About Close/d

Artistic explorations in neighbouring environments

Why not leave our old ways of thinking behind, shake off our inability to take action, and get out into the streets for a sustainable future well worth living? Well, in keeping with the climate movement creed, KUNST HAUS WIEN is doing just that: going beyond its Museum premises and out into the public space. Its aim? To make the invisible visible, bridge social distances, embrace proximity, and see and encounter in a new way its immediate surroundings and the people who live there.

Over a period of four months, artisticinterventions, numerous workshops, neighbourhood field trips, performances and discussions on ecological and socially relevant topics will be taking place in the Museum’s neighbourhood. An exhibition itinerary consisting of twelve artistic positions and opening up diverse ecological perspectives on the present and the future provides the basis. The invited artists engage in various ways in a dialogue with the planet and its atmosphere, with the flora and fauna, the Danube Canal, the urban infrastructure and architecture, and with neighbours, visitors and passers-by.

Cℓose/d thus conquers new ground, i.e. the public space, so people are able to join in and take part – in passing, as it were. The public space becomes a laboratory for a new way of thinking about society and how it is integrated into the planetary ecosystem: a place that shows not only what already exists, but also what might still exist. The site-specific artistic works unfold new narratives, providing impulses for engaging with the ‘critical zone’. In geoscience, this term designates the Earth’s surface, merely a few kilometres thin, i.e. the layer in which life emerged and is possible. The French philosopher Bruno Latour uses this term to underscore the way human beings are integrated into this fragile structure with its interaction between living organisms, earth, rock, water and air.

How do we humans fit into this ‘critical zone’? What does our interaction with our living environment as well as our inanimate surroundings consist of? What new perspectives can we adopt to trigger processes of change? What can we learn from nature, of which we are a part, considering that we appear doggedly resolved to work against it? What might alternative scenarios for the present and future look like? How do we move around? How do we feed ourselves? How do we live together in societies, in cities, with other organisms, as part of nature?

These are just some of the questions raised by the artistic works. With a motivation not to completely abandon this maltreated planet of ours, each of the projects opens up its own narrative while nonetheless coming together to form a multi-dimensional narrative cosmos. It reflects the two central global ecological crises of our time, namely global warming and species extinction; it tells of the transformation of our ecosystems, of alternative sources of food and energy, of new forms and rituals of living together, and of speculative future scenarios.

Cℓose/d seeks to stimulate a lively debate on ecological issues, on visions for inclusive coexistence in the world both today and tomorrow, and on the potential of artistic narratives to make the necessary socio-ecological change visible and tangible. After all, engaging with what lies beyond the Museum – with the space ‘at the centre of which we ourselves evolve, the environment, the surroundings’ (Georges Perec) – encourages us to open our eyes wide for visionary ways (out).

Sophie Haslinger & Barbara Horvath, Curators

Stay close – come closer!

KUNST HAUS WIEN fosters forwardlooking practices aimed at strengthening and intensifying the links between local and global communities. And that includes stepping out beyond the premises of our Museum and forging new ties with our neighbourhood and those who live and work there.

Cℓose/d aims to inject new life into our ‘Hundertwasser district’ and in many different ways: with an exhibition in the public space on the relationship between humankind and nature, but also with workshops, botanical walks, neighbourhood discussions, an ambitious kiddies’ programme and a Community Center. The poetic, experimental, participatory and humorous artistic programme invites visitors to embark on a physical and conceptual walk through the area around KUNST HAUS WIEN and rediscover the immediate surroundings and the world around it.

Stay close – come closer: I look forward to lots of creative exchanges all about art, nature and sustainability – and some inspiring interactions!

Gerlinde Riedl, Director KUNST HAUS WIEN


Das Grätzl ist etwas typisch Wienerisches – auch wenn es Vergleichbares überall auf der Welt gibt. Bekannt sind etwa der Kiez in Berlin oder die Hood in New York. Es sind kleinere überschaubare Viertel einer Stadt, denen etwas Charakteristisches eigen ist. Gemeinsam ist ihnen die besondere Verbundenheit der Bewohner:innen mit ihrer Gegend.