Künstlerhaus was founded by artists in 1978, offering a self-organized space for various artistic projects. In this first part of the talk series on Künstlerhaus’s self-organized structure, a closer look was taken on the video and audio studios.
As opposed to self-representation, self-organization meant creating an unrestricted working environment aside from the commercial art market. However, developing new space and boosting artistic production wasn’t its only objective. It wanted to create criteria that would enable communication and assessment of contemporary art. Proceeding from the 1960s, new art forms such as performance, video and happening developed which weren’t appropriate for traditional galleries and museums. These highly experimental forms of art required “spaces of action”.
The first location where self-organized art spaces occurred was New York City’s Soho district. A few years later, in 1978, Künstlerhaus was founded as a space for research and experiment.
Otto Kränzler and Evelyn and Reinhard Knoedler were first-generation artists at Künstlerhaus. In 1976, before the founding of Künstlerhaus, Evelyn and Reinhard Knoedler supported by other artists established a video workshop that was later integrated into Künstlerhaus and existed until 1997. By reference to the video archive, Kränzler and the Knoedler’s gave a talk about their experience and memories concerning the establishment of the back-then new medium video.
Following this, Otto Kränzler talked about inspiring collaborations with other artists such as sound collages for a monastery, complex compositions for the State Opera, and the fragmentation of a plant into musical elements with Lithuanian artists. All these projects are examples for self-organized action, having neither a given direction nor a targeted aim. Otto Kränzler has been director of the audio studio for more than 25 years.
The series Visit is a open platform for the presentation and discussion of contemporary art. Künstlerhaus offers to everyone interested, the possibility to propose ideas or concepts for discussions, talks and screenings. The compilation for the series is made by a group of members that meets frequently.