public art

a festival behind the glass

Mohamed Allam, Sanae Arraqas, Joerg Auzinger, Oscar Cueto, Petra Gell, Lisa Großkopf, Soukaina Joual, Margareta Klose, Nourhan Maayouf, Yoshinori Niwa, Manuela Picallo Gil, Elma Riza, Kosta Tonev, Bassem Yousri

05/05/2020 – 19/08/2020


curated by Christine Bruckbauer 

& Aline Lenzhofer

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 2-9 pm
performances will be announced separately
Venue: philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna

© philomena+

Due to the current situation, in which many artistic productions have been put on hold as if they were preserved in jars, the artists have presented a series of ideas to bring art closer to the passers-by. In the coming weeks, the philomena+ showcase will be converted into a performance space, installation and video screen. The projects range from a collaborative video on the effects of the Corona crisis on the work of female artists to a pantomime performance lasting several hours and an in-situ installation in the vitrine. These artistic proposals offer a preview of the upcoming philomena+ events.

05/05 – 13/05  Elma Riza and Petra Gell
14/05 – 20/05  Nourhan Maayouf and Margareta Klose
21/05 – 27/05   Yoshinori Niwa and Kosta Tonev 
28/05 – 03/06  Joerg Auzinger and Mohamed Allam
04/06 – 10/06  Lisa Großkopf and Soukaina Joual
11/06 – 16/06     Oscar Cueto and Bassem Yousri
13/08 – 19/08   Sanae Arraqas and Manuela Picallo Gil 

#7 Fit’ri:na


#7 Fit’ri:na فترينة Sanae Arraqas & Manuela Picallo Gil © the artists and philomena+
13/08 – 19/08/2020

Installation and Slide Show

curated by Christine Bruckbauer and Aline Lenzhofer

philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


The last episode of the Fit’ri:na فترينة festival offers an insight into the development process of the residency and exhibition project MIND THE GAP (20/08 – 12/09/2020) by the artists Sanae Arraqas and Manuela Picallo Gil, which was originally planned for March 2020. Now, there is a new opening date at the end of August with a revised concept that incorporates personal experiences of the artists made in Abidjan, Marrakesh and Vienna during the past months.

For Fit’ri:na فترينة Sanae Arraqas and Manuela Picallo Gil will present drafts, aquarelle drawings, objects and photos that were created between March and June 2020 in the window and herewith will provide passers-by with a taste of the upcoming exhibition.

#6 Fit’ri:na


#6 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Bassem Yousri, "All the Important Issues", video still, video 16′. Oscar Cueto, "Coffee House Cairo", drawing, 2020 © the artists and philomena+
11/06 – 16/06

drawings, installation model and video work

curated by Christine Bruckbauer and Aline Lenzhofer

Mo – Su 2–9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


“All the Important Issues” is a series of idiotic lectures. The video features the artist Bassem Yousri performing a manic character called Mr. Mokhtar. He is a self-proclaimed activist who has an urgent need to get his messages across to an audience of his own imagination. Mr. Mokhtar is an alter ego of the artist, emanating from the will to change the status quo.

For his research on artistic resistance Oscar Cueto went to Cairo in February 2020 where he met Bassem Yousri for the first time. Taking up the aspect of the traditional Coffeehouse as a living room and meeting place for artists, civilians, public servants, pacifists and believers, Oscar Cueto aims to open up a space for free expression. Still in Cairo, he inaugurated his installation “Coffee House”. Now, a Viennese branch will open soon. philomena+ showcases drawings and the model of the installation “Coffee House Cairo” at Outside 12-14.

#5 Fit’ri:na


#5 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Soukaina Joual, “How to Remove Writings From Bills Using Naïl Polish Remover”, 2019, video still © Soukaina Joual
04/06 – 10/06/2020

oil paintings and video works

curated by Christine Bruckbauer and Aline Lenzhofer

Mo – Sa 2–9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


With my very best regards, For the eternal memory, Congratulations, I Love You!

