Site-specific performative installation in collaboration with Sebastian Alvarez, Pedra Costa, Yingmei Duan, Alexander Felch, Andrés Knob, Roberta Lima, Evamaria Schaller, Anna Vasof
Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
May 14-22, 2016
Hours performed: 45
Production by Wiener Festwochen
Co-curated by Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
Creative producer Margarita Osepyan
Installation by Atelier Marko Brajovic
Video Installation by Ilya Pusenkoff
Images by: Ilya Pusenkoff, Renate Mihatsch, Raffaela Bielesch
Video by Ilya Pusenkoff
The purpose of The Carousel is to set a precedent of a joint presence, a joint will, and in the best sense of the word, an unconscious groupthink, while yet avoiding a collective brainstorming.
The 8 artists, half of them from Austria, half from the rest of the world, are separated by the walls of the carousel. All of the performance works are happening simultaneously.
On one hand, The Carousel is a number of independent solo shows: each artist signed an agreement not to reveal the details and meaning of their work to fellow participants; all artists will enter and exit the exhibition space in blindfold. They will ignore the content of the other performances until the end.
On the other hand, The Carousel is a stream of collective will: even if one work is not interconnected with another, and it might not even automatically ‘argue’ with the other works, the pieces are united by one theme, pregnancy in this case.
Before entering The Carousel space, every audience member is passing through the Check-in Chapel where they sign their contract of participation (Carousel experience lasts for one hour for 5 groups of 60 visitors filling up 5 time slots each day) - as well as sign up for cycling stations (Carousel moves from 3 visitors cycling at the same time; each of the volunteer cyclists would only have to cycle for 5 minutes). Then the short concentration training follows - it ends up with a breathing technique practiced by the visitors and the videos of the participating artists telling their real life stories on a subject related to the work they perform as part of The Carousel. Then the doors of the chapel are finally open, and the spinning experience begins.
Apart from being together for the five hours of the Carousel each of the nine days, the participating artists are sharing the living space in a communal Carousel House attached to The Carousel main space following the social experiments of the 1920s by Constructivist architects of Soviet Russia. There are eight beds, a communal kitchen, a communal shower as well as daily workshops led by each artist on not necessarily art-realted topics, and a daily lunch created by each artist individually through a collaboration with the Carousel Chef. The daily lunch becomes a public event with some of the best minds of Vienna invited to join and eat with the artists while having a conversation (theme for each lunch and conversation is planned in advance). Every night there there are some best of the Vienniese musicians playing the music recommended by doctors for healthy sleep of the artists, a kind of a lullaby concert also open to public - just like most of the events at The Carousel House.