The Spring Project   Austria   1995

Doris GUTH   Peter KOGLER   Matthias MICHALKA   Franz POMASSL   Johannes ROSENBERGER   Matta WAGNEST  

THE SPRING PROJECT an exhibition, which took place in the stately and notorious former studios of G. Ambrosi, was a young (spring like) enterprise in contrast to the cult-like worship of the Ambrosi Museum located in the Viennese Augarten park. The curators Doris Guth and Matthias Michalka brought together approximately 20 Austrian artists, who approached the aura and the studios of the former sculptor in variety of ways. In showing these works - which varied from sound installations to pure network pieces -a variety of artistic positions from the mid nineties were presented, and for the first time the Ambrosi Museum was transformed and occupied with new meanings.

The video to the exhibition, recorded by four different artists, brought together different ways of viewing and perceiving the exhibition: Johannes Rosenberger, Peter Kogler, Franz Pomassl, Matta Wagnest were the artists who documented the exhibition in 5 minute pieces. The two curators, Doris Guth and Matthias Michalka, showed their seemingly objective view (not defining an ideal view of the exhibition through documentation and therefore implementing a critic) by choosing a camera setting which was not irritated by the hens in the gallery (You Never Know) or by the strobe lights on the dozens of Ambrosi sculptures (Ezergailis), as they consistently made their way through "The Spring Project". The subjective "Visitor X" which the camera represents, shows all expositions and every corner of the exhibition for the same length of time; pan, zoom in, stay for a while, zoom out, pan to the next object, are the given directions or, the attempt at a neutral view. (Suess)

And because this neutral view does not exist, rather one can at best show the intentions of a neutral view, Guth and Michalka invited artists, who are familiar with the inconsistencies in power, mediation, documentation through their own experiences as artists, to document the show. By requesting an artistic documentation, a tension is produced.

Johannes Rosenberger starts his observations in the Augarten, outside of the exhibition space. Using photographic close-ups he moves from one exhibit to the next. The producer cuts out much of the room and shows, in fragments, the visual design of the pieces as formal aesthetics of the/ an exhibition. In Peter Kogler's contribution we experience the seeking/ coincidental from the viewpoint of a visitor. One third of the pieces are not shown. The pieces have been ignored on purpose, because of a lack of time, or they have just been forgotten; the recipient Kogler acts just like any visitor.

Franz Pomassel observes the exhibition at the "Edge of the Gallery", finds exhibits within process and merchandising: invitations and posters (Magreiter), floor plan of the exhibition space, lollypops (sabotage), the price tags attached to the artists T-shirts. Pomassel shows forms of communication in the exhibition and the use of these by the visitor. Matta Wagnest does not observe rooms and the space between rooms, but more of what is found in the machine: for example (Hilus) linking the exhibits by using several gigabytes of digital information as a contribution.

As a closing Matta sucks an "Alibi" lollypop titled: "Everything that you say can and will be used against you". This piece by Sabotage, as well as a full description of the contributions to the exhibition, information, biographies, press, and a discussion about the reception in the media, can be read in The Spring Project pages via the provider "the thing". (Suess)


The Spring Project, 1995

Österreichische Galerie Belvedere Augarten, Wien, Austria


34min mono color PAL

Technical protocol

High 8 Video (recording); Amiga Aimation (computer animation); U-Matic High Band (master)

Produced together with

Technical editing: Gebhard Sengmüller; Music: Martin Hodel, Eric Schuhmacher, Andrea Clavadetscher


Doris Guth, Matthias Michalka

Post production

HfaK, MK für Visuelle Mediengestaltung, (jetzt Universität)


Österreichische Galerie; City Color; Gang Art; The Thing, Vienna


Österreichische Galerie


Österreichische Galerie, D. Guth, Matthias Michalka

Copy to see

Medienkunstarchiv Wien