REAL ONES ALWAYS SURVIVE or WOULD WE SAY NO? IV takes back to the street

  • Location:

The media artist Alexandra Reill together with a team of four cultural and social workers takes back to the street with the socio-cultural project REAL ONES ALWAYS SURVIVE or WOULD WE SAY NO? IV. The interdisciplinary team meets on Elterleinplatz in 1170 Vienna on Sep. 10, 2009 and goes into dialogue against historic and contemporary racism with people in the street.

[Post] cards with images and text quotations out of the media showing the bluntness of prejudices and populist arguments used by racist forces at all times are given to people passing by to do their daily shopping.

With their historic text and image citations, the cards document the situation of unemployed people in the 30ies, Nazi propaganda on the term work and enthusiasm of a vast majority of the Viennese population for the "Anschluß" 1938.

Contemporary motifs are compared to today's polemics surrounding the issue of work and prosperity, areas of social life, still and again strongly used by racist forces defaming and segregating people with different cultural backgrounds without any differentiation, having gone so far lately that they show their preparedness to threaten and kill people.

The card objects point out how deceptive populism is and acts but how powerful it is in its influence on attitudes of people. In this context, the question of how deeply rooted fascistoid and racist attitudes are in Viennese populations, is not blocked out. Not only prompted by current incidents in Austrian society but also on a long-term basis a sustained analysis of contemporary anti-semitism and racism in everyday thinking and language is an issue.

The white cube is probably the wrong place, and maybe contemporary cultural production took to the street a long time ago. In any case, for the transdisciplinary and socio-cultural profile of this project the artistic approach of intervening in public space and directly encountering people works particularly well. As a sign of communication in public space and as a reminder sign in kitchens and living rooms, the printed [post] card itself as much as the changing of the cards from one hand to the other opens up the possibility of outreach to people, mobile discourse and open dialogue. With her project REAL ONES ALWAYS SURVIVE or WOULD SAY NO? IV, a fourth adaptation of the original sequence installed in shops and restaurants in Kirchengasse and Siebensterngasse in 1070 Vienna in autumn 2008, Alexandra Reill stands up to everyday racism and xenophobia, prejudice and populist polemic and the fear of the unknown.

REAL ONES ALWAYS SURVIVE or WOULD SAY NO? IV is supported by the following Municipalities:

1020 Vienna 1030 Vienna 1040 Vienna 1050 Vienna
1070 Vienna 1090 Vienna 1160 Vienna 1170 Vienna

At this point we would also like to thank Mission Ignition Kagran and Südwind who hosted the project in the context of the socio-cultural interventions on MIK Genochmarkt and within the framework of the Südwind Festival during the tour through several districts in Vienna in June 2009.