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Building Exhibition, Open-Air Museum, Digital Web-Exhibit: The Vienna Werkbund Estate on Display

  • Anita Aigner
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anita.aigner@tuwien.ac.at
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1 “Werkbundsiedlung in Lainz. Die größte Bauausstellung Europas,” Neue Freie Presse, Morgenblatt Nr. 24325, 3 June 1932, 5.

2 Virginia Wardner Bradford, Nineteenth Century Exhibition Architecture—A Myth in Architectural History (master's thesis, Columbia University, New York, 1965); Schaal, Hans Dieter, In-Between. Exhibition Architecture/Ausstellungsarchitektur (Stuttgart, 1999); Schriefers, Thomas, Ausstellungsarchitektur: Geschichte, wiederkehrende Themen, Strategien (Bramsche, 2004).

3 On the history of architecture exhibitions, cf.: Pieper, Jan, “Architektur als Exponat,” Kunstforum 38, no. 2 (1980), 1553 ; Lampugnani, Vittorio Magnago, “Ausstellungen von Architektur—Eine fragmentarische historische Übersicht für Europa und die USA,” in Internationale Bauausstellung Berlin 1984. Die Neubaugebiete (Berlin, 1981), 3055 ; Cramer, Johannes and Gutschow, Niels, Bauausstellungen. Eine Architekturgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart, 1984); Blau, Eve, “Architectural Publications, Competitions, and Exhibitions,” in Architecture and Its Image. Four Centuries of Architectural Representation. Works from the Collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, ed. Blau, Eve and Kaufmann, Edward (Montreal, 1989), 109–37; Coley, Catherine and Pauly, Danièle, eds., Quand l'architecture internationale s'exposait: 1922–1932 (Paris, 2010); DASH 09 (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) Housing Exhibitions (2014).

4 As Magali S. Larson, Paul Stevens, and Paul Jones (as representatives of a sociology of architecture following Pierre Bourdieu) make clear, architecture never is, and cannot be, an autonomous field of cultural production because architects (if they want to build) are fundamentally reliant on their client's patronage. But building exhibitions represent an exceptional case; they allow architects to realize and discuss new ideas without being restricted by the demands of clients. Therefore, building exhibitions (like professional journals) contribute to the relative autonomy of the architectural field. For Bourdieu's field-concept: cf. Bourdieu, Pierre, The Field of Cultural Production (Cambridge, Oxford, 1993); Bourdieu, The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field (Stanford, 1996).

5 N. Kaufman, Edward, “The Architectural Museum from World's Fair to Restoration Village,” Assemblage 9 (1989), 2139 ; Krasny, Elke, “Binnenexotismus und Binnenkolonialismus. ‘Das Bauernhaus mit seiner Einrichtung und seinem Geräthe’ auf der Wiener Weltausstellung 1873,” in Vernakulare Moderne. Kulturelle Grenzüberschreitungen. Das Bauernhaus und seine Aneignung, ed. Aigner, Anita (Bielefeld, 2010), 3755.

6 Nierhaus, Andreas: “‘Bauten, die eine bessere Welt abbilden.’ Architekturausstellungen um 1930 zwischen Modell und Wirklichkeit,” in Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932. Ein Manifest des Neuen Wohnens, ed. Nierhaus, Andreas und Orosz, Eva-Maria (Sonderausstellung des Wien Museums, 2012), 2835.

7 Christine Resch and Heinz Steinert propose to classify the history of society after “modes of production” and distinguish for the modern era three types of capitalism. Resch, Christine and Steinert, Heinz, Kapitalismus: Portrait einer Produktionsweise (Münster, 2009).

8 Kuchenbuch, David, Geordnete Gemeinschaft. Architekten als Sozialingenieure—Deutschland und Schweden im 20. Jahrhundert (Bielefeld, 2010).

