collection dichter

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former retail store osei

a store in ottakring (16th district of vienna) becomes centre for contemporary art for the first time at the end of may 2005, with the exhibition “the best, for cheap” – a slogan by the osai company. at the end of january 2005, the store at brunnengasse/corner grundsteingasse was closed down. until the very end, goods were sold in this store.

in march, negotiations with the new owner (conwert immobilien) were started to find an interim solution for the “unusable” real estate by utilising it for art projects. masc & 39 dada were successful and allowed to use the building temporarily. we were short of time, regarding an effective use of the first two floors. we wanted the opening of our exhibition to be timed with soho in ottakring, who didn’t put an emphasis on the fine arts that year. after the first viewing and after osei had vacated the building, the remaining interior (mirrors, show cases) was already part of the built-up of the exhibition space.

the artists we invited were made aware of the historical situation (1954-2005). elizabeth mcglynn made a video essay about the last 60 years of this extraordinary store, and josef gerger (larry fortansky foundation) spent some time researching to find out about the roots of this building, which was built in 1880. the dichter family founded the retail store in suburbian vienna, using a building that perfectly fits into these surroundings of the brunnenmarkt.

das beste, billig (the best, for cheap), may 2005

1)  the shop windows were made available for the resident art & project spaces to present the diversity of these rooms to a wider public (open day and night, ongoing exhibitions and events).
2)  the interior was kept as it was left behind by the osei-company; the invited artists integrated this environment into their works. this was also done to give the thousands of former customers a chance to visit the store again and to get accustomed to a new use of space within familiar surroundings.

3a)  grundstein informed the artists using their exhibition space about the history of the store as it was known until then. masc + 39 dada suggested artists interested in the project.
3b)  we also invited acquainted artists living in the area around the brunnenmarkt to come up with an idea.
3c)  other artists invited were those who had shown a keen interest in and appreciation for the brunnenmarkt-area in the past.
3d)  the only guideline for the artists was not to change, but rather integrate the remaining interior as part of the built-up of the exhibition space.

das beste, billig II (the beast, for cheap II), september – november 2005

surprisingly, the building was left to us for using it as an exhibition space a second time, thanks to the municipal administration of the 16th district of vienna. with rather little time left, there was no time to get funding or sponsors. many thanks to the district ottakring, which so graciously decided to support the project (museum for ottakring) with 2000 euro.

1)  the idea was to give the building the touch of a museum and enable access to the building during three months until the end of november (- no heating!) by supplying extensive opening hours and information.
2) this time, the goal was to make the building shine in ‘old’ splendour and at the same time turn it into an exhibition space for contemporary art. the architecture (spy mirrors) was changed by using different colours. room after room was designed together with masc + 39 dada

within this exhibition, a historian informed us about the story of the dichters’ emigration; this was the starting point for our research for the exhibition ‘sammlung dichter’(‘dichter collection’) in may 2006. ‘sammlung dichter’ was designed to be an exhibition based on the concept of a fictional collection of exhibits of contemporary art.





supported by:    nationalfonds der republik österreich                  wien kultur                 bezirk ottakring                  Falter