Ever since 2004, Josef Trattner has been traveling European countries like Romanian, Bulgaria, Poland, and Turkey with his pink foam sofa. The sofa provides a platform, a meeting place where the artist engages different guests he invites from the cultural scene in conversations about life, community, and culture. Trattner might indeed be called a nomadic “sofist.”

In the 5th century, the term “sophist” referred to itinerant teachers who instructed their pupils in a humanistic way on rhetoric, philosophy and ethics. That is the spirit in which Josef Trattner took his sofa journey along the Danube River all the way downstream from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. His Danubian Sofa Project is presented, with film and photo documentation, in the Land Art exhibition shown from summer 2019 at the Kunsthalle Krems (July 14–Nov. 3, 2019), with accompanying sofa events held in the Danubian region in and around Krems.

Already from May 26, 2019, Josef Trattner will take his art to the Dominican Church in Krems, setting up a foam installation work with a supporting program of performance, literary and musical events with Anika Vavić, the Sofa Surfers, Harald Kimmig and others.

Josef Trattner was born in 1955 in Semriach, Styria. He lives and works in Vienna and in Radlbrunn, Lower Austria. He has been working with foam as an art material ever since the early 1990s, and since 2004, has been doing what he calls “Sofajourneys” that took him, on a fresh foam sofa for each trip, all over Europe. His works were shown, for example, in exhibitions at the Vienna Künstlerhaus, at the Museum of Applied Art and Contemporary Art (MAK) in Vienna, and at the Vienna Secession; he was also represented in the 2003 European Capital of Culture program in Graz, Styria.

Curator: Florian Steininger

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