You may find this or similar phrases on many Egyptian banknotes as engraved memories of significance, in order to express birthday wishes, write a romantic memory for a lover.

During the political repression in Egypt it became a way to manifest resilience and solidarity. When in March 2019 the Egyptian Central Bank banned the circulation of banknotes that carry any kind of text on it, the population tried to find solutions to get rid of these inscriptions.

March 2019 was also the time that Soukaina Joual (*1990 in Fez) went for a residency to Egypt. In her video piece HOW TO REMOVE WRITINGS FROM BILLS USING NAIL POLISH REMOVER she refers to the process of removing writings from Egyptian pounds. Through the repetitive act of cleaning the bills, each one gets slowly damaged and loses its function and value. During her performance written traces of human interactions simply disappear.

In Lisa Großkopf’s (* 1989 in Vienna) work WHAT IS LEFT not only the traces of human interactions disappear but the human body itself. By using the paintings of Yôḥānān Sîmôn, Lisa Großkopf deals with the utopian idea of “Kibbutz”. In bucolic landscape pictures, Sîmôn once portrayed the life in kibbutzim as carefree and unencumbered. However, a number of indicators imply that his paintings rather express Zionist visions of the yet to be founded State of Israel than realistically depicting the harsh everyday realities of the time.

Großkopf digitally removes all the figures – kibbutz inhabitants* at work in the fields or at the picnic on Shabbat – from the paintings and later to have the desolate landscapes reproduced in oil by Chinese painters, questions the narrative of the earthly paradise “kibbutz” with regard to its validity today. Zionism’s flagship project, which for numerous reasons has repeatedly been declared dead, thus becomes a projection screen for visions of the future.

#4 Fit’ri:na


#4 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Joerg Auzinger, “Paradise Placement”, video still, interactive video installation. Mohamed Allam, “Two Windows”, 2014, video still © the artists and philomena+
28/05 – 03/06/2020

interactive video installation 

curated by Christine Bruckbauer & Aline Lenzhofer

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 2-9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


The interactive video installation “Paradise Placement” by Joerg Auzinger plays with the perception and self-perception of the viewer. In this video installation, the questions of reality, of existence and appearance lead to a reduction of the real to a reflection on the surface. “Paradise Placement” asks about the position of the individual in a fleeting, medialized world of staging. Who is outside, who is inside? Is there an outside and an inside at all in the post-digital age, and if so, is this relevant? How permeable are borders and transitions? And does the greenhouse really protect us? Not only from the rain…

The protagonists in the video “Two Windows” by Mohamed Allam have taken a comfortable seat in a paradisiacal garden. Surprisingly, they are wearing gas masks. What are they afraid of? The soundtrack of the video was extracted from an Egyptian radio broadcast of Arthur Miller’s play “The Price”, which takes place in a house on the verge of demolition. The text provokes the idea of death, tragedy, ruins and post-apocalypse. Mohamed Allam produced the video in 2014, at a time of renewed political upheavals in Egypt.

#3 Fit’ri:na


#3 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Yoshinori Niwa, “Resending Postcards Sent Off During the Cold War to the Mail Recipient” 2017, video still. Kosta Tonev, “Ruin Is the Destination Toward Which All Men Rush”, video still, 2019 © the artists and philomena+
21/05 – 27/05/2020

videos, in-situ installation and performance

curated by Christine Bruckbauer & Aline Lenzhofer

Mon – Sat 2-7 pm: Yoshinori Niwa
Mon – Sat 7-10 pm: Kosta Tonev
Wednesday, 27/05/2020 8-10 pm: Performance “Mime the Gap” by Kosta Tonev
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


Both artworks deal with history and its reactivation through different forms of action. While Kosta Tonev uses pantomimic gestures, Yoshinori Niwa resends postcards found at a flea market.

Yoshinori Niwa reconstructs the difficulties of communication during the Cold War by forwarding old postcards from that time. In the video documentary “Resending Postcards Sent Off During the Cold War to the Mail Recipient” (2017), the artist can be seen at a flea market in Vienna collecting cards from the Cold War period and resending them from a post office to the recipients noted on the cards. Most of the postcards are lost due to a change of address or the death of the recipient – an occurrence that reminds one of the Cold War period and the former border.

