The recently abandoned administrative headquarters of Austrian Post, an imposing turn of the century building in the first district of Vienna, is a rare location to be had for a contemporary art show. Its corridors with seemingly endless office doors, built for public officials in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, are evocative of Franz Kafka´s stories.
The dreams and fears of the former inhabitants of the building now seem to occupy the offices - but just for 5 days, then the building will be converted to yet more luxury residences.
Improvisation is an Austrian specialty, and here it is exercised to such a degree that it becomes hard to decide if a coat hung on a rack or a strange door plaque is part of the show or if it was just accidentally left there.
I observed a group of German visitors who mistook the door guard for part of an art installation. He replied, in typical Viennese: "It must be pretty bad where you come from when I look like a piece of art to you!" The same visitors then asked a young Viennese lady which guarded a collection of sculptures: "Why are there no price tags? Are these not for sale?" After just a second of hesitation - she did not expect that anyone would want to buy something - she smartly replied: "Don´t you know? No price tag always means it´s open for negotiation."
It is a wonderfully inspiring show. Parallel Vienna, Dominikanerbastei 11 in Vienna´s first district, from September 20 to 25, 2016.