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Update on my time in Vienna

22 May

Since the last time I posted I had a visitor from London and I started my Performativity and Protest lectures amongst other things i.e. gallery visits, exhibitions, etc.

I will post tomorrow about my experience with the lecture and the content covered, for now I will mention how the lecture has started on a great note and that it’s a very theoretical class. We have been focusing on where artistic research stands within the art world and how politics and art can mix. But more about that tomorrow. So far I’ve enjoyed the classes and have found them to be feeding my enquiry into where my own research stands within my practice.

So my flat mate came to visit me in the first weeks of April which was great as I have been feeling a little home-sick and my personal life has changed so much out of this experience in Vienna. Whilst he was here we visited many galleries and explored the culinary delights of the diverse foods on offer in this beautiful city. We spent most of our lunches at the Naschtmarkt, one of Vienna’s tourist markets which is conveniently situated near the Akademie and Karlsplatz.

The galleries/museums we visited:

  • MUMoK (Aktionsraum 1, Direct Art, Florian Pumhösl, Abstract Space and Tacita Dean)
  • The Secession (Klimt-Beethoven Frieze, Inés Lombardi, Alfons Egger and Christoph Meier)
  • Kunsthalle Wien (Andro Wekua: Never sleep with a strawberry in your mouth, Weltraum: Die Kunst und Ein Traum)
  • WUK (A work That Can’t Shake Off What it Reflects)
  • Museum für Völkerkunde Wien/ The museum of Ethnology (The Culture of the Cultural Revolution)
  • The Albertina (Der Blaue Reiter, Monet to Picasso, Albertina contemporary and Lichtenstein)
  • MozartHaus
  • The Schoenberg centre

My favourites were definitely the Akionsraum 1 and Direct Art exhibitions at the MUMoK as a lot of the pieces in the shows are key influences linked to my practice (I will discuss these exhibitions in another post). In the UK it’s hard to find performance exhibitions and it is especially hard to see works by the Viennese Aktionists as they’re rarely displayed so it was great to actually see those works in front of me including lost works by the artists.

We wandered around a lot which is nice, You can walk around the city in a day or two, it’s not that big so it’s nice as you get to see more of the city and more of life in Vienna. We found a few vintage shops (there aren’t many by the way) and I found this amazing second hand store called Caritas which is like a cross between a big car boot sale and a charity shop, there are loads of  stalls where you can buy really cheap things such as furniture for as little as €3 (I found great quality leather suitcases from the 30s which were going for €5). There is also a fantastic flea market (Der Flohmarkt) on Saturdays at the Naschmarkt which is the biggest I have seen, reminds a lot of the Sunday flea market on Brick Lane but much bigger and with a variety of objects/things on offer (I found an amazing 1920s gramophone in excellent condition, it’s a shame it was so big otherwise I would have bought it and sent it over to London!).

There’s so much to see!!

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16 Mar

I’ve finally been given my student card, it took a while. I have also registered for classes and i’m hoping to attend some lectures over at the other universities.

My classes at the Akademie are:

  • Performative Art (my main course)
  • Curatorial studies
  • Performativity and Protest
  • Queers in Space (Architecture lecture)

And I’m on the waiting list for Performance and media techniques. There are some gender and sexuality lectures at the University of Vienna that I would like to attend so hopefully I’ll be able to sign up. I haven’t really been in my studio as I’ve been trying to work on my DAS essay which has been hard so far but now that I have my student card I’ve managed to take library books form the Akademie library which are in English.

Some photos of our studio:

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Until next time!

Lost in the city again

11 Mar

Following up from my last post. Here are some photos from last Friday (4th March):

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Guten Tag Wien!

11 Mar

So it’s been a while since i’ve been on this.

