Höhenrausch 2016 - Different Angels

Press Release Date:
18. January 2016



  • Maria Falkinger
    Marketing / Presse
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20 May – 16 October 2016

Landeshauptmann Dr. Josef Pühringer
Bischofsvikar Dr. Johann Hintermeier
Rektor Reinhard Kannonier
Prof. Laurids Ortner
Direktor Martin Sturm

Höhenrausch now goes into its 6th edition in 2016. The audience’s interest remains as strong as ever, as the statistics from the last year show: the average number of visitors in 2015 was still 1000 per day, the number of first-time visitors and the number of returning visitors also remain fairly balanced. The number of guided tours booked has been growing steadily, with more than 1200 tours in 2015, roughly nine guided tours per day, whereby the number of school groups and adult groups is almost even.
The intention to present contemporary art in unusual places, high above the rooftops of Linz, sensually and playfully to a broad audience, is still well received. Especially for this reason, it is our mission to continue to further develop the format in terms of both content and aesthetics. The constant dynamics, the surprise, the appearance, transformation or disappearance of striking objects is just as much a part of this as new spatial sequences and thematic focal points.
Following the “Mystery of the Birds”, Höhenrausch 2016 is devoted to a cultural-philosophical theme related to birds, the protagonists of which are also to be found in the heights, but also far beyond at the same time: angels.

The Theme – Other Angels

Angels are a theme that is both fascinating and complex, and it seems to be something we all know about. Angels are all the rage now, and we find them everywhere we go. They have long since left the biblical space of the church, and we find them on postcard stands, in museum shops, on building facades, and in building supply shops. They also populate Internet forums, magazines, and cinema films. Angels are a projection surface for the most diverse wishes and fulfill all kinds of functions of comforting. They are familiar to us from our childhood as “guardian angels”, and yet they dissolve into something contradictory and alien when we take a closer look.
HÖHENRAUSCH has decided to bring a little order into this chaos. “The angels have not simply fallen from heaven,” according to Governor Dr. Josef Pühringer. “For this illuminating educational work,” as Pühringer continues, “we are happy to have one of the most respected cultural studies scholars in the German-speaking region involved, Professor Thomas Macho.” Together with Thomas Macho the OK team has selected 30 international art projects, from which very different “notions of angels” can be read. In addition, an extensive network of well-versed cooperation partners has been established, who contribute their views and skills, ranging from the Diocese of Linz, which is centrally involved not only with the Ursuline Church, to the Linz Art University and Bruckner University, all the way to the music projectORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst.

The Exhibition

Angels are generally regarded as ambivalent “in-between beings” that do not really belong to any world, neither the world of ghosts and gods, nor the world of living beings. They are charged with different meanings depending on the cultural sphere – they appear as protectors as well as guards and soldiers, cosmic craftsmen and civil servants of heaven, as journey companions and messengers. They are friendly and bring blessings, but as fallen angels, for example, they can also be evil.
Yet angels also have a completely different identity. They are the alien in us, the separated part of ourselves: presumably first as an inner voice, then as shadow and mirror image; since the Romantic era at the latest, they are our terrifying doppelgängers.

The exhibition leads first through a collection of everyday angels – arranged as confusingly and kaleidoscopically as we encounter them every day in the here and now: as adorable celestial residents in car ads, as dapper garden figures or in esoteric magazines and announcements. Following this burst of reality, an elaborate path frees our minds for new and entirely different angel images: the still familiar and yet already surprising theme of biblical angels is extensively covered in the Ursuline Church, anchored like a joint in the exhibition path at the beginning and at the end. In the Uhof attic and in the large hall of the OK Mary Sibande (SA) and Heri Dono (ID) install surprisingly different, alien angels. Along the art path through the house doppelgängers and twins reveal themselves in the projects by Martin Schöller (US) and Candice Breitz (SA/DE) as different aspects of the angel theme. Guests in the Chamber of Wonders in the OK are the working angels, and on the roof Eva Schlegel (AT) transforms the voestalpine open space into a space of mirrors. A botanical angels’ garden grows on the parking deck, and on the Passage roof what is incomprehensible about angels is conveyed through vibrations: with a steel harp by Josef Baier (AT) and sound objects by students from the Bruckner University, among others. Electroacoustic miniatures transform the Keine Sorgen Tower into a vocal ladder to the sky.

The Symbol: The NIKE by Haus-Rucker-Co

An object that sparked the biggest art scandal in Upper Austria 39 years ago now becomes the central symbol of the exhibition, transporting its impact to the outside and concisely summarizing the theme.
The NIKE by Haus-Rucker-Co returns to Linz for the exhibition and can been seen again at HÖHENRAUSCH for the first time since 1977. Following this, it will be presented at the Art University.

The 15-meter-long cantilever of the aluminum sculpture will be mounted in the bell tower of the Ursuline Church. The Nike will thus be visible from afar, floating over the Landstrasse. As a headless, winged replica of the Nike of Samothrace, it tells of the pagan predecessors of the biblical angels, where they came from and how they were transformed. The “rag bird”, as it was called at the time, does not serve as a nostalgic memento, but is instead imbued with a new, precise significance in the search for other angels in Höhenrausch.



20 May – 16 October 2016

Opening: Fri., 20 May, 6:00 pm
Opening Hours: tdaily 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
Information and Guided Tours: www.hoehenrausch.at
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Tel: 0732.784178-52555


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