The approach of the project "The Fantasies of the Architecture Library" is to focus on the Walter Zschokke Library in the Kunstquartier Krems and to use it as a source of inspiration, to activate it and, in the spirit of its namesake, to make it a starting point for architectural mediation and social exchange. In order to be able to do justice to this approach, one needs (curatorial) knowledge in dealing with books and stores of knowledge, a distinctive architectural-urbanistic perspective, experience in the development of public, participatory formats as well as the formal independence to creatively link different topics and requirements. Christian Berkes and Sophie Wohlgemuth bring this knowledge, perspective, experience as well as independence from their artistic-publicistic work with botopress (platform for architectures, cities, technologies and fictions).

Parallel engagements and experiences of the two (e.g., in the technofeminist art and research collective purplenoise or from the groups Drucken Heften Laden or the city and the political) also inform the project. The residency also marks the 10th anniversary of botopress in 2023, enabling the international, socio-spatial transmission of our basic principles: Discursivity, Plurality, Speed, Processuality, Multimediality and Cooperation.

Performance No Broken Brick

On August 24, 2023 the performance No Broken Brick dealed with the relationship between architectures, people and times. It addressed building and baking as forms of care work that connect people and materials and asks what remains of buildings and relationships when they are dismantled. The two artists engaged in a process of construction and deconstruction. They used bricks and a special site-specific sourdough as mortar to erect a basic architectural element: the wall. It forms, protects, encloses, excludes, defines, remains, shows itself, confines and vanishes. The wall – a brick wall – is assembled in individual steps from individual bricks, between individual people and in individual points in time. In the course of the performance, everything disintegrated into altered units that are reused and lived on.

The performance took place within the AIR - ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Lower Austria program and in cooperation with ORTE Architekturnetzwerk Niederösterreich and Kunstmeile Krems


Performance The Sourdough Readings - Brotbesprechung

On August 27, 2023, The Sourdough Readings - Bread Discussion took place at the Walter Zschokke Library in Krems an der Donau. In a form of educational labour, Sophie Wohlgemuth reads to the sourdough Walter for six hours on care work, feminism, nurture, and empowerment. The Sourdough Readings begin and end with a text by Walter's namesake: “Pflegen und Unterlassen” (Care and Omission) by Walter Zschokke. With writings by Audre Lorde, Magdalena Górska, Luce Irigaray, Sara Ahmed, #purplenoise and many more.

The relationship between Walter and the artist begins in July 2023, when Walter is brought to life by fermenting flour and water with the help of wild yeasts from the Walter Zschokke Library and the Krems area. The two maintain an intimate relationship characterised by a time-intensive care regime. From now on, questions of the right care, food, temperature, and suitable location determine Sophie's everyday life and her world of thoughts.

The performance addresses the sometimes-paradoxical simultaneities of agency and co-dependence, differentiation and belonging, and confronts the feat of balancing resources for self-care and caring for others. This constant process of negotiation is always in danger of becoming unbalanced: Sophie's act of care is conducive to the rise of the sourdough through material and immaterial nourishment and exhausting for the artist through the strain on her voice without periods of rest. Caring becomes scary!

The performance took place within the program AIR – ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Lower Austria with the support of ORTE Architekturnetzwerk Niederösterreich and Daydream Studio

The Sourdough Readings (c) Sandele Radebe

© Sandele Radebe


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