Zürner, a.o.

Thanks to: Gerhart Brandt, Franz Wibmer, Marianne Zahel, Walter Troppmann, Gabriele Mayer, and schultes.wien

Translation: Wolfgang Astelbauer

Program in the exhibiton spaces

Friday, 24 October 2003

5 pm
Irene Hohenbüchler, Guest Professor for Tapestry "Textile Architectures"
Lecture on the genesis of the project "Pneumo 2003"

6 pm
Ce Gamin-là
Poetic documentary film about a network of autistic children in the Cévennes in Southern France by Renaud Victor, 1975, color, original French version, 93 minutes

7.30 pm
Sandra Alvarez de Toledo, art historian, Paris
"Le radeau de Fernand Deligny" ("Fernand Deligny's Raft")
Lecture in English

Sandra Alvarez de Toledo will explore Fernand Deligny's work in her lecture. After a series of militant actions in psychiatric wards, schools, and various associations, the educationalist, author, poet, and filmmaker Fernand Deligny founded a living space for autistic children in Southern France. Together with non-experts, he developed a network in the middle of nature, depending on extremely scarce financial means and not receiving any subsidies or any institutional support. This experiment has been going on for 30 years.

Sandra Alvarez de Toledo, was born in Mohammedia, Morocco, in 1954. The art historian and photography expert presently lives and works in Paris. Contribution to "Politics/Poetics," the book accompanying the documenta X (2001): "Straße, Mauer, Delirium." Cocurator of the exhibition "Des Territoires" at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris.