The dimensions of making things. A contribution by Victoria Windtner

In an exhibition about things and the new publication about the KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd, Susanne Blaimschein and Beate Rathmayr show what collective processes in art and cultural production can look like.

What does a banana tell you when you ask it about its childhood? In the design phase of the project “Things we can do now”, one participant addresses this question directly to a piece of fruit. “It’s about things from everyday life, dealing with what’s there,” explains Beate Rathmayr, artist and exhibition organiser of KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd.

Productive participation in the lockdown.
“We want to bring people into the process of creating,” emphasises KunstRaum director Susanne Blaimschein. To this end, people who accepted the invitation to the production process received instructions for action, questions and a grab bag of things. These were intended to inspire people to make things and also to irritate them a little. “Things we can do now” invites us into the present moment, makes us aware of what surrounds us and appeals to our ability to act while the possibilities are limited due to a pandemic. “We wanted to send something home to people,” Blaimschein recalls of the first Lockdown 2020, when KunstRaum launched a flower craft campaign and sent flower craft packages to a total of 250 participants. Collecting things and the “traces of humanity” transported along with them became the focus in autumn 2020. The POP-UP exhibition “MAKE OUR THING!” was created in cooperation with the art education department of the Lentos Linz.

Art space as an interface.
Since 2008, the association pro mente Oberösterreich has been offering the KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd as an interface and connection between art and social issues. 300 square metres of space for exhibitions, productions and encounters. The field of activity is as diverse as the people who participate in it: From designs, workshops, to lectures and public campaigns. 40 different projects are planned for 2021, the theme of the year is: “Inside I am, not outside”.

Documented work
With the publication “Wir Können Da Was Machen” the KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd now provides insights into the dimensions of its own work. Commissioned by Linz AG Linien and the City of Peace Linz in 2016-2017, for example, the highly visible art and Victoria Windtner, OÖ Kulturbericht 04/21
communication campaign “City of Respect” was implemented. Buses, trams and billboards transported messages in Linz’s urban space. The catalogue, however, shows above all the less visible, such as Kunst am Bau projects, performances and realisations in other places.

The designer Gerald Priewasser-Höller uses some catalogues as material and combines them to create the installation “QVERLESEN – Wir können da was machen”. Priewasser-Höller refers to “the importance of cohesion and diffusion into society”. It materialises what the KunstRaum stands for: Weaving networks and connections between art and the social, from the individual to the common.

In the exhibition “Things we can do now” all things come together that were created by participants during the last lockdown. Two large showroom windows at 30 Goethestrasse invite pandemic-compliant viewing as you pass by. “The showroom will be full of things”.

This article appeared in modified form in the Cultural Report of the Province of Upper Austria 04/21.

by Victoria Windtner (German Original)
www.victoriawindtner.at @vicawind