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Michael Kienzer :

Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, 2005


A striking outdoor artistic signal was required for the KUNST RAUM NOE. Welcome is the title of the intervention in the form of a carpet, which can be rolled out temporarily for special occasions. The work is in a series by the artist that engage with the significance of the carpet as a code for social accord.

The Niederösterreichische Landhaus in the Inner City of Vienna was renovated in 2005. Since then, alongside the Lower Austrian Landeshauptmann's Vienna Headquarters, it has also housed the Kunstraum Niederösterreich art space. The latter required a striking and appropriately artistic signal outside, which was delivered by Michael Kienzer with his installation – itself in a series of the artist’s deliberations on the significance of the carpet as a code for social conventions. The red carpet runs across the courtyard straight towards the representative main central entrance, but then backtracks in an almost-hairpin curve, and finishes at the Kunstraum entrance to the side of the courtyard. Kienzer has audaciously diverted one of the regalia of the famous and powerful on its last metres before it reaches the epicentre of influence to make an ironic allusion to a historic and art-specific paradox: that the proponents of a didactic liberal approach were often perfidiously close to the side of the rulers. For this reason it will not surprise anybody that nothing came of the original concept, to make a carpet of woven metal mesh as a permanent installation. Now it has been woven of a sturdy fabric and can be rolled out by those running the Kunstraum as a temporary intervention on certain occasions.
(Cornelia Offergeld)