With his project Please Love Austria! – First Austrian Coalition Week (Wiener Festwochen 2000), Christoph Schlingensief organised a reality TV-style popular vote on the expulsion of 12 asylum seekers and broadcast it directly from five shipping containers erected next to the Vienna State Opera. The project was staged during a period of heated debate surrounding immigration and nationalism, at a time when Jörg Haider’s FPÖ party enjoyed strong support. Today, 20 years later, the performance still stands as an exemplary attempt of artistic action turned into activist action. For this year’s Wiener Festwochen, Milo Rau and Tania Bruguera will both create performances that reference the concept of integration and Schlingensief’s model of ‘artivism’. While discussing the legacy of Bitte liebt Österreich! this series of talks examines forms of activism in the arts today: strategies implemented as part of an artistic process and within a fictitious space, their political potential and their limitations.
With Tania Bruguera, Milo Rau a. o.
A series of talks by Wiener Festwochen in cooperation with DER STANDARD