The development of Austria’s avant-gardes after the end of World War II was influenced to a significant extent by the different cultural policies of the Allies. The whole field has been at the centre of specialized studies for several years now. What this research, despite its intensity, has lacked to date is coordination between individual projects and publications and an overarching framework.
For the group viennAvant, which has set out to fill this gap, it became obvious before long that its original research remit “Wiener Avantgarden nach 1945” [Viennese avant-gardes after 1945], which was to focus also on the cultural policies of the four occupying powers, would have to be widened to include the movements of post-war avant-gardes in Austria’s provinces and that a contextualisation of these movements would have to be provided.
First results include a lively exchange with the Forschungsinstitut Brenner-Archiv at the University of Innsbruck, where three of Prof. Johann Holzner’s collaborators, Christine Riccabona, Verena Zankl and Ingrid Fürhapter, have done research work on the French Cultural Institute in Innsbruck and its activities and on the Innsbrucker Jugendkulturwochen [Innsbruck Weeks of Youth Culture]. Their findings have been laid down in several publications.
Contacts have also been established with university departments in Salzburg and Graz. A major research project on the pattern of the 2008 NIKE expression of interest, which was to have been submitted jointly with Prof. Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler and remained unrealised, is still a desideratum.