What is it that we as human beings need? And is art a part of it? Within the context of her long-term project Meeting Basic Needs, Anna Paul looks at the bare necessities of people in everyday life. Her participatory sculptural situations in the public space make art accessible in a broad social environment while questioning the logic of the values that govern the art market. Whether it’s bread, nuts, fruit or water, the artist turns to food and everyday items as she enters into a direct relationship with people and their surroundings. She creates ‘situations for all’ that are not about the commodities themselves, but the social rituals associated with them, inviting people to come together and reflect.
As part of the Cℓose/d exhibition, Anna Paul reactivates an almost forgotten icon of the urban landscape, namely the 24-hour vending machine. In this instance it is filled with tubes of super glue designed by the artist herself: as part of an edition of 500, they can be purchased at any time simply by inserting a 1-euro coin. In doing so Anna Paul echoes current forms of civil disobedience as a reaction to the climate crisis and explores possible solutions. She wonders about the best way of drawing the public’s attention to the pressing issues of climate change. How can we call on society to take greater action? And how can we work together to bring about a climate-friendly transformation?
Through her intervention, the artist uses humour to create a place for exchanges and public discussion of climate change agendas while expressing solidarity with activists.
* 1987 in Carinthia, lives and works in Vienna.
Anna Paul asks about the necessary basic needs of daily life: What do people need? And is art also one of them? Her project Meeting Basic Needs produces "participatory situations" in public space, with which the artist enters into a very direct relationship with people, their products and the (built) environment. A 24/7 vending machine store reflects on reactions to climate change through civil disobedience and poses questions about options for action.