part 1, UP AND DOWN

Vienna, AT
15 July – 30 July 2012

During their residency at Schneiderei, a non-commerical art association in Vienna, Portuguese artist Vasco Costa and German artist Wolfgang Obermair developed a collaborative project in three parts, that operated through the cultural investigations of Alan Lomax. Lomax made a relation between human behaviour and cultural expression in his studies program known as Choreometrics; a study of dance as formalized, culturally conditioned communicative behavior that he undertook together with the choreographers Irmgard Bartenieff and Forrestine Paulay in the early 60s. Starting from there, Costa and Obermair are crossing Lomax ́s theories with their own artistic approach to urban life and politics, based on their walks through the city of Vienna. The titles of the three parts of the project are mapping the everyday movements as defined by Lomax.

In the first part of their collaboration Costa and Obermair are creating a vertical and horizontal structured environment in which the audience finds itself in a court room assembled out of mattresses, ladders, and ancient political philosophers. Two big display boards with the sculptures of Herodot and Xenophon captured in their natural environment in front of the Austrian parliament, which were under renovation. Around the neck of Herodot the workers placed a rope to fix a shade in the hot summer sun. In the exhibition the ladders suggest an access to the principles that are meant to rule democracy.