In his work Kosta Tonev refers to the privatization of state-owned property in Bulgaria in the 1990s, the period that followed the Cold War. In his video work “Ruin is the Destination toward which all men rush”, four mimes reconstruct the missing shops based on the outlines of their foundations. They bring them back to life by reenacting the rituals of market exchange that were once part of the everyday life of the place. These small kiosks were created in the context of the large-scale privatization of state property. Today, most of these structures have been demolished as a result of subsequent ownership transfers.


During the day the screening of Yoshinori Niwa’s video takes place and from 7pm Kosta Tonev’s work is projected in the showcase. On the last evening of the presentation, a pantomime performance by Kosta Tonev will take place in the showcase from 8-10pm to accompany his video work.

#2 Fit’ri:na


#2 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Nourhan Maayouf, "Wanna Squeeze?", interactive video performance, video still © Nouhan Maayouf and philomena+
14/05 – 20/05/2020

in-situ installation and documented online performance

curated by Christine Bruckbauer & Aline Lenzhofer

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 2-9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna

Nourhan Maayouf squeezes the juice of lemons with accomplices of the art world. Margareta Klose, wearing masks, turns around her own axis together with other performers. Both actions were conceived as interactive online performances and now they leave the virtual space to be presented in the philomena+ showcase at the Fit’ri:na فترينة festival.

When in March 2020 many countries impose lockdown measures, Nourhan Maayouf invited young, emerging artists to meet her in virtual space. In an interactive online performance, they squeezed the juice of lemons together and exchanged views on their pastimes during the quarantine, the future of the art world and their current situation as artists. The video work “Wanna squeeze? (2020) emerged from these virtual encounters.

Margareta Klose’s artistic practice is always about preserving and conserving. As a reaction to the continuous motif of lemons in Nourhan Maayouf’s work, she produced homemade citrus cleaner, which is filled in Weck jars. This is exhibited in the form of an installative presentation together with a video documentation of her collaborative online performance “#selfcompetenceselfie” (2020), in which all participants cover their faces with masks beyond recognition.

Although the two artists were only able to exchange information via video calls for the time being, a first collaboration was nevertheless initiated. This is to be extended in the coming year, as long as travelling is allowed again. For 2021 a residency of Nourhan Maayouf at philomena+, a collaborative exhibition project as well as a workshop with a lot of “social proximity” is planned.

#1 Fit’ri:na


#1 Fit’ri:na فترينة, Elma Riza, video still, video performance “Quarantine 2020” © Elma Riza und philomena+
05/05 – 13/05/2020

in-situ installation and video work

curated by Christine Bruckbauer & Aline Lenzhofer

Opening hours: Mon – Sat 2-9 pm
philomena+ showcase, Heinestraße 40, 1020 Vienna


The exhibition project in the showcase tests the artistic approach of two artists unfamiliar with each other: Elma Riza & Petra Gell. At first, they will approach each other from a distance, without physical proximity. But as soon as the national borders are opened, Elma Riza will start her philomena+ Residency in Vienna and personal contact will become possible again.

What both artists have in common is their desire to make the different layers of a place visible through artistic interaction, to expose historical events, but also to create new spaces that do not necessarily have a function, free and open spaces for encounters and experiments with visitors and curious passers-by.

By means of Performance and Instant Composition, the Franco-Tunisian artist Elma Riza explores the relationship between body and space, focusing in particular on the tension between the visible and the invisible, the real and the imaginary. Like Elma Riza, the Viennese artist Petra Gell also creates spatial guidelines. In Elma Riza’s work it is often the movement of her own performing body that she marks with wool thread or tape. Petra Gell, on the other hand, draws lines that define relations between things and new spaces, using pencil, brush, monochrome and painted surfaces, as well as found materials. An eminent oscillation between two- and three-dimensionality lies in the resulting interventions, which in turn creates spatial illusion.

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