PostcARTs from Salzburg

A project developed in the seminar ‚Speaking and Writing about Art in English’

Speaking and Writing about Art in English, a course offered as part of the study focus Cultural Production and Arts Management at the University of Salzburg in cooperation with the Mozarteum University, guides students towards a practical application of English. How do we talk and write about art? What specific vocabulary is called for, what styles and types of speaking and writing are necessary when speaking and writing about art, marketing artists and managing culture? In order to answer these questions, the course includes a review of grammar, an introduction to editing and style guides, practice speaking in groups and in front of an audience, as well as workshops with guest lecturers and artists. At the same time, the main focus is the students’ collaboration on a project.
Students decide on a project and then figure out how they want to realize this project. Along the way, they have to navigate the process of group collaboration, identify and implement the different stages of production, and deal with any obstacles: and all of this in English. What students take away from the course is the experience of carrying out a project in an artistic and cultural context using English as the project language, with guidance throughout.
The seminar has been offered since 2014. Projects have included such diverse endeavours as collaboratively creating CVs and texts for artists, hosting a panel discussion, publishing a book with transcripts of Skype interviews with artists from around the world and launching a postcard series promoting the Salzburg art and culture scene, which will be discussed in depth here. Although each project is different, they are all intended to foster the same skills: speaking and writing about art in English.

Kulturlandkarte Salzburg

PostcARTs from Salzburg – Spread art all over the world

postcARTs from Salzburg, a project developed in the seminar Speaking and Writing about Art in English in winter semester 2016 at the Department Wissenschaft & Kunst, addresses the image of Salzburg via the enduring medium of the postcard. The team behind postcARTs from Salzburg, Carina Samitz, Manuela Seethaler, Katharina Steinhauser and Julija Kristof, joined together to realize a project that combines their different backgrounds and different interests within the art field.

postcARTs from Salzburg  aims at generating visibility for unconverntional Artist: they are offered a platform that allows them to present their work to the public. A large variety of artworks, representing the artists’ personal views of Salzburg, are thereby spread throughout Austria and the world  raising awareness of the city’s cultural and artistic diversity. The medium of the postcard was specifically chosen for this task. Based loosely on Riepl’s law, the original function of the postcard was reinterpreted: from communication medium to low-threshold platform for art. As postcard motif, the artwork circulates freely and artists are not dependent on specific exhibition spaces. The choice of locations where the postcards are laid out for people to take, e.g. universities, cafés and nightlife venues, reflects the projects  is primarily intention of providing locals a fresh view of their city. However, the postcARTs unconventional perspectives on the city make them attractive for tourists, too .

The project started with an open call for ideas, which intentionally did not specify how submissions had to relate to Salzburg (as the project team was curious about what people would send). From 96 submissions, 6 motifs were selected. Each motif was printed on 1,500 postcards, with the back left blank, other than a link to more information about the artist . The postcards were financed via an online crowdfunding campaign and are now available at over 50 sites throughout Salzburg. Furthermore, the project was presented at the exhibition pARTicipate: Kunst und Kultur in Salzburg from January 19, 2017 to June 30, 2017 at enter: exhibition space in KunstQuartier (Bergstraße 12, Salzburg). Statements by the artists on their postcARTs from Salzburg: six very different perspectives from six very different people — or maybe they are not so different at all?

Putting ‚Art‘ in ‚postcArts‘ – the motifs | Why is this your view of Salzburg?

Elisabeth Hillinger | Choreographer, Dancer, Soprano
Photo title: Open

I was looking for a different, ‚unpolished‘ angle to represent the city of Salzburg, which is most often shown in its cozy and nice aspects. This turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be.
At first glance, Salzburg is cute, gorgeous, pretty, or to put it simply: NICE AND LOVELY!
Salzburg is full of history and rich in tradition, both of which have greatly helped to form the city’s appearance, but this is also a corset in which it is hard to act, to find new possibilities and room for development.
All these aspects are united in the picture of the window.
The old, but open window, acts as a symbol of the historical heritage of the city and a chance for an open mind. The shelves in the window represent a new way of using old spaces and of enlarging old structures, which at the same time creates a barrier to an unhindered view.

