A research project by Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler divided in 7 Salons, in collaboration with a group of 7 artist-curators.
September 11–November 2, 2014.

Friedrichstraße 12A-1010 Vienna, Austria.

Salon Orizzonti Occupati/Occupied Horizons
curated by Bert Theis
September 24-30, 2014, opening Wednesday, September 24 at 19:00.

Isola Utopia – Fragments and Moments for New Utopias with

Airfield Aviosuperficie del Sole, Amor Vacui Studio, Luca Andreolli, Aufo, Zanny Begg, Roberto Balletti and Claudio Tancetti, Emanuel Balbinot, Kristina Borg, Antonio Brizioli, Tania Bruguera, Angelo Castucci, Antonio Cipriani, Francesco Citro, Cooperativa Nuovo Cilento, Comune di San Mauro Cilento, Ines Doujak, Nicola Ferrara, Fornace Falcone, Naima Faraò, Maddalena Fragnito, Igor Francia, Edna Gee, Mariam Ghani, Ghelostudio Architettura, Grupo Etcétera, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Isabell Lorey, Gianfranco Marelli, Valentina Montisci, Denis C. Novello, Walter Novello, Philippe Nathan/2001, Nikolay Oleynikov, Creative Olive, Maria Papadimitriou, Dan Perjovschi, Edith Poirier, Vincenzo Onida, Steve Piccolo, Project 2.0., Gerald Raunig, Oliver Ressler & Dario Azzellini, Daniele Rossi, Gak Sato, Mariette Schiltz, Christoph Schäfer, Milena Steinmetzer, Superstudio, Camilla Topuntoli, Transdizipinäres Planungsteam Milliardenstadt, Nikola Uzunowski, Flora Vannini, Jiang Zhi and others.

Isola Utopia is a work in progress based on the tale “Utopia just left the building” I presented at the Vienna Secession during Salon Klimbim in January 2014. The ongoing research and production project started long ago in the Isola district in Milan and will turn back there, after an “Utopian Odyssey”, collecting fragments and moments for new Utopias.

In the past 14 years Isola Art Center responded to the constant pressure of neoliberal development and gentrification in the Isola district in Milan, inventing tools and concepts along the way. The history of this artistic and urban transformation is narrated in the book “Fight-Specific Isola”/Archive Books, Berlin, 2012, English and Italian edition. Based on this long collective experience, Isola Art Center organized the first stage of the Isola Utopia project, a two-weeks workshop, this summer in San Mauro Cilento, and a stopover in Latvia for the Survival Kit – Utopian City project in Riga, ongoing until end of September 2014.

Isola Art Center is an open, experimental platform for contemporary art based in Milan’s Isola neighborhood. It is powered by energy, enthusiasm and solidarity. Over the last decade Isola Art Center has confronted an urban situation marked by conflict and extensive transformations. Its projects continue to be “no-budget”, precarious, hyper local. Doing away with conventional hierarchical structures, Isola Art Center rhizomatically brings together Italian and international artists, critics and curators, artists’ collectives, activists, architects, researchers, students and neighbourhood groups.

San Mauro Cilento is a small town in the hills near the sea south of Salerno that is characterized by a local cooperative that produces olive oil. The workshops started with a flight of the participants over the buried cities of Paestum, Pompeii, and Elea with its philosophical school. Then we had a theoretical introduction and discussion about what means Utopia today, with Isabell Lorey and Gerald Raunig, in the tower of the Airfield Aerosuperficie del Sole.

At least 40 artists, curators, theorists, students, inhabitants, musicians, journalists took part in the elaborations or presented their materials. Most of them are members or friends of Isola Art Center, Milan, and Isola Art’s Club Band, including international artists such as Grupo Etcétera, Christoph Schaefer, Nikolay Olenikov, Dan Perjovschi, Zanny Begg, Oliver Ressler, Nikola Uzunovski and others. At each stopover, local intelligence is integrated in the research and production process. In San Mauro Cilento this has been for example the BAD Museum team from Naples, the Creative Olive team from San Mauro Cilento, the ceramic furnace company Fornace Falcone, four groups of architects from Salerno, or the anarchist author Gianfranco Marelli, based in Ischia island, who wrote a critical history about the Situationist International. In Riga we had the opportunity to work with the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art and to present our research in the former Boļševička Textile Factory building.

Salon Orizzonti Occupati in the Vienna Secession presents a selection of the “Isola Utopia” materials produced and/or shown in San Mauro Cilento and Riga in the last months, and continues the research and production of new art works and other materials linked to new utopian projects. The visitor finds a transitional moment, fragments, different workshops, presentations, discussions, “real life situations”, where the making of the show coincides with the show itself.

Several new elements are presented and discussed, such as: a video about the impressive new student movement in Luxembourg, the “Hypotopia”-project by Transdisziplinäres Planungsteam Milliardenstadt, Vienna, the petition to pope Francis for the Final Abolition of Hell by Etcétera (with Bifo and Léon Ferrari) or Oliver Ressler & Dario Azzellini’s new film about worker’s control in the occupied RiMaflow factory in Milan. Every afternoon an open experimental music workshop is dedicated to the Theremin, Lev Sergeevich Termen’s early electronic musical instrument invented during the Russian Revolution in October 1920.

Bert Theis
September 2014


September 24, 7 pm
Fragments and Moments for New Utopias, Introduction by Ines Doujak, Oliver Ressler, Bert Theis, with contributions by Gerald Raunig and Isabell Lorey (video Mariette Schiltz).
Sound experience by Steve Piccolo (bass and voice) and Gak Sato (Theremin).

September 24-30
daily 9 am – 4 pm – Wo-men at work (architecture, drawing, painting, silkscreen printing, photography, video), video screenings.
daily 4 am – 6 pm Experimental music workshop with Steve Piccolo and Gak Sato.

September 25, 4 pm
Video screening: Streik – The new Student Movement in Luxembourg, video by Luca Andreolli, 8’17”, 2014, presented by Milena Steinmetzer, (language German), discussion.

September 26, 4 pm
Presentation of the “Hypotopia”-project, by Transdizipinäres Planungsteam Milliardenstadt,
Vienna, (language German), discussion.

September 28, 11 am – 6 pm
Sign the petition for the Final Abolition of Hell, a project by Etcétera with Bifo and Léon Ferrari.

September 30, 7 pm
– Presentation of the workshop’s productions:
Isola Utopia Revolution (video) by Camilla Topuntoli, Isola delle Rose (architecture) by Philippe Nathan (2001), The time of Anarchy, or the Time of Harmony? (drawing and painting) by Edna Gee and Edith Poirier, Printing 4 Utopia (silk screen printing) by Daniele Rossi, Along the Red Thread (web doc about the Isola Utopia experience in San Mauro Cilento) by Antonio Cipriani and Valentina Montisci, Utopian Street Signs by Kristina Borg, Flying Desires by Bert Theis.
– Concert: The Utopian Theremin Pulse, by Steve Piccolo, Gak Sato and other musicians.