9 On Fordism as a mode of capitalist production: cf. Resch and Steinert: Kapitalismus, 229ff.

10 Like rental accommodation in the tenement buildings of nineteenth-century industrial capitalism, the Fordist standard dwelling was produced without any definite tenant in mind, for the “abstract” (mass) individual, but now conceived with “requirements” in mind, which were presumed to represent anthropological constants secured through empirical research. The modern standard home was attributed with a disciplining, ordering effect on the social body. For this reason, Fordist planning culture is inscribed with the “pretension to a ‘tutelage’ governed by experts over the broad masses,” as Klaus Ronneberger states in Bio-Macht und Hygiene. Disziplinierung und Normalisierung im fordistischen Wohnungsbau,” in Ernst Neufert. Normierte Baukultur, ed. Prigge, Walter (Frankfurt, New York, 1999), 432–64.

11 Nierhaus, “Bauten, die eine bessere Welt abbilden,” 29.

12 Le Corbusier displayed his first 1:1 prototypic residential cell at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925); together with his friend, the artist Amedée Ozenfant, he was one of the first in the European avant-garde art world to publicly advocate Taylorism; cf. McLeod, Mary: “‘Architecture or Revolution’: Taylorism, Technocracy, and Social Change,” Art Journal 43, no. 2 (1983): 132–47. For the effects of scientific management on architecture in general, see: Guillén, Mauro F., The Taylorized Beauty of the Mechanical: Scientific Management and the Rise of Modernist Architecture (Princeton, 2006).

13 Lihotzky, Grete, “Einiges über die Einrichtung österreichischer Häuser unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Siedlungsbauten,” Schlesisches Heim 8 (Breslau, 1921), 217–22.

14 Blau, Eve, The Architecture of Red Vienna 1919–1934 (Cambridge/MA, London, 1999), 183.

15 Regarding Josef Frank's commitment, see Long, Christopher, Josef Frank: Life and Work (London, Chicago, 2002), 52ff; for the Vienna Werkbund Estate against the backdrop of the Viennese settler movement, see: Kapfinger, Otto, “Anspruch und Ausgang. Zur Projekt- und Baugeschichte der Internationalen Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932,” in Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932, ed. Nierhaus and Orosz, 3663.

16 It was called Prince Albert's Model Lodging House, commissioned by the Society for Improving the Labouring Classes and designed by Henry Roberts. Cf. Beutler, Christian, Weltausstellungen im 19. Jahrhundert (München, 1973), 25; Frederique Van Andel, “Housing in the Times of Crisis,” DASH 09: Housing Exhibitions (2014): 4–17, at 5.

17 Regarding the display of houses for workers, cf. Cremer and Gutschow, Bauausstellungen, 37–49; Andel, “Housing in the Times of Crisis,” 5.

18 The Werkbund was a forceful state-sponsored association founded in 1907 in Munich, aimed at bringing together traditional crafts and industrial mass production. Sister organizations soon arose in the rest of Europe; the Austrian Werkbund was founded in 1912 and, after years of conflict and split, the Werkbund exhibition in 1930 (accompanied by the Werkbund estate two years later) was its big architectural self-display. Gmeiner, Astrid and Pirhofer, Gottfried, Der österreichische Werkbund (Salzburg, Vienna, 1985).

19 Das neue niederrheinische Dorf auf der Deutschen Werkbundausstellung in Köln 1914 (Berlin, 1914).

20 Barbara Sauer, “Licht, Luft, Sonne im modern eingerichteten Eigenheim. Die ersten Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner der Werkbundsiedlung,” in Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932, ed. Nierhaus and Orosz, 260–65.

21 Schriefers, Thomas, Für den Abriss gebaut? Anmerkungen zur Geschichte der Weltausstellungen (Hage, 1999); Geppert, Alexander C. T., Fleeting Cities: Imperial Expositions in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (Basingstoke, 2013).

22 The Gemeinnützige Siedlungs- und Bauaktiengesellschaft GESIBA (public utility settlement and building material corporation) was founded 1921 as a self-help organization by the ÖVSK, the Austrian Republik, and the City of Vienna in order to provide settlers and housing cooperatives with construction material.

