conwert places a high value on sustainable business in all of its corporate activities. Part of this sustainability plan at conwert involves a commitment to social and cultural initiatives. As a property company, conwert’s responsibility lies in creating and designing places to live and cultural spaces. One key priority here is the interim use of vacant space in properties owned by conwert for various projects related to art and culture.
conwert supports carefully selected interim-use projects and over the past years it has successively expanded cooperation in the field of social and cultural activities.
Since the start of 2017 conwert has been providing space in the first district of Vienna, Stubenbastei 12/Liebenberggasse 1, to the SPEIS association. The association regularly organises and hosts workshops and exhibitions by young artists under the name Feldversuch.
The latest project is called CrossRoads Thessaloniki: CrossRoads was a photo workshop in the Softex refugee centre in the north of Greece, in which refugees currently seeking asylum in Europe and people living in Thessaloniki participated.
The impressive results were seen for the first time in an exhibition in Vienna.
Under the screed
In October 2016 conwert supported VACAB – Vienna Art Company and Bureau – by providing the Galerie An der Hülben in Vienna’s first district. A pop-up exhibition was hosted in the gallery, allowing artists such as Daniel Ecker, Rudolf Gerngross, Andan Alijagic, Milan Mladenovic, Sanja Velickovic and Kristallo Rinaldo to present their works. The exhibition was complemented by a program involving actors from Vienna’s Burgtheater, Philip Hauß and Mavie Hörbiger, as well as the poet Konrad Prissnitz.
In September 2016 conwert concluded a cooperation agreement with the cultural association Tempora. The company provided the association with a vacant apartment awaiting renovation; the flat is in Wollzeile, in the heart of Vienna’s first district, and was used for the theatre project Kafka’s Women. Kafka’s Women was a piece of installation art in the form of an in-situ performance, based on the novel The Trial by Franz Kafka, in which artistic interventions are explored in vacant rooms.
The largest conwert interim-use project is “Das Packhaus”. The building in Marxergasse, in Vienna’s third district offers space for people from the arts and creative scene across seven storeys and 2,000 square metres. Urban developers, architects, sociologists, economists, geographers, political and sports scientists, designers, photographers, journalists, psychotherapists and students can allow their ideas and interests free reign and develop their artistic potential. The goal is to turn vacant office space into a shared resource and thereby give various cultural, social and academic projects the opportunity to benefit from synergies and complementary effects.
The Paradocks association, initiator of the “Das Packhaus” project, has realised a second project in a conwert property: the “Wandlbar”, a gastro space in Gablenzgasse, Vienna. The “Wandlbar” is Austria’s first interim-use project to involve a professional co-cooking space and provides a platform for creative chefs and start-ups. The co-cooks can use the existing infrastructure such as kitchens, storage and refrigeration facilities and register their businesses. Adjacent to the actual co-cooking space is a temporary eatery where diners can eat, savour and chat.
conwert is a patron of the University of Vienna and sponsors the Conservatoire for Poetry and Translation (VERSATORIUM) at the Institute of Comparative Studies.
The VERSATORIUM is a group of young researchers who work together in a conservatoire at the Institute of Comparative Studies, University of Vienna; they continuously explore theoretical questions related to poetry and translate poems into other languages – some of which are very rare – including Ladin, Georgian and Venetian-Friulian dialect.
conwert provides the research group with rooms and infrastructure for translating.
xperiment / friday exit
conwert and the Academy of Fine Arts concluded an agreement for the use of a ground-floor space of almost 500 m² in Döblergasse in Vienna for the “xperiment / friday exit” project. Multiple curated shows were held in the course of this exhibition project.
In 2015 conwert provided space in a vacant business property, formerly rented to a bank, in Alserbachstraße, Vienna; it was made available to the NEST agency, which used the space to host a pop-up gallery for various Austrian artists.
ice ice baby
The non-profit initiative “on site” held an exhibition in November and December 2014 with space provided by conwert. The “ice ice baby” exhibition allowed young Icelandic artists to present their works. The exhibition was also supported by the Austrian Federal Chancellery and Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary.
Other interim use projects
- Pop-up Gallery - Karl Brandstätter
In October 2012 conwert provided a space in Vienna’s inner city to artist Karl Brandstätter so that he could show his works in a Pop-up Gallery.
At the start of 2013 Betonküche, a "temporary cultural space with a special affinity for the culinary", used a vacant commercial property in Vienna owned by conwert to realise their gastronomic concept.
- Pop-up gallery – H.G. Scharf
In autumn 2014 the artist H.G. Scharf was given access to a vacant commercial property in Südstadtzentrum I (Maria Enzersdorf near Vienna) for his “Moments” exhibition.