The KUNSTMOSCHEE is an interactive installation located on the external grounds of the Secession from July 20th through September 30th, 2007. Thematically, it concerns the interrelationships between architecture, territorial and visual manifestations of religion, identity politics and cultural patterns of Western Europe today. KUNSTMOSCHEE is a hybrid of the sacred and the secular space that brings the aesthetic, artistic, socially constructive and educational aspects of the mosque to the fore in order to instigate a constructive intercultural dialogue. The artistic context provides a possibility negotiating and reinterpreting the traditional forms and functions of the mosque in a contemporary context.
This architectonic rug-landscape consists of 120 individual modules that together create an ornamental pattern. While the rugs can be used for daily prayer, they also provide an opportunity for relaxing or seating during the larger scheduled events. KUNSTMOSCHEE becomes thus a space for gathering and communication between visitors with different cultural needs. KUNSTMOSCHEE-events include lectures, discussions, a carpet-weaving workshop, and screenings of contemporary Iranian films. This accompanying program aims to question the distorted and politicized representations of Islam in Europe and place the focus on the beauty and diversity of Islamic cultures.
While the program of the KUNSTMOSCHEE asks for a mutual enrichment of Islamic and non-Islamic cultures in Europe, the colorful rugs provide for this a shared territory. They were created by supervised groups of over forty Viennese from various age groups who were invited to participate in carpet-weaving workshops on the basis of their professional, religious, or cultural backgrounds as well as personal interests. The individual rugs will be distributed among their weavers and the program-participants at the closing ceremony to the exhibition. In this way KUNSTMOSCHEE has not only been created through a community effort, but it will also become the collective property of the Viennese.
Azra Akšamija, Kunstmoschee [Art-Mosque], 2007
Open space installation involving ski-polls and outdoor carpets in wood
Place: Vienna, Austria. Produced within an exhibition of individual outdoor projects in Secession, Vienna / / July 15 – October 06, 2007 / Curated by Barbara Holub and Anna Mayer. Architecture, Realization, and Conceptual Collaboration. Adelheid Pretterhofer/ Arquitectos, Vienna. Project Supervisor, Coordinator, and Conceptual Collaborator: Christina Nägele / Secession, Vienna. Thanks to: Participants of the KUNSTMOSCHEE program and carpet weavers; Family Aksamija, Omar Al-Rawi, Saeed Arida, Amina Baghajati, Patrick Baumueller and Severin Hofmann, Khadija Z. Carroll, Vivien Chapeau, [ dy:na’mo ], Wolfgang Haas, Mouhanad Khorchide, Daniela Kobel, Susan Kraupp, Anneka Lenssen, MA42, Sudabeh Mortezai, Nasser Rabbat, Christian Rathner, Irvin C. Schick, Susanne Schindler, Doris Schmid, Dieter Spath, Deniz Turker, project sponsors, and above all the team and the managing board of the Secession. Sponsors: Project produced by Secession, Vienna and with a partial support by the Council for the Arts at MIT. Material sponsoring by Kodak Austria.