Beautiful Days 1914 / 2014 screening @ Künstlerhaus

place: Vienna, Austria
organiser: Künstlerhaus
 Film Beautiful days to be screened on 13 January at Künstlerhaus in Vienna within the group exhibition Space between the land and the Sky.

Austrian art scene represented at the exhibition: Alfred Graf, Silvia Maria Grossmann, Luise Kloos, Wilhelm Scheruebl, Gerlinde Thuma and Fridolin Welte, whilst  Croatian artists partaking at the exhibition  are Josip Zanki (graphic arts, installation, video), Martina Mezak (video-installation), Stipan Tadić (image), Ivan Fijolić (sculpture), Igor Juran (video-installation), Ana Elizabet (sculpture), Domagoj Blažičević (video-installation), Davor Sanvincenti (photography and video installation).

Concept of Beautiful Days
Beginning with the literary descriptions from Karl Kraus „Die letzten Tage der Menschheit“ and the novels from Ivo Andric „The Bridge over the Drna“ and „The young Lady“ („Das Fräulein“) the participating artists are working with the opposite poles of those days in 1914 which are relevant until today:
The multicultural concept of the monarchy vs. nationalstates on one hand and the subjective memories of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents about the circumstances concerning the everyday life in those days on the other hand.

Ivo Andric`s literature is a type of a yugoslawian kenotaph, who is mostly ignored in the today`s Ex-Yugoslawia. Karl Kraus wrote about the society of 1914. In his drama „Die letzten Tage der Menschheit“ he designed a monumental panorama of time, which tried to express grotesque sceneries, the absurdity and inhumanity of the war scenery.

James Joyce was fascinated by the multicultural atmosphere in Trieste, he spent several years of his life in this city and he run a movie theatre. Because of the war he moved away and when he came back after the war he found a total different city. There was no more the multicultural open atmosphere. He loved the diversity and the richness of languages, especially dialects, where he could create many new words in his own literature.

Sarajewo was a popular place in the monarchy where people travelled in order to experience the “Orient”.

„The year 1914 started with „beautiful days“, like Arthur Schnitzler wrote in his diary. Alma Mahler made a new interior design for her house in the area of Semmering. King Wilhelm II. went on a yacht trip to the Northern Islands. Emperor Franz Joseph went for his yearly summer vacation to Bad Ischl. The Serbian General went for his wellness to Bad Gleichenberg. Baron Rothschild didn`t see any reason to rearrange his financial business“ (Gerhard Jelinek, 2013).
Some details about this time in Styria:The local situation in Styria was marked by poverty.
  • The local situation in Styria was marked by poverty.
  • There were founded the first concentration camps for the Ruthenen and
  • Ukrains in Feldbach, Thalerhof, Fohnsdorf.
  • Factories for weapons in Eisenerz, Judenburg, Kapfenberg
  • Bad organized food supply all over the country and follow up revolutions
  • Appearance of new political movements like new associations for workers, soldiers, homeland security
  • Finally the collapse of the southern part of Styria and the delocation from the later Austria
The situation in those days for the mass of the people (for sure in Austria) was the incredible poverty. The First World War killed 10 millions of people and even the same amount were severely wounded and crippled. The publication of the monstrosity of the human being in and through the war is terribly actual – like in lots of other wars in the 20th century until the youngest history. The participating artists are going to research and to work with the invisible levels of 1914 in the
contemporary context.
The participating artists are working on the basis of the literature of Ivo Andric and Karl Kraus and create a relevant concept for the topics concerning history and presence. Images, language and social conditions will be interesting. The cities of Sarajevo, Zagreb, Trieste and Graz/Styria will be shown in the artistic work.

Artistic results
Several presentations
Artists in residence in Sarajewo, June 2014
Next – Verein für zeitgenössische Kunst Graz, project leader
ULUBIH, Bosnian Artists Association, Sarajewo
HDLU, Croatian Artists Association, Zagreb
Artists BiH: Admir Mujkic, Sanjin Fazlic
Artists HR: Josip Zanki, Igor Juran
Artists Serbia: Arion Asllani
Artists Trieste: Davide Skerlj
Artists Austria: Lotte Schreiber, Lea Titz
Project leader: Luise Kloos

(D.H., 13.01.2015)