Maria Welzig: Democratic re-occupation of high-representative historic sites

Subota, 4.7. u 13:15
Prostorni resursi civilne i kulturne scene

Rođena 1963. godine u Beču gdje je diplomirala povijest umjetnosti. Od 1989-1990 je istraživačica u Povijesnom muzeju. Doktorirala je na temu “Arhitektonski opus Josefa Franka (1885-1967)”. Stipendistica je brojnih stranih stipendija u Italiji, SAD-u, Švedskoj, Francuskoj, Njemačkoj.

Osim istraživačkih bavi se projektima koji uključuju uređivanje knjiga i filmova i kuriranje izložbi. Predavačica je na fakultetu Primijenjenih umjetnosti u Beču. Izdaje publikacije i drži predavanja o arhitekturi, urbanom razvoju, suvremenoj fotografiji.

Can contemporary urban culture prosper in representative historic city-centres?
Perceptions of developments in Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Torino


The project, which involves among others (art) historians and scholars from cultural studies and media studies investigates the functional and architectonic changes in the most representative part of the city, the former imperial seat of power, Hofburg and Museumsquartier. The contemporary cultural centre “Museumsquartier” was built in the former imperial stables and opened at the beginning of 21st century. A transformation process like the one in Vienna, which led to contemporary architecture and art as well as to new urban culture in the historic centre, can also be seen in other cities since the change of paradigm in the 1990ies. Former imperial seats of political power in city-centres, adjoined by their historic museums and libraries, with their prominent public spaces – squares and gardens – and their significant places of remembrance once again come into the focus of city development, art and urban culture. During the 20th century these city-quarters mostly were musealized touristic islands within the city, not integrated in contemporary urban life and culture. Since the change of paradigm in the 1990ies a kind of a contemporary re-defintion and building-on is going on with all implications of today’s social, political and economic situation. New institutions for contemporary art are added on as well as new architecture and design is integrated within the heritage context and there is a claim, that these quarters should become new centres of urban life and cultural production. Unexpectedly these vast historic building complexes often contain abandoned structures, which offer the possiblity of integrating new functions: like the former horse-stables in Vienna, in Torino, in St. Petersburg, like the former Palace of the Republic in Berlin. On one hand there are massive economic, national and city marketing interests behind these efforts. At the same time these places come into the focus of temporary usage, of cultural production, of critical discourse and of protest.

So in these „centers of the city centres“ a symptomatic new situation can be pursued: What was separated and opposed in 20th century now gives way to ambiguity, to an intermingling of former contra dictionary aspects: of high representative and subversive; of touristic and alternative; of formal and informal, of economic interests and critical approach.

The lecture is based on a research project at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.