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The idea of being requested to voluntarily do something unrequested, as transparadiso’s title "Request for the unrequested voluntary inter-linguisticality" for their design for a public square in Pottenhofen suggests, seems contradictory at first. The artistic work of the artist group, which was founded by Barbara Holub and Peter Rajakovics, often revolves around the idea of sounding out interferences (architectural as well as social) and identifying the ways of taking action that develop as a result.

This was also the case in Pottenhofen, which is a small village located in the northern Weinviertel region of Austria, near the Czech border. A very busy country road runs through the middle of town, acting as a kind of structural divide. When the town decided to transform the former elementary school into a community center, complete with a grocery store and a youth club, the town soon had a second idea to commission artists to design the divided area in the town and give it the quality of a village square. The selection committee then directly handed the commission to transparadiso.

Their solution, "Request for the unrequested voluntary inter-linguisticality," consists of several parts and is intended as a work in process. In addition to setting the speed limit at 30 km/h and laying a road marking that runs across the street and creates a sense of cohesion, a shade-providing tree was also planted, and a typical Czech street lamp was installed. The heart of the project is a circular seating arrangement that stands for transnationality and acts as a monument against recurring populist demands for reinforcing borders. Most importantly, this metal seat & table sculpture symbolizes the potential of working together as a community. The rotating sun roof is also decorated with new German and Czech words that resulted from a cross-cultural game of Scrabble with the inhabitants of the neighboring village of Brezi in the Czech Republic.
(Maren Richter)

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