Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Wien’

My Vienna: metro frame

Above/featured: Urania (1910), Aspernbrücke Bridge (1951), and Uniqa Tower (2005) from left to right – 16 May 2018, 6D1.

It’s easy to reduce a city to stereotypes, distilling landmarks to short paragraph summaries designed for easy consumption.

Some might say: you’re making things too complicated; they’ve got to be simpler. That misguided sentiment needlessly and carelessly minimizes the diversity and complexity of a city, her people, and the infrastructure through which citizens reside, navigate, and thrive. Although I chased after traces of Otto Wagner throughout Vienna, I’m also interested in illuminating the city as reflections from past and present and as glimpses of resident and visitor.

Vienna is an exceptional city

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My Vienna: Disrupting Historicism with Modernism

Above/featured: Modernism at Steinhof Church: building by Otto Wagner, angels by Othmar Schimkowitz, stained glass by Koloman Moser (HL).

Vienna is as much a present-day cultural capital city as she was for decades and centuries. Many will get a peek and taste of long-established aspects of the city by walking the streets of the Old Town for the atmosphere, chatting in cozy cafés with coffee and cake for the ambience, and swaying to the rhythms of the waltz under the spell of the (blue) Danube.

The early years of the 20th-century were troubled by greater calls for more autonomy from multiple ethnic groups within the patchwork of the Austro-Hungarian empire, by destruction and loss of life from The Great War (World War I), and by subsequent dissolution of the Empire. The capital city became an open theatre for socioeconomic and political changes across all class divisions within an environment where rebellion and revolution were the big talking points against the dogma of long-held traditions. Deep longing for the stability of the old and familiar mingled with equally enthusiastic desire for the radical of the new and mysterious.

Many in the arts, design, and cultural scene were questioning the excessive persistence of past styles, and were seeking something new to better represent changes happening all around them in Vienna. In 1897, a group of artists and architects resigned from the established Künstlerhaus to form the Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs (Union of Austrian Artists), known also as the Vienna Secession. Architecture moved towards a sharper focus to geometry and abstraction, and art flowed to the decorative with organic floral-like designs in the Jugendstil, Art Nouveau’s chapter in German-speaking lands. To promote their new ideas, the Secession group produced an official magazine called Ver Sacrum (“sacred spring” in Latin, 1898) and constructed the Secession building (1897) as an exhibition hall to display their work. The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops) was created in 1903 as an association of artists whose thinking and applied arts creations were a precursor to the Bauhaus movement. Members of the Werkstätte worked with Vienna’s architects to broaden and unite the various concepts for a complete artwork, or Gesamtkunstwerk, as applied to a living space: the house, its rooms and furnishings, the interplay of light and space, and the tools and utensils for every day aspects of living.

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Tango, Resselpark, Karlsplatz, Wien, Vienna, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Tango evening at Vienna’s Karlsplatz

In this fifth and final installment, Vienna has been in the spotlight for Fotoeins Friday in August.

In my final hours in Vienna, I complete some of my goals regarding the Vienna Modernism centenary in 2018 with a visit to the Otto Wagner exhibition at the Wien Museum Karlsplatz. I stumble onto Karlsplatz and see a crowd has gathered around music which is unmistakably tango. The sounds pull me into the small open area where couples are dancing the tango. I sit down on a park bench, and even with my camera ready, I close my eyes and feel the “wash”, the breeze, the rhythm and melody, the warm late-spring evening, the rustling of leaves above, a buzz and halo from quiet chatter.

I’m glad this is a final memory from Vienna.

I made the picture above on 20 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/8, ISO4000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bWC.

Strassenbahn, Linie D, Wiener Linien, Wien, Vienna, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: the D in Vienna Nussdorf

This is the fourth part of five in August, as I cast a spotlight on Vienna.

A city is and should be more than the sum of its most visited spots. I’ve just disembarked the D streetcar in the northern neighbourhood of Nussdorf. I’m here to see a piece of urban architecture which is a part of Otto Wagner’s legacy for the city. Even mid-morning on Saturday is light on traffic with few pedestrians around, but near proximity along the Danube means there are a lot of bicyclists on the roads today. Not only is the ubiquitous red streetcar a moving highlight for Vienna, the vehicle is a moving medium transporting resident and visitor through all phases of Vienna history.

I made the picture above on 19 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and settings: 1/500-sec, f/16, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bY6.

Ballgasse, dusk, Vienna, Wien, Old Town, UNESCO, World Heritage, Oesterreich, Austria, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Vienna dusk over cobblestone Ballgasse

In this third of five installments, I highlight Vienna for Fotoeins Friday.

Ballgasse is a narrow cobblestone passage and one of the last remaining from medieval times, even though the surrounding buildings are much younger dating to the 18th-century. The lack of vehicles and periods of quiet chatter become a slow relaxed trip back in time. This short stretch of street is within Vienna’s Old Town which UNESCO inscribed as World Heritage Site in 1996.

I made the picture above on 18 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the settings: 1/125-sec, f/4, ISO2500, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-bRN.

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