Image Transfer was part of the series „Reaching Out“ curated by Grita Insam for the public space during the time of the new construction of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, when the former building was not in use anymore.
Barbara Holub transferred images of people with whom she deals in her daily life in Vienna (drycleaner, bank, hairdresser, photo shop) and installed them in corresponding locations in New York. Since the Federal Savings Bank withdrew from the collaboration the piece of the bank consultant was installed in the empty storefront of the former Austrian Cultural Forum.
The photos were overlayed with a collection of English expressions used in Austrian language on a daily basis, their use differing according to the social and professional context. Oftentimes Austrians are not aware of the original meanings in English (and also the meanings in English have changed over time)
– altogether a sign of the strong influence of US-American culture in the European culture.
Barbara Holub’s project raises questions of identity and cultural belonging on several levels: Is there a difference between the life of a Viennese drycleaner, bank consultant, hairdresser, employee at a photoshop and their collegues in New York? What is stronger, the cultural or the professional context, and how is that related to social class? These issues connect to the question, how a Cultural Institute of a foreign country operates as representative of their culture. Which image of their culture do they convey? And how does this connect to the local culture?
Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
curated by: Grita Insam Gallery
in the frame of „Reaching Out“
Installations in shops in Manhattan close to the Austrian Cultural Forum –
exchange between Vienna and New York:
Filles et Garçons
673 Lexington Ave.
< > Haarsalat Wienzeile, Vienna
235 E.57th Street
< > Putzerei Maunz, Haidgasse, Vienna
53rd St./ 3rd Ave. (subway station)
< > Fotokarussel Taborstraße, Vienna
950 3rd Ave.
(withdrew their cooperation)
Installation at the empty Austrian Cultural Institute
< > Erste Bank, Taborstraße, Vienna
sound installation in front of the Austrian Cultural Forum.
Text and concept: Barbara Holub
Voices: David Gerval, Adi Gorel, Barbara Holub, Günther Thallinger
Recorded at: Give me a break studio, N.Y.C., Jan.1996
The sound installation and CD production was funded by the Austrian Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts