Journey to the Source

Journey to the Source

As curator of this generously designed travel programme for young Austrian artists it seemed to me to be important from the outset in working out the concept to guide the venture by means of a stringent contextual definition of aims so as to arrive at a comprehensive survey/exhibition/documentation as an end-product.

My central idea for the travel opportunities can be defined in the concept of meeting – whether it be with a personality whose work gives important impetus to the potential visitor, a (not necessarily) cultural institution or a place of that sort. The artist applies for a destination with a written application. By describing previous areas of investigation and concrete work plans and finally in a personal interview the artist must communicate the interest for and influence on his/her work connected with this destination.

A rush of applications is to be expected following the announcement of a project on this scale and with this appeal (it is forecast that around 150 tickets will be allocated before the end of 1993 and Dr. Robert Fleck, curator appointed by the Federal Minister for Education and Art, is providing from his budget flat-rate travel expenses to each artist). As much as I proceed from the principle that foreign travel is meaningful in itself, for "Journey to the Source" I nevertheless want participants with concrete and serious plans rather than tourists. As well as confronting each artist (oeuvre) I particularly want to be convinced by a precise definition of the objectives the artist is taking bearings on. This in any case guarantees that the artist is in fact informed about the desired destination.

In return each traveller is being asked for a contribution to a book to be published on completion of the project. This book will ultimately be the profit accruing to interested members of the public from the enterprise: the intangible exhibition of a panorama of ideas from the most up-to-date young Austrian art. Ideally the activity of a whole generation will be presented by means of representative projects. At the same time a documentation of this sort conveys the development of an artistic process from the original idea to the decision for a particular object of research as far as a creative statement about it – in my view a very important contribution towards understanding between artist and public, towards the demystification of art. Not least important, publication in this catalogue means justification for the artist of his journey put to the test by critics and those interested in art.