An old fire station was converted by Michael Kienzer into an exhibition space for contemporary art. The artists, invited by Kienzer and a jury from Weikendorf, each realize temporary installations in the interior for half a year, which are also visible from the outside through a large window. This turns the entire building into a sculpture in public space.
The project Zwei linke Füße was developed by the artist Anna Jermolaewa with support from a jury of several inhabitants from Weikendorf. After her invited proposal was accepted, she began to explore the history and geography of Weikendorf and its surroundings. Through a map application, she discovered the Slovakian town of Láb, just ten kilometers away from the Austrian-Slovakian border close to Weikendorf. She particularly noticed how difficult it is to reach Láb, and how little the people of Weikendorf knew about life on the other side of the March River, which separates Austria from Slovakia. The artist therefore struck out on a journey in which she crossed the river with the small local ferry. After reaching the town, she conducted research and learned about the lives and stories of the town’s inhabitants. This became the basis for a series of portraits of Láb and its inhabitants in which she filmed conversations with townspeople on video – a medium often used by the artist. Jermolaewa organized these short, informative episodes about everyday life in the community into six chapters: “The Town,” “The Fitness Club,” “The Pub,” “The Farm,” “The School,” and “Pizza and Stars” (the latter so named because the pizza chef and his wife are also hobby astronomers). When watching these fantastic videos, my first impulse was to ask the artist where she filmed them; then I caught myself and remembered it was in a town very close to this exhibition space, where the works are being presented. Perhaps the idea behind these miniatures about life in Láb are meant to remind us that we may think we are all-knowing – or just one click away from knowing everything, which makes us often feel superior – yet we are not as all-knowing as we believe if we know so little about the lives of our closest neighbors here in the middle of Europe.