Since the last time I posted, I have been to the Academie and registered. On Wednesday 2nd March I attended an erasmus welcome meeting which was nice. We had tea, drinks and cake and we were given the low-down on what to expect from the Academy and how to register and so on. It was a pretty relaxed meeting. I met a girl from Glasgow school of Art and two students who study at Central St Martins amongst others. Some of us went to a local cafe/bookstore and had lunch, it was a really nice little place not far from the university.  The Akademie itself is really nice, it’s almost like walking into the National Gallery with it’s marbled flooring in most of it’s hallways. It seems to be somewhat similar to the RA in that it also has a prestigious collection of old paintings which is open to the public. It also has an exhibition space where artists can apply to exhibit (although this system so I have been told is very limited to it’s students who tell me there is no actual exhibition space for students to exhibit).

Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Wien

Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Wien

Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Wien

Apparently it is no longer an actual academy (well it’s not run like it used to be) and is now rather an art university. One of the fascinating things i’ve found so far is that on the course that you choose, say painting, your class is made up of students on different levels. Bachelor, Masters and Phd students are all in the same classes in their chosen fields which is fantastic. Your professor is the person who runs the course/subject that you have chosen to specialise in and the studios are used by everyone in that class. I’ve found out that you can study at the academy for as long as you want as you can decide when to graduate, there are people who have been studying there for 9 years! It’s crazy but then again I guess you get more out of your course and university life. Also there, students and professors treat each other on the same level and even exhibit along side each other which doesn’t really happen so much back in England and definitely not in the same way as they do here.

One of the annoying things i’ve encountered has been the time it takes for classes to start, it seems to be really laid back. I still haven’t registered for the classes or lectures yet as I still don’t have an ID card meaning that I can log in online to register for them yet (but it seems that I have until April to have signed up for everything). The registration process is slow but I have noticed so far that the Austrians are really laid back about things and don’t really worry so much.

On Monday (7th March) I had a class meeting and met my professor and peers.Before the meeting we all gathered in a room to attend a performance by one of the Diploma students (Diploma being the 1 year Masters) and we discussed the work. I didn’t really understand much of it as it was in German but the performance was based on the student’s job as a german teacher for asylum seekers. Everyone’s really nice and the studio is great (photos of that still to come). We have meetings every Monday and the rest of the days you go to your chosen lectures and seminar. We can come into the studios whenever we want, some people don’t come in as their work is site specific based. Oh also, funny think about Austria, they don’t really follow the smoking in public places ban like the rest of Europe. The students can smoke in their studios, well at least in my studios they are!!

Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Wien/Schillerplatz

Schillerplatz (view from the Akademie)

Last Friday I spent some time at the Naschmarkt and getting lost in the city which was fun! I loved the market, it’s almost like Broadway market in East London although with a lot of cheese!!! There were so many shops/stalls selling cheese!! It’s also a very multicultural market with Chinese, Tibetan, Turkish and traditional Austrian restaurants and shops. I really enjoyed wandering around and seeing what everyone has to offer. Some photos from the market:


Lots and lots of cheese!

Sweetie van

This means nothing to me oohhhhhhh Vienna….

1 Mar

Listening to UltraVox’s “Vienna” song. I love 80’s music.

Any way, Sunday 27th Feb I flew here to this beautiful country that is Austria. As my flight was an evening flight, once I arrived there wasn’t much to see between arriving at the airport and arriving at the place I was staying as it was quite dark. Although the CAT train (that takes you from the airport to the city centre) was somewhat interesting as it was like getting on a double decker bus, only it was a train. I wasn’t able to take any photos of my arrival, It was hard carrying so much luggage…I like travelling but I hate the hustle bustle of it. Christina Geiger (who I’m house swapping with) has finally arrived at my place in London. I’m living with her sister Petra and a German girl named Katja. They’re all very nice and we’ve gotten along plus they have 3 cats so are sooo adorable!