23 The complex background and planning phases: cf. Kapfinger: “Anspruch und Ausgang,” 42.

24 The single-family home was not only an important item on the agenda of bourgeois conservative parties, but also a cornerstone of Catholic social doctrine.

25 Mattl, Siegfried, “Eigenheim in Österreich—Factfinding Mission,” in Wir Häuselbauer. Bauen in Österreich (Catalague of the same-named exhibition in the Architektur Zentrum Wien, 1998), 1623.

26 Novy, Klaus and Förster, Wolfgang, Einfach bauen. Genossenschaftliche Selbsthilfe nach der Jahrhundertwende. Zur Rekonstruktion der Wiener Siedlerbewegung (Vienna, 1991); Novy, Klaus, Genossenschafts-Bewegung. Zur Geschichte und Zukunft der Wohnreform (Berlin, 1982), see chap. 2 “Selbsthilfe als Reformbewegung. Der Kampf der Wiener Siedler nach dem 1. Weltkrieg,” 22–58.

27 Loos was chief architect of the city-run Siedlungsamt from 1921 to 1924. Frank and Lihotzky worked for the building bureau of the ÖVSK.

28 Novy and Förster, Einfach bauen, 37, 78; Allmayer-Beck, Renate, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. Soziale Architektur, Zeitzeugin eines Jahrhunderts (Vienna, Cologne, Weimar 1993), 2227.

29 A self-help organization founded by the ÖVSK in 1922 in order to provide settlers with affordable furnishings.

30 BEST (abbreviation for Beratungsstelle für Inneneinrichtung) was founded in 1929 by the Austrian Association for Reform of Living (Österreichischer Verband für Wohnungs-Reform) and since 1930 had its showrooms in the Karl-Marx-Hof.

31 Frank, Josef, Architektur als Symbol (Vienna, 1931, reprint 1981), 188.

32 Already in 1910, along with the IX International Housing Congress, the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry showed an exhibition of nonprofit small apartment buildings and organized a competition for interior decoration for workers and minor office employees; at the spring exhibition 1912, Robert Örely presented a single-family home including furnishings for the lower-income classes; the first, but less extensive and less received, exhibition entitled “Einfacher Hausrat” was shown in 1916. Concerning the same-named show in 1920, see Gmeiner and Pirhofer, Der Österreichische Werkbund, 102–4; Fischel, Hartwig, “Ausstellung einfachen Hausrates,” Kunst und Kunsthandwerk XIX (1916): 251–62; L. Steinmetz, “Ausstellung ‘Einfacher Hausrat,’” in Kunst und Kunsthandwerk XXIII (1920): 250–70.

33 Ankwicz-Kleehoven, Hans, “‘Einfacher Hausrat.’ Zur Ausstellung im Österreichischen Museum,” Der Architekt 23 (1920): 8194, at 81.

34 Sales presentations (the so-called Vorschuss- und Verkaufsaktionen) had been introduced at the end of the nineteenth century, cf. Fabiankowitsch, Gabriele, “Das Vermittlungsprogramm des k.k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie,” in Kunst und Industrie. Die Anfänge des Museums für Angewandte Kunst in Wien, ed. Noever, Peter (Wien, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2000), 175202 , at 183.

35 What Barry Bergdoll takes into account for exhibition house series in the Museum for Modern Art in New York in the 1940s and 1950s—the institution's shift from taste formation to consumer formation—already holds for presentations in the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry fifty years earlier. “I think of the 1:1 project as a discursive tool,” interview with Barry Bergdoll in DASH 09: Housing Exhibitions (2014), 66–72.

36 König, Gudrun M., Konsumkultur. Inszenierte Warenwelt um 1900 (Vienna, Cologne, Weimar, 2009), 13.

37 Eva-Maria Orosz, “Typenmöbel mit persönlicher Note. Mustereinrichtungen in der Werkbundsiedlung,” in Werkbundsiedlung Wien 1932, ed. Nierhaus and Orosz, 64–71.

