2023, Vienna

On the trail of the urban alter ego - Steinhof Atlas

Performance by Ursula Maria Probst for "Water, Mask, Night"
Oct. 14, 2023, 2–5 pm
Steinhof-Areal, Vienna

Beyond Borders
Cultural Spaces

A project for "Water, Mask, Night" by transparadiso

Funded by Public Art Vienna, 2023

Workshop / Performance by and with Ursula Maria Probst

Based on the complex and contradictory history of the Otto-Wagner-Hospital and Steinhof-Area, curator and artist Ursula Maria Probst has developed a performative choreography that lends a voice to the architecture, in which memories and present-day activities are inscribed. The former psychiatric hospital from 1907, conceived by Otto Wagner and Carlo van Boog, is currently undergoing a controversially discussed process of transformation. A script of authentic, literary and fictional passages forms the starting point for a polyphonic spoken chorus. The participants can become contributors.

A performative choreography will be developed using masks for discussing the current and future state of the various pavilions, since the whole area is undergoing a transformation process. The workshop starts at the site, where the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance will be relocated to, next to the memorial for the 772 Spiegelgrund children having been murdered by the Nazis between 1940-1945. A voice is given to the architecture, including its users, patients, clinic staff, residents, asylum seekers and walkers, as well as to pieces of literature (Sophia Artmann/ Idyll des Vergessens; Thomas Bernhard/Wittgensteins Neffe etc.), who have chosen the Steinhofgründe as setting.

The result aims at conceiving a script of authentic, literary and fictional passages. The participants become contributors and are invited to wear masks in order to slip into their roles more easily. The masks take into account intersectional dynamics and incorporate the animal and plant world, which should find fertile soil, breeding ground and a habitat at Steinhof.

Next project:
Water in Penzing