“Vienna is like a big art historical museum.”
Vienna soaked in sun. On the stairs of “Volkstheater” in museum district, I met Erwin also known as Dan Bartensen. He works as a graphic designer and as if somebody had arranged it, right around the corner took place the yearly design market.
Erwin recently worked on the corporate design of one of the cafés offering goodies for the visitors.
“Vienna is like a big art historical museum.” somebody of the group nearby said. Old design, if you wanna call it like that, that influences the mood and the atmosphere of the whole city.
“How far can you abstract something and still preserve what it is?”
Typography is what Erwin likes to dedicate to the most. His sketchbook is full of drawings of letters. One letter per page, a dozen versions. “How far can you abstract something and still preserve what it is?” Erwins variations of “m” remind me of Picassos bull. All gathered on one page, obviously belonging together and can be recognized as what they are, but if you remove them from their context..?
For example a quote from Julia Engelmanns poetry slam performance in 2013. “The sense of life is living.” (For the sake of completeness: Actually it’s a quote from German Indie-Rapper “Casper” and god knows where he got it from…)
As simple and complex as it is in its continuum of meanings, the word “life” became the subject of the day.
Back in Berlin some days ago, I sat down with Alice Evermore who created nine delicate objects. Tiny bottles, labeled with phrases from her text “white matter”. Fragments of memories and thoughts, isolated from their original context, now attached to vessels with mysterious strips of a painting inside.
So if you ever come across a Viennese lemonade called “Lebenselexir”, I was in the room when it was invented. Creating drinks, as I figured, is a waltz for Erwin anyway.
He prepared the paper for the paint by drawing reference lines on it and outlined the typo.
Erwin told me that he liked using ink and that he got very pleased by technical drawings, such as the architecture-drafts by Alexander Brodsky.
“I’d rather go outside and experience those things myself.”
That seemed to be the thing on Erwins mind that day, maybe in general. he told me he had stopped watching things like movies and TV-series some time ago, because he suddenly realized the waste of time that could be used for other things (also known as life!). “I’d rather go outside and experience those things myself.”
Here we’re tripping in-between very complex topics that I could also find in Alice’ work about an android that is trying to define realness.