Zeljka Blasic aka Gita Blak

In 2017 I was in Vienna for a few months, as part of the Q21 Museum Quartier artist-in-residence program.  During my stay, I was filming and photographing Red Vienna’s most prominent buildings.

This is a short clip from a film I shot at Karl Marx Hof, famous municipal tenement complex built between 1927 and 1930 by city planner Karl Ehn. It held 1,382 apartments designed for a population of about 5,000. At over one kilometer in length (1100m, 0.68 mile) and spanning four Straßenbahn (tram) stops, Karl Marx-Hof holds the distinction of being the longest single (contiguous) residential building in the world.

It looks like a barricade from the outside and was a battlefield during the short-lived Austrian civil war of 1934, shelled by the army, attacked by right-wing paramilitaries, defended by its inhabitants.

For both sides the building was not simply the home to thousands of working class radicals, but also symbolic of the struggle for a new Austria.  I was also interested in ceramic sculptures at the front part, so the film… that I finally get to finish this year will be told through the eyes of these four allegories (Allegory of children’s wellbeing, Allegory of the health care, Allegory of liberation and Allegory of education).

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