Claudia Märzendorfer

For the Birds

Claudia Märzendorfer invited ten artists to design nesting and feeding boxes to be installed in the immediate surroundings of KUNST HAUS WIEN. The result: endearing birdhouse prototypes that stand For the Birds in a poetic, progressive and concrete way. As part of a collective project, these bird dwellings signalled diversity, conviviality and a sense of solicitude. They also came to symbolise some of life’s fundamental questions: How and where do we live? Do we share space? Are our heads up in the air or do we stand with both feet firmly on the ground?

While birds are important indicators of an intact environment, they are being displaced by humans through industrialisation and intensive agriculture. Designing a bird-friendly environment and creating a habitat, especially in urban settings, is therefore an active contribution to species and nature conservation. Nesting and feeding sites provide an overnight roost and a secure place for young birds to hatch and be reared, not to mention a protected retreat, promoting bird life within the neighbourhood.

‘I am for the birds, not for the cages’ – quoting the pioneering composer John Cage, Märzendorfer is also keen to expand ideas of (social) worlds and the ecological aspects associated with them, to question conventions, and to consider happenstance and the uncontrollable as design resources. What’s more, artists are often referred to as ‘odd birds’. In deed, their different ways of thinking and looking at things give rise time and again to surprising departures from ‘normality’. With subtle humour, Claudia Märzendorfer succeeds in building a bridge through her exchanges with other artists so that, in the future, we will not have to do without the diversity of birdsong that swifts, jackdaws and house martins provide us.

The ‘aeronautical sculpture garden’ was created for the first time in 2019 as part of a competition initiated by the art in the public space programme of Lower Austria in the gardens of the Landesklinikum Hollabrunn, featuring more than 45 artists.

mit den Künstler:innen Hugo Canoilas und Claudia Märzendorfer

Im Dialog mit den teilnehmenden Künstler:innen, Kuratorinnen und Wissenschaftler:innen werden die Kunstwerke und Installationen im öffentlichen Raum erfahrbar. Eine interaktive Erkundung im Gehen.
→ MI 6.9. 18:00

For her contribution Claudia Märzendorfer invited ten musicians, artists and writers to design nesting and feeding boxes for birds. They are installed on trees around KUNST HAUS WIEN. As part of the collective project, the birdhouses set a sign for diversity, community and care and design possible new forms of social coexistence. The artist's intention is that in times of species extinction the appreciation of diversity, even of small birds, remains respected.

Alle Locations der Arbeiten "Für die Vögel" unter Karte

Cordula Bösze, John Cage Choir Pavilion: A pavilion for choir rehearsals. But no matter what the Birdies actually do in the pavilion, Mr. Cage smiles at them from the ceiling: with open ears for "music that is life itself".

Barbara Brandstätter, HOCH HinAUS: The HOCH HinAUS: From the ecological footprint of residential buildings, which is non-existent in those of birds, unlike those of humans, to social issues such as neighborhood, proximity, privacy and intimacy.

Elisabeth Flunger, Fundevögel: For the bird house, I find things in my surroundings and build a place of chance out of them: the objects, robbed of their meaning, sound in the wind, repetitive and incomprehensible like bird calls.

Stefan Lux, The Dream of Flying: A Place for Birds Remembering Times When People Could Still Fly A cheerful dystopia.

Claudia Märzendorfer, Cage-Kelley Remix House: I read John Cage's For the Birds in the summer, researched Mike Kelley's Bird Houses when fall came. Thoughts on the road until spring then flew back to the starting point, building countless houses out of all the vessels that accompany everyday life, and out of twigs a picture.

Almut Rink, I think that I'm throwing / but I'm thrown: Alienating oneself from a secure life into a state of being thrown. To exist means "to step out of oneself", out of the appropriated regularities. Detachment is stepping out of a confinement - bringing being into agreement with being possible.

Stefanie Seibold, Last Generation: The old, beautiful mahogany clock house from the estate of my father, who obviously - like me - could not throw it away (also last generation), becomes a bird house through minimal interventions.

Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber, o. T.

Sophie Thalbauer, bird-cloud house: clouds fly. Birds fly - through them, past them, into them. In the shelter of the Bird-Cloud-House the birds become cloud watchers. There sat a small wild bird in a white cloud ...

Herwig Turk & Gerhard Huber, VOGELSCHAU: In the entanglement of human settlement space with the habitat of birds, human structures and overformations are transformed into unexpected optional dwellings.

All texts were provided by the musicians, architects, artists and writers.

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