In Leo? Escapist Sites in Reality and Imagination
In Viennese dialect, Leo refers to the safe space in a children’s game of tag, where one cannot be caught and cannot be held accountable. But beyond children hiding in laundry baskets, Leos crop up as escapist sites in countless other forms: secret lovers seeking privacy in motels, people immersing themselves in the darknet, still others losing themselves in contemplation, staring off into space (the so-called Narrenkastl). This Leo research works both artistically and experimentally by creating places of escape and analyzing the relationship between Leos and society, politics, dignity, interior, and comfort. The questions raised in this context are numerous: How does society change when Leos (semi-permeable sites, half-worlds, and caves, e.g.) disappear from the public sphere? What kinds of exchanges between hiding and exposing do Leos generate? Is there a class-specific distinction between upper and lower Leos? Do all people have a right to a Leo?
Barbara Ungepflegt is a certified kindergarten teacher, who studied theatre studies, art history, and pedagogy in Vienna and Pisa. Her performances, installations, and lectures have been presented in Austria and abroad since 2010. Since 2017, she has headed the program for applied dramaturgy at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2018 she began as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Art and Design Linz (Advisor: Robert Pfaller). Ungepflegt publishes the art magazine IMMERHIN / AFTER ALL and received the Dissident Goddesses Temple Prize for her office installation Büro Zimmer Frei. Ferdinand Schmalz wrote, “For her, art is not something that creates an illusory alternative world, but rather something even more real than reality. [...] The space in which Barbara Ungepflegt operates is a public one. Her most important tool is herself or, more precisely, the artificial figure she has created.” (Theater heute Yearbook 2019). www.barbara-ungepflegt.com
Publikationen und Projekte (u. a.): Bundesministerium für Heimatschmutz und internationale Affären, performative Installation im öffentlichen Raum, Wien 2019; 2017–2020: airpnp – air pause and peep, performative Installation Wien, Kooperation brut Wien, Festival Stuttgart 2020; BÜRO ZIMMER FREI,Installation, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien 2016.