Till Gathmann Some Formal Aspects of the Letterform B

30/4 2015 7 pm

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Alfred Kallir (1899-1983), who grew up in a Viennese Jewish family, was a historian and autodidact who researched the history of the alphabet, devoting special attention to the hidden meaning behind the forms of the letters. He experienced the collapse of the Habsburg empire, dreamed of a career as a violinist in the USA, worked as a manager for a steel company in Czechoslovakia, in Amsterdam and in London, and witnessed its destruction through Hermann Göring’s policy of seizure. In 1941, it was Winston Churchill’s famous “victory sign” that finally inspired him to an intensive and indeed obsessive study of the letter “V” and the genealogy of typographic letter forms in general. In his work, Till Gathmann examines the virtually unknown biography of Kallir, the issue of how historical conditions can be represented and their influence on Kallir’s thinking.

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The performance program of Destination Vienna 2015 will outline the vitality that this art form is currently experiencing in Vienna. Different artists and artist groups represent the bandwidth of the medium from critical to parodic and subversive approaches.