Jörg Lukas Matthaei, Mariel Rodríguez Baile Bassena

A night music for Arbeitergasse

© Mariel Rodriguez

More than a century ago, the Schoeller Stahlwerke steelworks based in the Lower Austrian town of Ternitz built housing for their workers that was soon to be known only by the name of Mexico. Was this naming an act of solidarity with Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, the symbolic figures of the Mexican Revolution? Even before the factory closed down, many workers moved to Vienna, some to Arbeitergasse in the 5th district. The dream of the united proletariat quickly gave way to the reality of the global precariat. But even Arbeitergasse affords glimpses of the blue side of the sky. Between the vegan Schnapsbeisl and the Arab barber, between Nam Nam Deli and discount stores, the artists Jörg Lukas Matthaei and Mariel Rodríguez make the locale dance. Baile Bassena is a walk-in score of the voices of today’s Arbeitergasse residents, which guests can explore in a parcours. The project will conclude with a collective ball night on the street.

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