Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences


Chairs: Romana Bund, Sigrid Thomsen (University of Vienna)

Anna Barbieri (University of Fine Arts Vienna)
Veronika Barnaš (University of Art and Design Linz)


Essay film, AT 2019, Digital, Color, 5 min, English with English Subtitles
Directed, written and filmed by Anna Barbieri

»The Windows« is part of a video sequence devoted to a shopping and community centre formerly known as »Zubra-Centre« situated in the socialist housing district Sykhiv in Lviv’s south. »Zubra-Centre« has been renamed to »Santa Barbara« by Sykhiv’s inhabitants because of its architectural reference — especially its arcs and arcades — to the opening theme of a 1980s American soap opera also called »Santa Barbara«.

The film features video footage of a market located just a few minutes away from the shopping centre taken in 2018. The market shown in the video was erected to replace an informal market once situated adjacent to the (ex-) »Zubra-Centr«, which was demolished to give space to a new tramway line connecting Sykhiv to the city center. Both markets embellished themselves with the name »Ринок Санта Барбара - Santa Barbara Market«. The former market was resettled to the western boundary of the district where it awaits new customers amid construction sites of new residential buildings.

The video links this fractured moment of waiting and longing for prosperity with a narrative based on windows as links to desired places. Deriving from the legend of the Christian martyr Saint Barbara, windows become expressions of beliefs. The look outside offers views to distant inaccessible landscapes, but it also references TV sets, which open up new or differentiated realities by broadcasting these into our immediate surroundings oscillating between dreams, fictions, realities, and symbolism.

Anna Barbieri studied Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art and at TU Wien, and is currently enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna where she completes the MA Critical Studies program. She works at the intersection between architecture, film, video and video installation, writing and performance. Recurring themes of her projects, films, and texts focus on questions of architectural representation and identity uncovering the entanglement between spatiality, politics, and gender. She received the Research Residence Grant of Lviv’s Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in 2018. She lives and works in Vienna, Austria.


Documentary, AT 2020, Color, 30 min., German with English Subtitles
Concept/Camera: Veronika Barnaš | Montage: Karin Hammer | Music: Bernhard Hammer

Two traveling showpeople families from Upper Austria, setting up and operating the temporary spectacle that is the fair. The film follows these families who have been on the road for generations, working to create a brief moment of levity and amusement for the visitors. RIDING provides insight into the mechanisms of the fairground, into those of the carousels and their mechanical aesthetics, as well as into the families of traveling showpeople and their lives in front of, and behind, the scenes. Its recurring motif is motion – of the showpeople, of their rides, and also of the visitors.

Veronika Barnaš works as an independent artist, filmmaker, and curator based in Vienna. Her artistic-scientific practice has made use of a variety of media and genres (film, mapping, theatre, exhibitions) in order to make visible spatial, historical, and biographical connections. In 2006, she finished her M.A. in space&designstrategies at the University of Art and Design Linz, where she worked as a university assistant at both the Institute of Fine Arts and Cultural Studies and at the Institute of Art and Education. Since 2018 she has been a pre-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Fine Arts and Cultural Studies. In her PhD project ›Mastering Entertainment‹, she deals with travelling showpeople and the history of amusement and technology at temporary fairs, focusing on the relation between human body and machines. Part of this is her documentary film RIDING.