In Aspern, on the outskirts of Vienna, where a city of the future, Aspern Urban Lakeside, is to be built, Barbara Holub invited people to »suburban walks«, which in various contributions by different people centred around the concept of “the periphery” and the potential of the unplanned, before the planned architecture is put into place. The walks are performative walking tours, and just one facet of the work of Holub. Another is drawings, and so the book is also a colouring book that is supposed to be used. It suggests that you take part in the production of worlds of images and imagination, reinventing and further developing these in their own particular contexts. In that sense this book is to be seen not just as an object, containing reproductions, but as an openly accessible space (similar to the urban space) where it is explicitly desired that people participate in shaping this space; a space that is intended to serve many different uses.
Neither in her drawings nor in her texts does Barbara Holub follow linear narrative threads; she is more interested in interruptions and empty spaces, even beyond the possible expectations of recipients.
Planning a city of the future that tries to imagine a life in advance for the next thirty years, the very case of “Aspern Urban Lakeside” therefore becomes the reason for questioning the utopias of Modernism and to contemplate utopias in post-industrial society.
To permanently envision the possibility of the changeability of society, to be involved in the processes of change, to allow unplanned matters to flow into visions of the future, becomes a civil necessity of every individual – being sceptical towards an ubiquitous political consensus that declares conflict, migration, the lack of security to be problematic or even downright dangerous.
This book is a part (or a manifestation) of the broad scope of Barbara Holub’s work, the structure of which is in dialogue form and is participatory, in the sense of art theoretician Grant Kester, taking part in current social-political debates and thus opening up multiple interfaces between art and society, art and political activism.
CD with a radio play, premiered on 14 November 2010 on ORF Kunstradio/Ö1, narrated by Anne Bennent (production: Barbara Holub, Bruno Pisek)
,found, set, appropirated,
Texts: Ines Gebetsroither, Barbara Holub
Graphic Design: Enrico Bravi
176 pages, 128 pages with drawings, colour photos of the walks on urban periphery
Schweizer Broschur, 21 x 29,7 cm
incl. CD with art radio piece/ Ö1
Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg
"Die Blue Frog Society spaziert auf den Mond"// CD
art radio piece Ö1 (Austrian Public Radio), Nov.14, 2010:
Sound: Bruno Pisek
Voices: Anne Bennent, Dirk Nocker
Mix: Martin Leitner
"Am Stadtrand" was financed by Public Art Vienna, Aspern Development AG and the Department of Culture of the 22nd district in Vienna.