Yesterday I went to do some food shopping down the road at the local supermarket Spar. It wasn’t too bad as I got around fine although the women at the cashier didn’t speak any English so it was funny. I went there again to buy some chocolate as she was like “oh it’s you again…i still don’t speak any english” and we laughed and I said “Guten Tag”. She was nice! So far I have been hanging around the house trying to do some work for the DAS essay so I haven’t ventured out yet. I’m staying in the 13th district which is near Heitzing. It’s like living in Wimbledon and studying in the city centre although travel is cheaper and not stressful! It’s about 30 mins to the Innere stadt (city centre), I get a bus down the road to Heitzing then on the U4 (underground) to Karlsplatz and it’s a 5-10 min walk to Schillerplatz where the Akademie is situated. Should be fun!! We don’t seem to start until some point next week, I haven’t been told when yet.

Tomorrow I have a welcome meeting for all the erasmus students at the Akademie at 11am. I’m still trying to adjust to the time difference, it’s only an hour ahead here but I keep thinking it’s the same time over in London every time I call my boyfriend. At the moment it’s ten to eight in the evening and it’s really dark! Also it’s been quite cold…around -2 degrees since i’ve been here but today at least it has been sunny.

Here are some of the photos i’ve taken so far:

The house number plate

The house where i'm staying

The view down on Hermesstrasse

View from down the road

A sign on someone's garage door. I think it says: No entry.

"School way"

On my trip down the road to the local supermarket

Shopping at the local supermarket

Sehr Gut! Offers on at Spar

Sehr Gut! Offers on at Spar

Wien ich komme!

21 Dec

Ich breche jetzt nach Wien auf!

Streetcar/tram in Vienna

So i get an email from Viehauser Anna Elisabeth, subject stating ‘acceptance Vienna’ and I knew i did it. I got in. Nervously I open the email and read the first paragraph:

Dear Andrea Macario Oliveira,

I am very happy to inform you that you are accepted as exchange student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna at the Department of Fine Arts/ performative techniques / Prof. Carola Dertnig for the summer term (1 March – 2 July 2011).

My heart leapt with joy, it had taken over a month to find out whether I was going to take part in the erasmus exchange, most people had already received confirmation of their places. I had previously sent them an email regarding any advancements on places given and I received a reply stating that the classes had not been fully chosen yet. That was last week. Yesterday I was confirmed onto the exchange.  I ran into the bedroom where my boyfriend was sat at his desk (composing his piece for voice) and i screamed at the top of my lungs “I’M GOING TO VIENNA!!!!!!!”. I was so happy, I called my mum and sister to tell them the news and even posted it on facebook.

I AM going to Vienna. I still love to say it in my head. I fell in love with the city when I went there in 2007 on a music tour with my school. I loved the culture there, the arts and music thrive side by side. People are really nice and the city is beautiful. We performed at many palaces including the Schonbrunn palace , we also attended an opera at the opera house and visited the Mozart museum, amongst other things.

Schonbrunn palace Wien


Commemorative plaque on the back side of the Mozarthaus: Schulerstrasse 8, Wien

One thing I was sad about was not being able to go visit any galleries, especially the MOMA (or MUMOK in German). Well now that I am going there once again (and for 3 months) I get to go see a lot of art and great architecture such as the secession building which I saw on the way to our hotel. Stunning building.

The secession building at Vienna, built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich for exhibitions of the secession group.

The Vienna Secession (also known as the Union of Austrian Artists, or Vereiningung Bildender Künstler Österreichs) was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. The first president of the Secession was Gustav Klimt, and Rudolf von Alt was made honorary president. The Vienna Secession was founded on 3 April 1897 by artists Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Otto Wagner, and others. The Secession artists objected to the prevailing conservatism of the Vienna Künstlerhaus with its traditional orientation toward Historicism. The Berlin and Munich Secession movements preceded the Vienna Secession, which held its first exhibition in 1898.


The Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK)

I’m really excited to go and study at the Akademie der bildenden künste Wien. I am wanting to go and do another degree there after Wimbledon as it is particularly well known for its performance art (and I also just want to live in Vienna!).  I will be on the performative techniques course and well,I  can only just wait and see what course my work will take once I am there.

I hope this will be a great experience!!! Need to brush up on my German first!

Akademie der bildenden Kunste Wien