38 Frank, Josef, “Die moderne Einrichtung des Wohnhauses,” in Innenräume. Räume und Inneineinrichtungsgegenstände aus der Werkbundausstellung “Die Wohnung,” insbesondere aus den Bauten der städtischen Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. 1928, ed. Gräff, Werner (Stuttgart, 1928), 126–27, at 127.

39 Aigner, Anita, “Transformation Unwanted! Heritage-Making and its Effects in Le Corbusier's Pessac Estate,” in Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings, ed. Maudlin, Daniel and Vellinga, Marcel (Abingdon, NY, 2014), 7088.

40 The refurbishment is recorded in: Kapfinger, Otto and Krischanitz, Adolf, Die Wiener Werkbundsiedlung. Dokumentation einer Erneuerung (Wien, 1985).

41 Here, I mention Alois Riegl, Austrian art historian and first chief conservator of the K.K. Zentralkommission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale, founded in 1850 (the today's Bundesdenkmalamt), and author of Der moderne Denkmalkultus (1903), who championed a national monument protection law, which first failed because of the resistance of the church and aristocracy, but came into force immediately after World War I (enactment of law in 1923).

42 Smith, Laurajane, Uses of Heritage (Abingdon, NY, 2006), 16.

43 Anita Aigner, “Transformation unwanted!,” 70–88.

44 Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage (Berkeley, 1998), 150f.

45 Interview conducted by the author (2 Jan. 2014).

46 Urry, John, The Tourist Gaze (London et al. 1990).

47 Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production, 35.

48 Cf. Swartz, David, Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (London, Chicago, 1997), 6594 ; Bourdieu, Pierre, Sozialer Sinn. Kritik der theoretischen Vernunft (Frankfurt, 1999 [1980]), 228–33, 237, 244; Bourdieu, Pierre and Wacquant, Loïc D., Reflexive Anthropologie (Frankfurt, 2006 [1992]), 204ff; Peter, Lothar, Pierre Bourdieus Theorie der symbolischen Gewalt, in Pierre Bourdieu. Politisches Forschen, Denken und Handeln, ed. Steinrücke, Margarete (Hamburg, 2004), 4873.

50 Header of the cover page, available until 2011 when she reworked her Web site thanks to the start of renovation work; see also interview conducted by the author (8 Jan. 2012).

51 Cf. Hall, Stuart, Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (London 1997); Emmison, Michael and Smith, Philip, Researching the Visual: Images, Objects, Contexts and Interactions in Social and Cultural Inquiry (London et al., 2000); Smith, Marquard and Morra, Joanne, Visual Culture: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies (London, 2006); Webb, Jen, Understanding Representation (London, 2009).

52 Waterton, Emma and Watson, Steve, eds., Culture, Heritage and Representation. Perspectives on Visuality and the Past (Farnham, Burlington, 2010); Smiles, Sam and Moser, Stephanie, eds., Envisioning the Past: Archaeology and the Image (Malden et. al., 2005); Selby, Martin, Understanding Urban Tourism: Image, Culture and Experience (London, New York, 2004).

53 Parry, Ross, Recoding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change (Abingdon, NY, 2007); Jerome De Groot, “Historiography and Virtuality,” in Culture, Heritage, Representation, ed. Emma Waterton and Steve Watson, 91–103.

54 The author is able to talk about a closed Web site because she printed out hard copies for a course in 2010; the homepage was available at http://www.werkbundsiedlung.at.tf/.

57 Smith, Uses of Heritage, chap. 1, 11–43.

59 Kress, Gunther and van Leeuwen, Theo, Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design (London, 1996), 15.

60 Waterton, Emma, “Branding the Past: The Visual Imaginery of England's Heritage,” in Culture, Heritage and Representation, ed. Waterton, Emma and Watson, Steve (Farnham and Burlington, 2010), 155–69, at 168.

61 Appadurai, Arjun, The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge, NY, 1989), 4.

62 Clifford, James, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge, 1988).

63 Foucault, Michel, Überwachen und Strafen. Die Geburt des Gefängnisses (Frankfurt, 1994 [1975]), 250.

64 Hall, Representation, 45f.

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