Amanda Sperger and Robert Bettinger
Our project brings horses into the green courtyards of Vienna’s Karl Marx-Hof. In its arena-like construction and with its inward-facing balconies, the Karl Marx-Hof provides an ideal setting for an alternative encounter with horses and an audience across different age groups and cultural backgrounds.
Once ubiquitous in the daily lives of the city’s residents, horses have largely lost their relevance for the general Viennese population. Given the impressive but also overwhelming effect they have on humans, we see horses as animals with an immense potential of bringing people together. Horses draw crowds. Whether it is the Lippizaner of the Spanish Riding School, the ponies of the carousel in the Prater or the pulling mares of the Fiaker carriages, horses form an important part of Vienna’s cultural heritage. While attracting international visitors, the named institutions are first and foremost tourist magnets with little significance to most of Vienna’s residents.
In an attempt to counter this tendency, we wanted to bring the city’s horses to a local audience. In the context of the pandemic’s restricted everyday life, the visit of Karl-Marx Hof residents by horses can be seen as the materialized embodiment of Red Vienna’s progressive ideals and a subversion of certain fixed images we have of our city.
By bringing the horses to the Karl-Marx Hof in the framework of our project, not only the youngest (a kindergarden group) but all age groups and backgrounds became curious – individuals came closer to the animals, approached them with respect, pet them, stroked them lightly. These meetings with the animals were truly heartfelt and distributed smiles amongst the crowd thus lifting the minds.
Horses Avi and Duke visit the residents of the Karl-Marx Hof; Horses Kari Karuso and Chipsy visit the kindergarten of the Karl-Marx Hof
Moments in Black, Hippo Sport Wien, Wiener Wohnen
- Summer Semester 20/21
- Amanda Sperger and Robert Bettinger