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Interview of the Week – “My goal is to make the State Fair a meeting place in everyday life

Interview of the Week – “My goal is to make the State Fair a meeting place in everyday life

BFZ: On February 1, you were assigned to manage the State Fair. Was the offer a surprise to you and did you need time to think about it before accepting it?

Birgitte Sauer: People know me from my Still Life exhibition. In 2021, extensive and constructive discussions took place with Governor Doskozil at the State Fair. This led to my work as Curator of Contemporary Visual Arts, with responsibility for thinking conceptually about the State Gallery.

These two years of developing and implementing projects as an independent employee of the Cultural Department were good preparation for the task now of reorganizing and reorganizing the State Gallery.

Are you planning changes and what projects are of particular interest to you?

My biggest concern is for the State Fair to become an institution that people will notice and a place of exchange. A meeting place where you can always stop by spontaneously and meet interesting people. There are considerations for using simple means to make the State Gallery more visible and activate the third dimension of the exhibition space. Openness to the outside world is especially important to me.

How do you want to motivate more people to come to the show?

There are many ideas already waiting for implementation. It starts with two large tables on wheels, made by Christian Ruszczyska. They are the basis for new projects.

I plan to work with three exhibition formats: exhibitions in the main room, exhibitions in the additional room – the foyer on the second floor is a great counterpart to the main room – and from September we want to start the “In Focus” series, which will contain “Artwork of the Month”.

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The current media room will be converted into the Cabinet Office, the main headquarters. The aim is to offer an exchange of information for artists in cooperation with IG Fine Arts and Bildrecht, and to also inform guests about the fine arts scene in Burgenland, i.e. an exchange of knowledge and vision.

Artist Birgitte Sauer is supposed to lead the State Gallery into the future.

zVg LMS/HaVenture

Do you think it will be possible to attract young people as guests?

Yes, of course. I think that by doing things you can understand a lot of things more easily and access new things. Practical teaching of techniques will certainly be the focus in the next three years. The offer should be aimed at everyone. I also believe that being inclusive and not dividing into age groups will make for an exciting exchange.

Have the exhibition dates been set already? Who are the artists we are excited to see?

It's getting lively: on April 26, we will start with “RESET” and invite the audience into dialogue, Fritz Ostermaier will provide the music, and we will begin the series “Anonymous Austrians” – selected furniture pieces from the Thomas Hochwarter collection. The first exhibition opens in the Additional Room that day: Christian Ruszczyska's “Amber Room”.

In the “open” in North Burgenland on May 4 and 5, three locations can be seen in the main room of the Landesgalerie: Lisa Grosskopf, Franza Mayer, Richard Gurtich.

Opening of the exhibition “Elvi Simutan. “The Double View” is curated by Katrin Bucher Tranto, Chief Curator of Kunsthaus Graz. Katrin Bucher, founder of Nomad Gallery Kunsthalle Burgenland, has also started a poster project throughout Burgenland.
“The Two Sides of Being Online,” an exhibition-in-progress by artists Hannah and Leah Nickel, will open in October. In between, discussions, art trips and film screenings are planned.

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Hannah and Leah Nickel in their home for digital and multimedia arts. What do you actually think about digital art and the possibility of purchasing it? Keyword: denied.

Digital art or computer art is now a few decades old. The research mission of art is to research everything, take it apart and put it back together again using a different logic, regardless of technology. It is precisely these other perspectives that make art so important to society.

eis12wagi-Birgitte Sauer

Trausdorf artist Birgitte Sauer is supposed to lead the State Gallery into the future.

zVg LMS/HaVenture

What are the biggest problems artists face right now and how can they be addressed?

Time also calls for artists to present themselves in a more perfect marketing way. This means always having perfect portfolios, stock listings, work photos, texts, websites, social media presence, everything at hand in at least two languages ​​- and working in an optimized way in the system. This is somewhat contradictory.

Can you briefly describe your artistic career?

She studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and, at the same time, helped set up the NN factory at the Seiggendorf sugar factory. I learned a lot there, including a lot about curation, as we traveled abroad to attend exhibitions.

When did the decision come to continue on the road alone?

I had a very intense time with NN-fabrik, and then the next one started. My current studio is located at Trosdorf Airport, which is a good place for me to experiment and find new techniques, and a good place to fly away and land again.

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Maybe some final words you would like to say to BVZ readers?

Yes, of course. I warmly invite you to come to the Landesgalerie so that it becomes a lively space for cultural exchange, a space for encounters in everyday life. I look forward to the future!


Birgitte Sauer in front of her studio

Reinhard Gompass, Reinhard Gompass