Volksbad Waagner-Biro-Straße was a walk-in sculpture, which was commissioned for the opening of steirischer herbst 2008 and realized under the overall heading Strategies for the Avoidance of Disaster. Not drawing the usual sharp distinction between art works and opening ceremonies, Volksbad Waagner-Biro-Straße was both in one; an installation, which topicalizes itself as well as the totality of the visitors – a play with conventions, predefined procedures and established rituals.
Through a labyrinth in the entry area of the Helmut List Hall, men an women were led separately into the venue – as it is practiced in public baths. A pool of approximately two meters width divided the room in overall length. The buffet was situated on the men’s side, while drinking glasses, aperitifs and seating capacities could be found on the women’s side. Visitors were compelled to develop strategies to transport themselves as well as food and beverage over the water ditch. Climbing ropes fastened above the pool provided one of many means for crossing.
Volksbad Waagner-Biro-Straße demanded social intelligence, cooperation or personal initiative on the part of the visitors – all of these are requirements to evade disaster.
Auftraggeber Steirischer Herbst