Q & A
Alexander Viscio: Artist, New York.
National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina Courtyard Zmaja od Bosne 3, Sarajevo 71000.
June 28th 2014 14:00
Q: What is “Outsourcing to Sarajevo”?
A: A large scale outdoor public sculpture in the shape of the word Outsourcing that also serves as an Exhibition and Performance platform that showcases the imagery of 14 artists from Austria and the BiH region with one French-American.
Q: Why the word Outsourcing?
A: The word has two references:
1. It refers to the practice of moving a company from one country to another in order to cut labor costs that result in the loss of jobs from the origin of that company and child labor in its new location.
2. It also comes from my “Dirty Words from America” series, which is a collection of profanities modified into wooden molds for casts. And depending on which side of Outsourcing one finds one self, the word can have incendiary connotations becoming another “Dirty Word”.
Q: How do you see it functioning in the context of the Centennial?
A: As a 21st Century Trojan horse where a dirty word is presented as a 20th modernist sculpture enclosed with its’ minimalistic architecture and painted ruby red on the outside. But when one enters they find themselves surrounded by the imagery of 14 contemporary artists of today, in a visual labyrinth without a roof with open skies above. On the floor, the Austrian artist Patrick Baumüller re-designed a circle pattern from the German children’s game, “trouble”, to depict the four major dialects spoken in the BiH region. As visitors enter the sculpture they will automatically be “in the game”, standing on the various colored circles of the floor, and going from one to another as they move through out the space, they realize that they are the only objects in the space and there-by becoming part of the Arts’ (sculpture’s) content.
Q: How does this piece commemorate the Centennial?
A: It doesn’t, it celebrates it. It functions as a platform for the people of Sarajevo to gather and experience what it’s like to be inside a contemporary artwork. By entering it the visitors are the only objects in the space, adding to the content of the art. And in this phenomenon we will be the heirs of the gift of exchange.
Q: How did you come to choose the 14 artists in O2S14?
A: Not as a curator but a conceptual artist working in a performative context; that being a public space which is one of my favorites. I chose the work of 7 Austrian artists I have in one way or another a personal connection with yet whose work I may or may not necessarily favor. The artists from the BiH region were chosen from a short list provided to me. This results in a collection of artists that would most likely never show together under the same roof and or the normal hierarchal curatorial power systems usually fueled by trending and market conscious strategies.
Q: What are you Outsourcing?
A: I’m not. As an American artist it is I who has been outsourced by the Federal Chancellery of Österreich to represent Austria at the Centennial in Sarajevo. I am however outsourcing the content of my own work as an artist to 14 others and the entire fabricating process of my work to the city of Sarajevo generating a source of commerce, as well as outsourcing the role of defining the work as art to its’ citizens who come to inspect, enter and discover that sometimes the content of a work of art, a moment or experience is directly connected to oneself.
Q: Why is the work up for such a brief time?
I didn’t want to occupy public land for an eternity with a monolithic object pretending to have omnipotent powers only to tax the public as an eye-sore manifesting from the artist’s attempt towards immortality resulting in neglect and disrespect for the environment it is placed. Public art can have a transient yet sustaining effect with its community without over staying its welcome in determining its value as a viable cultural component. And for a work of art to be built for longevity as all other structures around it, but be removed by design in 12 days, adds to the performance quality and entices memory to sustain it.
At the end of the day, I want to share with the people of Sarajevo a dream, to imagine and build the almost unreasonable in uncompromising form.
O2S14: Outsourcing to Sarajevo 2014.
Commissioned by the Federal Chancellery of Austria. Is a large scale outdoor public sculpture in the shape of the word Outsourcing large enough to also serve as an exhibition and performance platform in celebration of the 2014 Centennial. Powered by: The Federal Chancellery of Austria and in partnership with the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A project, by Alexander Viscio, featuring 14 participants. 7 from Austria and 6 from Bosnia & Herzogovinia and one from France/US.
Opening June 28th in Sarajevo.
Bosnia & Herzogonia :
Elvis Dolic; n o r m a l; Ivan Hrkas; Vanja Lisac;
Samir Plasto; Edina Seleskovic;
Patrick Baumüller; Michael Goldgruber;
Michael Kienzer; Zenita Komad; Michael Part;
Station Rose; Gabi Trinkaus;
US/France: Caterina Verde
All images of installation © Alexander Viscio.