There has been no one city’s culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology, art…that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.
Against these reverberations, Kakania – over 4 events, over two dozen new commissions, multiple publications and an array of contemporary artists – aims to not just to evoke that era, but to envelope it, to transpose it. To relive it in new colours. Kakania is new artists making new work, paying their debt to that remarkable period of Austrian history in the writing, performance and artworks they are making.
From the Rich Mix Arts Centre to the Freud Museum to the Austrian Cultural Forum this is a project which explores the legacy of the Habsburg era through decidedly contemporary, original works of text and art which will attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. This is a project where the past, and our understanding of it, will not be refracted through historical analysis, but the creative process, and one that is utterly contemporary. Kakania will be an opportunity for audiences to discover the Habsburg era in a wholly new guise, that is our era.
The first event takes place on Tues November 25th at the Rich Mix in London, featuring brand new commissions from:
Sharon Gal on Anton Webern
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ariadne Radi Cor & Diane Silverthorne on Alma Mahler
Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausmann
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome