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Július Koller :

Rohrau, 2004


The design Overplay for the entrance area of the community of Rohrau envisaged the installation of a white chalk line that the artist had intended to draw up to an oversized tennis net at a height of 10 metres during an opening performance on the square reserved for the Haydn monument. The concept was not realised.

The artist Július Koller was commissioned to design a concept for the approach to Rohrau because the jury felt unable to select a project from the submissions to an invited entry competition. In 1969 Július Koller had sent postcards inviting their recipients to the Happening 'The Definition of the Psychophysical Subject of the Material in Time and Space'. In the Happening he swept a tennis court, sprinkled it with water and drew white lines while the invited artists and critics watched him. Then he played tennis with his fellow artists. Then the Happening was over.* This first, very early Happening is the departure point for a series of works by Koller that revolve around sports. For Koller, the world of sports is a parallel and real world where, unlike in politics for instance, rules do not lose their validity. Koller himself has never shied coming into conflict with rules and regulations. The destabilisation and questioning of conventions were and still are an essential strategy in his art, which always progresses according to a particular plan and concrete rules. The concept for Overplay envisaged the application of this model in his approach to the community of Rohrau, Josef Haydn's birthplace. At the opening performance the artist was to draw a white chalk line through the site reserved for the Haydn memorial, up to an oversized tennis net hung at a height of ten metres. Simple but impossible to overlook.
(Hedwig Saxenhuber)

* Julius Koller, Univerzalne Futurologicke Operacie. Cologne 2003, p. 61