Höhenrausch 2014

Press Release Date:
26. June 2014

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  • Maria Falkinger
    Marketing / Presse
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Höhenrausch 2014
Space in Motion
27 June – 19 October 2014
daily 10 am – 9 pm

Since 2009, Linz & Upper Austria have boasted a one-of-a-kind cultural highlight that lures visitors in the six figures up onto the roofs of the city: HÖHENRAUSCH.

With its combination of rooftop circuit, spatial adventures, and art installations, HÖHENRAUSCH is in the same league as projects like the High Line in New York. Abandoned or inaccessible urban areas off the usual beaten track are being rediscovered and a sense of cultural curiosity applied to their revitalization. The urban space is thus undergoing a renaissance as it is experienced from new and unusual perspectives and made available for use. In HÖHENRAUSCH as the “Upper Austrian variant” of this trend, contemporary art plays a vital role because the rooftop landscape is directly linked with the exhibition spaces of the OK and the OÖ Kulturquartier. At the intersection between the sheltering museum interior and exposed public areas, artists expand our perceptual horizons with their site-specific interventions and confront us with unusual viewpoints and ways of seeing.

What’s more, the mix of artistic approaches that appeal to a range of senses makes HÖHENRAUSCH a unique cultural education project as well. As they make their way through the exhibition, visitors are playfully confronted with international contemporary art, which they are invited not only to appraise with a distanced gaze but also to actively participate and immerse themselves in physically. This serves both to break down prejudices against art (“I don’t understand it anyway”) and to breach exclusion mechanisms (“art is not for me”).
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the OK as part of today’s OÖ Kulturquartier is interested in spatial experiments and new forms of art that go beyond the traditional classifications.

This joy in experimentation is evident not only in the further evolution of HÖHENRAUSCH, but also in the creation of a completely new exhibition space.

NEW SPACES FOR ART: voestalpine open space

HÖHENRAUSCH occupies a new epicenter this year, the voestalpine open space, from which artistic bridges can be built to both the OK and the OÖ Kulturquartier, as well as to the adjacent rooftop landscape.
The openwork steel structure is the result of a fruitful cooperation between industry and culture: the material and manufacturing expertise come from Voestalpine, the architectural design from RieplRiepl Architekten, and the staging concept from OÖ Kulturquartier. A high-rise rack system otherwise used in warehouses to hold thousands of pallets lends this vision structure and volume.

Measuring 42 meters long, 15 meters wide, and 9 meters high, and “floating” 25 meters above the ground, the 120-ton steel structure—architecturally dramatized— becomes a showpiece in its own right, exhibiting the outstanding properties of steel.

The voestalpine open space is accessed via the OK and the parking deck and provides a platform for exceptional cultural projects and artistic actions at the crossroads between ART, URBAN PLANNING/ARCHITECTURE, and CULTURAL GAME-PLAYING. The effect, says Governor Pühringer, is that of an “architectural chameleon that constantly changes shape”: from below an elegant suspended steel volume, when walking through it an impressive, open interior, looking from the parking deck like an amphitheater, and from above like an observation platform. This is the new center for HÖHENRAUSCH, a stage for art installations and the showplace for the Moviemento Summer Cinema under the stars­—an ever-changing space for artistic adventures—a multifunctional landmark and an architectural signal.


Under this theme, 26 art projects, including 10 by artists connected to Upper Austria, await visitors to this year’s HÖHENRAUSCH. In keeping with the tenets of contemporary philosophy, “space” is understood here not as a rigid container but rather as a multilayered, dynamic fabric.


If you look upward, you see no limits.
(Japanese saying)

The Austro-Croatian designer group Numen/For Use helps us to experience space physically and with all our senses by means of an intervention that extends over several stories. They have filled the former back courtyard of the school building, the so-called “Canyon,” with a fine mesh structure that acts as a climbing frame.

On the 2nd floor, the German artist Nils Völker has created a seemingly breathing wall from plastic bags. The Singapore-born artist Suzann Victor sets twelve motorized red crystal chandeliers swinging through the Grand Hall of the OK, altering the feeling of the entire space with this calligraphic and poetic choreography. On the Media Deck, the English artist duo John Wood & Paul Harrison engage with the topic of space by way of incisive media experiments in which they themselves almost become objects. They work with backdrops, deceptions, and spatial illusions and allow us to participate in their own physical experiences.

The voestalpine open space, as climax and centerpiece of the circuit, opens with a new version of the HAUS-RUCKER-CO Riesenbillard (Giant Billiards). The walkable white mattress with billiard balls, originally designed in 1970 for the 1920s House, has been adapted for the interior of the voestalpine open space, at a size of 12 x 9 x 1 meters. In the open steel framework over the roof, it generates a unique, constantly changing spatial experience, because it can actually be played and can be seen from various heights. On this public stage, visitors are at once the audience and the actors.

The highlight on the parking deck is a set of two swings by the US artist group Dash 7 that move through an electronically controlled water wall. The five-meter-high swings hang side by side from a crossbeam from which a fine waterfall trickles down. It stops whenever the swings are in position below it.
The gastro zone with its vehicle, round bench, and headdress was redesigned by the kiosque group, and on the adjacent large parking deck a gradually growing “Hops Tent” serves as both a retreat and workshop area. The Linz skyline unfolds 130 steps further up as an impressive panoramic view from the Keine Sorgen Turm (No Worries Tower).


The Art Cabinet section of the exhibition, distributed throughout the OK, features works that explore the theme of Space in Motion in various keys

The installation Erdort – Global Home by Christine Bauer and Herbert Egger is about the house as the place where the people of the world localize themselves in space. A glimpse behind the scenes at everyday life in a domestic interior turned upside down is offered by the video Tomatenköpfe (Tomato Heads) by Paul Horn, Harald Hund, and Karo Meiberger. In Hubert Lobnig's Modellhaus (Model Home), a house tells its story, one of alternative lifestyles and abandoning societal norms.

The conquest of outer space, or how our conception of the world has changed, is the theme in the “classroom” on the 2nd floor: Aleksandra Mir stages the first woman landing on the moon. Chooc Ly Tan designs in her video a thought experiment about a world without physical laws and Wagner Malta Tavares makes the static image of an airplane come to life by means of sound waves. Bernd Oppl makes the rooms themselves into his lead actors.

Acoustic visions

From 5 September, starting with the Ars Electronica, we will show the first large-scale solo exhibition of the work of Bill Fontana in the German-speaking world. It will be accessible via the HÖHENRAUSCH circuit.
The artist will create a new live-stream work for this purpose in which he uses steel-processing plants operated by the technology company Voestalpine as his instruments.


The playful, interactive component makes this year’s HÖHENRAUSCH particularly attractive for families and active adults. There are also once again a number of programs designed especially for children and young people.

An “Expedition Workshop” has been developed with the help of a team of sports scientists from “Gesundes Oberösterreich” (Healthy Upper Austria) that combines the joy of movement with curiosity about art.
Also ideal for families is an exhibition guide for children and “play zones” on the roof as well as casual dining at the U-Hof restaurant in the “Art Kiosk.”

Dates: 27 June – 19 October 2014
Opening hours: daily 10 am - 9 pm

Information and registration for guided tours:

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Alle images (except otherwise noted): Otto Saxinger