6 May 2021

Q&A: hoast [Vienna]

Kathryn Zazenski, Wolfgang Obermair and Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair
Peter Fritzenwallner, 'Die Wunder des Lebens', performance, June 16 2017, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Q&A: hoast [Vienna]
Peter Fritzenwallner, 'Die Wunder des Lebens', performance, June 16 2017, photo: Wolfgang Obermair

This Q&A column focuses on the indeterminate borders between off-/project-/artist-run spaces and the people that keep them going [#Off Space Q&A]

hoast is an independent artist-run space in the 2nd district of Vienna. It was established in 2017 by visual artists Wolfgang Obermair and Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair next to their studios. Since then, over 30 exhibitions and other events have taken place, in the space and also in other locations in Austria and abroad.

Wolfgang and Ekaterina see this social and curatorial activity as an extension of their artistic practice. They consider themself as supportive hosts for other artists, who use the space as a field for experimentation, where they can act without constraint. The collaboration is based on a dialogue between colleagues.

hoast aims to connect the local and the international art scene, with a particular focus on artists from (South)Eastern Europe. The selection of artists reflects existing, sometimes accidental relations but often goes beyond, representing different scenes and breaking generational boundaries. 

The program explores the possibilities of acting within the political field through means of art. This is a question which animates the artistic practices of Wolfgang and Ekaterina as well. Being a small institution allows hoast to respond quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. Through occasional charity sales, hoast tries to encourage solidarity from “the bottom”. 



Zsolt Tibor, 'Zero is also a number (short-time decorative diary of an economist dilettante)', installation view, July 25—August 09 2020, photo: Wolfgang Obermair

Was it a good idea?

Well, so far yes.

Who has held you up?

Universal gravitation and dry friction.

Are you a link or a node?


What do you need?

Fresh air, fruitful soil and dung.

Digital or physical?

No idea what this means.

What do you measure?

Measurement index: time, walls, refraction and reflection, bypassers, concentration, attention.

What are the known unknowns?

Let´s see, who they are.

Marlene Hausegger and Erwin Riess, 'A tribute to Antonio Gramsci #2', installation view, September 21—October 05 2018, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Wolfgang Obermair, photo: Susanna Hofer

What time is it?


Is it an animal, vegetable, or mineral?

Vegetable. We are rooted and fresh.

Why now?

It seemed to be a good idea at that time.

And what about the unknown unknowns?

Let´s see, who they are.

Are you prepared?

We will consider it.

What were you given and what did you take?

Fresh air, fruitful soil and dung.

Is it enough?

There is always space to grow.

Olia Sosnovskaya, 'Text', in the exhibition 'A Secret Museum of Workers Movement', curated by Aleksei Borisionok, February 27—March 21 2021, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Bella Logachova, 'Radiopole', installation view, October 12—27 2019, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Nika Kupyrova, 'A difficult weekend', installation view, Februar 29—March 15 2020, photo: Nika Kupyrova
Olson Lamaj, 'Holy Muscle', installation view, May 18—31 2019, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Ivica Capan, 'Zone', exterior view, December 11 2020—January 09 2021, photo: Wolfgang Obermair
Konrad Kager, 'Können diese Augen Lügen?!', performance, June 16 2017, photo: Wolfgang Obermair


See also