Elisabeth Hillinger: Open

Günter Konrad | Painter
Photo title: Salzburg / Innerer Stein

Covert and discovered history 172 is one picture in my current work series.
In it, I merge digitalized, famous single works of art history (Innerer Stein by Friedrich Loos, 1838) with my own paintings and photographs of decollages, tags, and urban fragments that I have collected over the past twenty years. I paint using existing pictures and aim to establish a link between the past and the present. So, on the one hand you have the art-historical artifacts of high culture from past eras and on the other hand, the codes, the inscriptions of the current visual grammar. My aim is to combine these two approaches to art in my work and so create something utterly new. The Innere Stein is my favorite view of Salzburg. It is the B-Side but the sunny side of the old town and I like this picture because no cars can be seen.

Günter Konrad: Salzburg / Innerer Stein

Manuela Seethaler | Photographer, Cultural Manager
Photo title: Hidden

 For more than five years I have dedicated myself to photography. As a photographer, I frequently discover new and different perspectives of Salzburg that go beyond the usual postcard motifs. My photo Hidden, which shows (or rather does not show) the Salzburg fortress covered with fog, was taken as part of a special series emphasizing the surreal. The photo indirectly asks: “What would Salzburg be without its fortress?” In my view, the answer to this question is clear: Behind Salzburg’s façade of high culture and history lies a lot more than a beautiful and perfect cityscape. My motif points to spaces and locations for art and culture in Salzburg that are not visible at first glance, but are nonetheless omnipresent. Whether these spaces and locations are ’seen‘ or not depends on the eye of the beholder.

Manuela Seethaler: Hidden

Manuela Seethaler: Hidden

Nico Samitz | Trumpet player, composer
Picture title: Hans Gansch Farewell Fanfare

I had the pleasure of studying with  Hans Gansch, an Austrian trumpet legend, at the Mozarteum Salzburg for two years (until his retirement). When he decided to retire, our trumpet class was very sad. Everyone loved him, not only because he was one of the greatest players, but also one of the nicest and fairest teachers. He transmitted his knowledge of trumpet playing, and also his natural and honest attitude toward life. We wanted to give him a very special farewell gift. I collected different melodies he had played and taught during his career and combined them in a medley for brass players. When Hans Gansch entered the Mozarteum for the last time as a teacher, we surprised him by playing the Hans Gansch Farewell Fanfare. This moment will remain in our hearts forever.



Florian Kecht | kecht3i (Musician)
Photo title: Out of place

Society is becoming more and more connected every day — at least in a technical way. But because of this, we seem to talk less to each other and spend more time alone. As a matter of fact, loneliness is — in my opinion — one of the most relevant topics for discussion, even though it is more repressed then expressed as we reduce ourselves more and more to social profiles. From outside I see Salzburg as one of the most beautiful cities in the world — and it probably is. But in addition I unfortunately also feel a lack of honesty and realness. The artwork symbolizes the desire for friendship and closeness in real-(Salzburg-)life. As an artist living in Salzburg this is  one of the issues I’m dealing with in my music — expressed in various styles and genres (as stories and emotions are naturally always different).

Florian Kecht: Out of place

Florian Kecht: Out of place


disposed | Artist collective
Photo title: [♥] needs no ‰

It seems that Salzburg’s main focus is to provide attractive sites for tourists. While the nightlife is mostly overshadowed by stereotypes, there’s a lack of spaces for the local underground—for people who are trying to enliven their environment and make it more authentic by shaping it themselves. The vision of disposed is to use abandoned places as a starting point for creating something new and for establishing a playground and network for people to share thoughts and ideas.

Our community was founded in 2014, and the establishment of our first free space, kvartier, followed in late 2015 — a revitalization of a building on the grounds of the old Rauchmühle in Lehen. In just one -year, a great number of events, workshops, and exhibitions have taken place there, and lots of ) people have been provided with a space to present their art.

The focus is always on what is between the brackets: find your strengths, release yourself, and get together. Do what you want! As long as you fill in the blanks and it’s all about the [♥] and not the ‰!

disposed: [♥] needs no ‰

More about the project:

Carina Samitz, Manuela Seethaler, Katharina Steinhauser, Julija Krištof ( 2017): PostcARTs from Salzburg. A project developed in the seminar ‚Speaking and Writing about Art in English’. In: p/art/icipate – Kultur aktiv gestalten # 08 ,