VIENNA ART WEEK: How do you describe your art to someone who doesn’t know it yet?
Alexandra Baumgartner: I work with found source material (photographs etc.) that I adapt through minimal interventions, changes, combinations, and spatial arrangements and put it into a new context. I work with different media (collage, installation, painting). I’m especially interested in surreal, absurd, and disturbing moments that create an unsettling atmosphere.
VIENNA ART WEEK: What does a city have to offer to qualify as a place to live and work?
A good mix of established galleries and off-spaces and, above all, affordable studios.
VIENNA ART WEEK: Some artists work best in hotel rooms, others require a lot of space. What are your ideal working conditions?
I don’t need a lot of space to work (just for storage), but I need all my things around me. I need a certain infrastructure of printing studios, frame builders, etc., that’s why I like to work in the same places.
VIENNA ART WEEK: In business, networking is extremely important. How important is it – in your opinion, for an artist?
Very important, even if it is paradoxical because an important part of the artistic work is to retreat.
VIENNA ART WEEK: If you would not live in Vienna, where would you set up your tent?
I lived in Berlin for the past 10 years and still have my apartment there. Now, I have moved my focus back to Vienna.
VIENNA ART WEEK: The beginning is always difficult – like the first stroke on a white canvas. How do you start a new work?
It is best not to take long breaks, always keep going so that the beginning is not so difficult. The first works are often only to warm up, the best ones happen in-between.
VIENNA ART WEEK: How or where do you find inspiration?
In everyday life – my work mainly consists of searching and finding.
VIENNA ART WEEK: What inspires you in Vienna? Which museums, exhibition halls, galleries, etc. do you visit frequently?
I am mostly inspired by normal things or places that do not necessarily have to do with art. There are no special locations, which galleries and museums I like to visit depends on the exhibition. But I like Belvedere 21 because the architecture is inspiring.
VIENNA ART WEEK: Do you have a personal work ritual that you like to follow?
To seek retreat