Salon de Passage #2

Vienna Water Bodies

Hosted by Mariella Greil


Kira O’Reilly

Christina Gruber, Andrea Watzinger, Radek Hewelt, Werner Moebius, Elke Krasny

And the seasons changed, summer became fall and outdoors indoors.

The second Salon #02 with the motto “Vienna Water Bodies” was hosted by Mariella Greil, in a large room then occupied by the APL (“Angewandte Performance Lab”), where people used to dance.

We danced too, like water, in watery ways, through the humans we were hosted by.

The room was turned into a magic cave with warm lights, and here and there lectures, statements, expressions of various kinds popped up. Like springs and wells.

Kira O’Reilly, Irish artist/theorist based in Finland performed Profferments on how to read a Chromatograph and digressions. Mariella Greil was upwelling dance from the depth of the water body while homegrown, experimental chromatographs exhibited a silent presence.Three different earth specimens were extracted from selected locations of microtrips: the Donauinsel, Wolf in der Au and Ottakringer Wald.

Christina Gruber has an ongoing romance with a very ancient fish, the sturgeon.

This fish also still inhabiting the rivers and streams of Vienna  has a special ear bone she taught us to find and appreciate.

Andrea Watzinger, a master of the natural sciences, informed us about exact methods of measuring the quality of water and soil, turning chemical data into visual patterns.

Oh water and soil, what a romantic coupling! Each romance is different and breeds new offspring. 

So it happened, that the photography of Radek Hewelt and the soundscapes of Werner Moebius became a real time opera for the first time. 

Afterwards everyone moved to the kitchen – another place, another light.

If the humans eat well, we get better patterns to feed on.

So we could fully appreciate the fine table and the pumpkin soup that was served according to season.

Yet this was not all.

Guided by Mariella Greil together with Kira O’Reilly and Viktor Fucek there was activity in the city to sense the subterranean flows of water. Specifically the Ottakringer Bach is now flowing under the pavement. It is hidden, but it is still down there, creating effects.

Those invisible flows and streams we know so well that remain hidden from the human eye, even though their sensorium is influenced by them.

What could human life be like if they would cultivate their finer senses!

They call it dowsing, a practice done with wooden or metal rods; to us it is ordinary perception.

More like taking a train, as those underground flows are the routes we travel on. 

After the Salon, there was still the lure of the PSK building, Otto Wagner’s late masterpiece.

As we like to occupy humans, for their own benefit – in a similar fashion several institutions, some of which departments of the Angewandte, have occupied this former postal savings bank of the k.u.k empire.

There was a workshop guided by Kira O’Reilly to investigate the patterns and fields, visible and non-visible, that live in this building that was then still very much a building site.

The great entrance hall, the so-called “Kassenhalle”, on the other hand, was then still empty. Its famous glass brick floor could be admired without any disturbance.

Oh that building, and that hall in particular, is so full of strange and amazing patterns, down to the specifically designed aluminium ventilators – it is a feast for our senses.

So drunk on patterns as we were we made the humans draw the surfaces using the tactile technique of frottage. To not let them be always fixated just on visual perception. 

The richness of this “Otto-Field”, however, wanted to be explored by yet another sense.

Exploring the great curves of the staircase an amazing acoustic could be found.

So a mystic chorus unfolded, sung by several singers, each on another floor, slowly moving up and down the stairs. 

Voices filled a space that seemed even larger than the PSK.

As one of them, or one of us, could even add the element of overtone singing to the cosmic mix.