Between the 1950s and 1960s, a large-scale art-in-architecture project was carried out in Vienna. On the one hand it was supposed to increase the popularity of contemporary art, on the other hand it aimed at giving the communal housing of the postwar era a more humane appearance.
The commissioning of Viennese artists with the design of sculptures that would also serve as a playground equipment for children was at the core of the project. These play statues with their abstract formal language combined the aesthetics of the post-war avant-garde with functional elements and could be used as climbing frames, slides and gymnastics apparatuses.
Sofie Thorsen series of works is the result of intensive research and lends new visibility to these play sculptures, which have largely disappeared from the urban landscape and are only documented in a handful of photographs. Her examination of an all but forgotten topology of forms primarily emphasizes the merging of abstract sculpture, architecture and urban planning, aesthetics and society.
In conversation with Vanessa Joan Müller, Sofie Thorsen will present her research.
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