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The Art Confessional

A Filmproject by Robert Dornhelm

16 June 2014 to 06 July 2014
Upper BelvedereBelvedere

15 years ago at the Biennale di Venezia director Robert Dornhelm set up a confessional in the shape of a cardinal’s hat, designed by Frank Gehry. Personalities from the worlds of art, media and politics as well as visitors gave personal confessions about their relationship to and inspiration of art in its inner sanctum. The resulting movie The Venice Project set out to explore the essence of art and its status at the end of the millennium, starring Dennis Hopper, Lauren Bacall and Ed Ruscha. Dornhelm focuses on the complex structure connecting artists and art trade, promoters, critics and censors. The protagonists were put in front of a camera and were left alone with their monologues and actions. In this intimate setting, wishes, hopes and fears came to the surface. Since then, the world has changed. What didn’t change however, are the questions that are asked: „What is the status of art?“, „In which way are yesterday’s confessions perceived today?“ and „Which new insights or outlooks can be gained from today‘s art confessions?“.
The art confessional designed and built in 1999 by the US architect Frank Gehry also plays a major part in the film sequel. Robert Dornhelm transfers the restored Confessional from the Canal Grande to the Upper Belvedere and invites people to give their art confessions in the Belvedere’s Marble Hall from 16th of June to 6th of July 2014. Besides Agnes Husslein-Arco and Venice Project veteran Ed Ruscha, numerous other prominent guests like Alexander Wrabetz, Atil Kutoglu, Aki Schwarzenberg, Philipp Konzett, Gottfried Helnwein, Erwin Wurm and Hubertus Hohenlohe  are giving their personal art confession.

The essence of this happening in the Marble Hall of the Upper Belvedere will air as the documentary State of the Art on Monday, 1 st of September 2014 on Austrian public broadcasting station ORF within the program Kulturmontag at 10.30 pm.