The 2019 artistic wrapping of the Ringturm was officially opened on 26 June at a ceremony attended by Austrian Foreign and Culture Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Bulgaria’s Deputy Culture Minister Amelia Gesheva.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 26 June, Dr. Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, welcomed the invited guests to a special ceremony to mark the completion of this year’s artistic covering of the Ringturm.
Alexander Schallenberg, Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, and for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media, Amelia Gesheva, Deputy Culture Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, and H.E. Dr. Ivan Sirakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Vienna, were present to celebrate the transformation of the Ringturm into Future Dreaming, a work by Bulgarian artist Daniela Kostova.
Culture Minister Schallenberg highlighted the international cultural contribution made by the art installation in the heart of Vienna, which has become an established tradition over the years: “For the 12th time, the artistic wrapping of the Ringturm has created a prominent symbol that reflects the broad spectrum of contemporary Austrian and international art. I’m especially pleased that a conscious decision is made time and again to give artists from Central and Eastern Europe a space in which to display their work on this striking landmark. The wrappings address topics that are significant for society and mirror current events, prompting us to reflect on them.”
Bulgaria’s Deputy Culture Minister was delighted with the selection of the artist for this year’s wrapping. “Just like the little child on the facade, who is discovering and exploring the world, we should also approach the challenges of our time with a sense of curiosity, and search tirelessly for new ways to build a better future – for us and our children,” Amelia Gesheva emphasized.
“This year, we again deliberately chose an artist from an East European country. This turns the cultural spotlight on the regions in Eastern Europe where our Group operates, shifting the focus away from our daily business of policies and premiums. Daniela Kostova is a seamless addition to the impressive list of East European artists who have been commissioned for the artistic wrapping of the Ringturm,” Dr. Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, explained.
This is the 12th artistic covering of the historic office tower of Ringturm next to the Danube Canal. The 4,000 square metre artwork (comprising a total of 30 printed netting sheets, each around 3m wide and up to 63m long) will adorn the facade of the Ringturm during the summer months of 2019. The artist chosen to design the cover is New York-based Bulgarian artist Daniela Kostova. Born in 1974 in Bulgaria, she is a recognizable name on the international art scene. The pairing and juxtaposition of different cultural model and the search for points of contact and hybrid forms represent a major focus in her creative pursuits.
Daniela Kostova’s Future Dreaming
On the side of the Ringturm facing the Danube Canal, a toddler is looking at us with alert eyes. She is dressed in a space suit. A white dove is landing on her helmet, its wings still spread. The bird, symbolising the dream of flight, features prominently in various emblems of space missions. The toddler’s empirical world is shaped by new encounters: even before she can walk, she is dreaming of the big, wide world. Her toy, a mobile with flying celestial bodies, is depicted on the backside of the building. It indicates a change in perspective: gazing at the Earth from far away, at the fragility of our planet, the environment in which the children of the future will live. Talking about her piece Daniela Kostova commented: “In my work I have repeatedly dealt with the question of what ‘safe play’ signifies in various cultural and social contexts. The site-specific display of this particular project adds another dimension to the subject. What interests me here is the wide angle through which we can take a look at the future of our children”.
“Architecture in the Ringturm”: Stefka Georgieva
Simultaneously with the artistic transformation of the Ringturm, an exhibition opened at the headquarters of the insurance company, featuring one of the most remarkable names on the Bulgaria’s architectural scene: architect Stefka Georgieva. The exhibition presents a portrait of the life’s work of an exceptional protagonist in architecture, working behind the Iron Curtain. Recipient of multiple awards, architect Stefka Georgieva is considered to be Bulgaria’s best-known female architect of the second half of the 20th century.
The exhibition can be seen from 27 June to 27 September 2019, Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 18:00, at the Ringturm Exhibition Centre (Schottenring 30/1010 Vienna). Further information is available at: www.airt.at
Dedicated to supporting the arts in Austria and Europe
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is committed to promoting cross-border cultural dialogue and backing social causes. Supporting a range of art projects in Austria and abroad as well as young artists is a leading priority for VIG’s main shareholder. The artistic covering of the Ringturm is a high-profile symbol of this philosophy. Several well-known Austrian artists have designed the Ringturm wrapping, including Gottfried Helnwein and Arnulf Rainer. Since 2012 artists from Eastern Europe have been invited to create images for the artistic covering.
Artistic wrapping of the Ringturm 2006 – 2019
2019 Daniela Kostova Future Dreaming Bulgaria
2018 Gottfried Helnwein I saw this Austria
2017 Mihael Milunović Vision Serbia
2016 Ivan Exner Unburdened Czech Republic
2015 Tanja Deman Summer Pleasures Croatia
2014 Arnulf Rainer Veil of Agnes Austria
2013 Dorota Sadovská Ties Slovakia
2012 László Fehér Society Hungary
2011 Xenia Hausner A Sense of Family Austria
2008 Hubert Schmalix Tower in Blossom Austria
2007 Robert Hammerstiel Tower of Life Austria
2006 Christian Ludwig Attersee Don Giovanni Austria
Press release and press photos are also available at: www.wst-versicherungsverein.at.
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© Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein/Richard Tanzer