›› A substantial development
ArtDesign is a key component in the town life of Feldkirch, an important variable on the transnational design scene and a fixed date for the aesthetes of the region. Its characteristic combination of impressive pop-up shops and socio-cultural intervention comes together this year in a new form: in addition to the mainstay of the weekend trade fair, ArtDesign is being expanded in time and space. For three weeks long, Feldkirch will be showing its “POTENTIALe”. The ArtDesign team intends to work under this name for the future, together with competent partners locally and otherwise. “We consider this new approach as a long-term experiment. This autumn, it’s all about the initial sparks. And this can ultimately contribute to more creativity and more creative businesses moving to Feldkirch”, maintain Maya Kleber and Johanna Bernkopf, managers of the newly formatted project. Focussing here, concentration there: thus the diversity of what’s been on offer until now unravels and opens a new outlook.
Cheers to the area! The ArtDesign weekend (6.-8.11.)
This year the successful ArtDesign is taking place in three places – now on both banks of the Ill. The classic sales presentation of the exhibitors, with objects from earrings to wing chairs, will take place in the Pförtnerhaus. Almost four dozen vendors and artisans from Bregenzerwald or Vienna, from London or Thurgau will present their things made of wood, leather, fabric and steel, silver plate and silk.
In addition there is the workshop: eight producers are the avant-garde of this new format and are letting us look over their shoulder in the Alten Hallenbad: their materials are paper, glass and fabrics. A 3D printer comes into play and recycling and upcycling are the theme. An insight into the production gives more meaning to the object being sold.
The fresh Montforthaus, a first-time host for ArtDesign, offers exhibition space for photographs: photography is a division of the applied arts which currently has no comparable podium in Vorarlberg.
Refreshments with style are guaranteed: Pförtnerhaus, Altes Hallenbad and Montforthaus each offer top catering services, also allowing for a place to meet and exchange.
As last year, the LAVA Award, Vorarlberg’s design prize, will be awarded. The presentation of the award at the start of ArtDesign brings a new potential culture spot on the radar: the gym Gymnasiumhof. As an indoor/outdoor venue, this year the area around the new Montforthaus combines ArtDesign and POTENTIALe: inside the building will be a special exhibition of the LAVA Award nominees, and in the public area the Feldhotel will be making a stop at “Montfjord”. Originally created for a previous ArtDesign exhibition in the Reichenfeld, the Feldhotel was on the
road for two years. Now it’s back and proceeding to the town centre, at the cutting edge of the programme.
“For a few years now, the conventional landscape for trade fairs and their formats are being confronted with new issues”, assert Kleber/Bernkopf. “Our approach is to sharpen ArtDesign and to forge ahead with the sister project, POTENTIALe. From today’s perspective, the future relationship of these sisters is totally open. But together they certainly offer Feldkirch the chance to grow beyond itself.”
POTENTIALe dares to break out – and break up an apparently rigid format: incorporated in the bold, temporal but also spatial expansion are gentrification-resistant exhibition rooms, such as Antiquariat Chybulski, and civic buildings, such as Villa Claudia, which houses contemporary works from Vorarlberg. The venues are all locally appreciated specialities, such as the Johanniterkirche, as well as totally unknown and unused spaces: Lost Places leads you on discovery tours in the Bahnhofsstraße and Schlossergasse or to a tree in the Reichenfeld. Young and aspiring professionals from Vaduz to Copenhagen are nesting there in no time and leave, if not a contract, then at least a good atmosphere.
Even younger participants are contributing to POTENTIALe, as a collective, such as Levis Middle School, or as individual authors of “Eulogies on Things”. This literary contest of the Theater am Saumarkt, conceived with ArtDesign, invites writers and (in a special prize category) young writers to pay homage: what kind of fetish will win the race? Consumer articles, cult objects or even souvenirs?
Synergies will be practiced locally by actors. The Saunawagen from the Great Walser Valley will be installed on the stage in Reichenfeld and surrenders itself confidently to the traditional musical and dramatic use of this area.
A link to the new release of the Montforter Zwischentöne at the Ganahl-Steg joins both sides of the Ill. This objectifies the bridge-building to ambitious urban development with the complementary forces of ArtDesign and POTENTIALe as jointly responsible parts of a collaborative process.