Kunst Raum Niederösterreich

Vienna Art Week 16 11 2017 06.00PM - 08.00PM

6 PM Curator leadership with Maren Richter und Klaus Schafler



7 PM Performance from Peter Fend



With a new Chancellor of Austria, and a likewise young new head of France, what was decided at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 needs revision. The head of France spoke of “Revolution” — the new Chancellor declares “It is time.” Time for what? An entirely new direction in... Europe?

All but one of the main deciding countries at the Congress of Vienna have become republics. The one-time Holy Alliance of royalty adheres now to principles from the Enlightenment. But those principles have not been fulfilled throughout Europe.

The gravest threats now have become ecological. Climate change, ocean decline, wild-species loss, desertification, and population explosion in the Third World all expose Europe, and the world, to serious dangers. How are young new leaders in once-dominant countries of Europe, like Austria and France, going to act? A prominent commentator said that Germany’s Angela Merkel was the “Empress of Europe”. Such a title becomes absurd with Austria’s election of Kurz.

In the exhibition “Fleeting Territories” at the Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Peter Fend submitted a re-think of Napoleon. What was that Franco-Italian military genius intending for Europe, then the world? Fend latched onto the original title of the “Grande Armée”, namely “L’Armée des côtes de l’Ocean”. He found here a consistent pattern: campaign in peninsulas for control of the coasts, starting with control of major rivers. Napoleon had a hydrological vision, subordinated at end to the two coasts of Europe. Those two coasts extend on either side of Europe as peninsula, “from the Atlantic to the Urals.” The Gulf Stream arrives from the Americas, splits at Brest, and goes either northwards, to the Arctic, or southwards, with intrusion into the Mediterranean/Black/Caspian even Aral Sea continuum. Thus, hydrologically, can Europe be organized.

Fend calls for fulfillment of the 1789 Revolution, not its 1815 suppression, which collapsed in 1914. Ideas and plans long developed can finally be carried out. These include paradigms from Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, the Earth artists, and Structuralized film/video producers. These include pioneering ideas for: ecological taxation (from the Enlightenment in France), ocean-saving waterwheels instead of dams (from French engineer-mathematician Poncelet), seaweed as a source of hydrocarbons instead of fossils (as France pioneered in 1970, but was blocked by… interests), and architectural structures much less damaging to ground and water than now. Performance begins with the new 50 Euro note, which aggressively pushes the Euro east and south. Performance ends with a plan for the Austrian military to restore animal-rich savannah in what is now Europe’s migratory animal hinterland: the Sahara.

The biggest crisis in the Iberian peninsula, Fend shows, is not on whether Catalonia separates, but on how to reverse the long-term ecological and oceanic damage caused by hundreds of dams – warned against inside Spain as early as 1794.

A peninsular solution to Korea is also shown. Austria can promote this, as it’s the EU member state officially assigned to liaise with the most implicated state there, Japan.

Many actions proposed can be carried out, under Kurz’s guidance, by the “Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung und Sport” — Austria’s Ministry of National Defense… and Sport.




Peter Fend