Art in Vienna:


at Sanatorium Sonnenland at WienWoche 2017
September 25, 2017


On a sunny September afternoon, I met Bastian Petz and Johannes Lernpeiss in Simmering Sonnenland to talk about their project at the WienWoche. Sonnenland is a 5000 m2 green areal sandwiched between Ostblock like blocks of flats and the train tracks. Once you enter you instantly forget where you came from. It used to be recreational areal offering activities for kids. Due to lack of funding and interest, the place was closed until last year a group of artists set on reviving it. 

Ewa Stern: What is Sonnenland for you? How did you get here? And what is your vision for the place?

Johannes Lernpeiss:
I met Bastian and Sonnenland at the same time. Since then I couldn’t let go of either of them. For me Sonnenland, as it was abandoned for such a long period of time and nature took over, seems kind of a diamond, by working on it, it gets shinier every day. But as you know diamonds are among the hardest materials that exist so it takes some extra effort that you have to put in….

Bastian Petz: The artist YKMANN aka Yvonne Kaufmann invited me to Sonnenland to think about the Space and Projects that could be realized there. In the beginning, we were a loose group of people and we started to go on a journey of difficult group dynamics. I have a love & hate relationship with groups. Group dynamics are fascinating to me, and they show a lot of visions and capabilities of society, they also lead to unconscious patterns of behavior and it needs a lot of time and passion to walk through them as a group. As an artist, I want to realize installations and performances, so my goal is to work with a group that can focus on that. Unfortunately, that seems to be impossible for the current "Sonnenland-Group“ as a future vision. With Johannes together we managed to realize amazing Art & community project like queer*utopia, paradiso per:tutto and a fantastic cooperation with Impulstanz Festival. So, my vision would have been to establish a functional workspace for artists, with studios and a rehearsal room for performance & dance in combination with events, and a sculpture garden. We also have established a good relationship with the landlords of Sonnenland: Kinderfreunde Simmering, with them together we wanted to form artistic Workshops for kids and workshops for nature awareness because Sonnenland seems to be a perfect spot for this.

ES: How would you describe what you do artistically and what is your artistic aim? 

JL: Creating spaces and stimulating them with a union of art and cooking is one important part of my artistic creations. Cooking and eating become a socio-artistic practice in my interactive installations. 

BP: My artistic aim is to create artistic spaces where the audience experience themselves, get stimulated within. I have a deep passion for “camp-art“, i love to overdose rooms with costumes & decoration. I find the thin path between Deco-Kitsch, Set-Design, and art fascinating. I want to bring people in a different state of mind. I want that they do not watch from a distance, I want that they are completely surrounded by art, that they can only escape by traveling inside. On the other hand, artistic research is a strong part in all of my projects. The knowledge I collect during the creation of art is essential to me. Working together with universities and students is amazing, to reflect together, to include them plays a big part in the projects of the SelfSightSeeing Company in the last years. Since I met Johannes we exploded together in love and passion to create projects, it's much more fun to have a partner day and night with whom you share art&life, cause in the past with me being completely absorbed by my art, relationships seemed to be impossible.

Bastian and Johannes. Sanatorium Sonnenland WienWoche 2017

On the last day of September Bastian and Johannes open the gates to this paradise as part the WienWoche program. This year the festival under the theme Dolce Far Niente ( the sweetness of doing nothing) demands to revolutionize both work and time instead of fetishizing work. In response the performance Sanatorium Sonnenland explores and processes offers of the leisure and wellness industry. "The concept of wellness is a construct of ‘well-being, fitness, happiness’. As a doctrine of salvation, it promises exactly what the working population seems to need as a contrast to their dreary workday. On the leisure market, one finds expensive, rigidly hygienic temples of consumption, labeled as ‘wellness oases’, ‘day spas’, or gyms. Relaxation is incorporated into the capitalist structures and becomes a marketing product.”

If you want to participate in this exciting performance BOOK YOUR SPOT NOW

Here is what you can expect. To start of the spa-tram, with a performative accompaniment directed by Barbis Ruder, will take you from Urban-Loritz-Platz directly to Sonnenland location in the 11th district. 

Spa Tram. Sanatorium Sonnenland WienWoche 2017

A stay at SANATORIUM SONNENLAND will offer its visitors treatments for assisted self-awareness. In interactive installations, performers will engage the audience in “the strenuous search” for well-being, relaxation, and happiness. There are 7 treatments offered at the Sanatorium Sonnenland. Starting with Anamneticum, just after you enter the aerial you will go through a short anamnesis to get the personal description for your spa treatments (performance by: Gibst Loibl, Alice Felch, Bastian Petz, Johannes Lernpeiss).

Once you have been received your spa treatment invitation you will proceed to treatment area Animarium, where along with everyone else you will be seated in front of the main stage to be part of the “Power-Relax Therapy-Show – Relax until you collapse.” Masha Dabelka will create a soundscape for those of the stressed urban folk who eagerly crave the refuge for their restless souls and hunt the holy grail of work-life-balance (performance by Masha Dabelka feat. Joan)

Afterwards, you will proceed to participate in your special spa treatments. There are, depending on your destiny:

Proelium, the LATE-NIGHT-GROUP-SKYPE-THERAPY (incl. Psycho-Alphawaves) with Schudini The Sensitive. Feelings guaranteed! 

Late night Group therapy poster. Sanatorium Sonnenland WienWoche 2017

Tropikarium, where personal trainers, Bastian Petz and Johannes Lernpeiss, offer the new revolutionized training methods: “Southern Hopping™” and “Brushercise”. 

Paradisum, where a laugh-therapist Walli and smile coach Willi offer a crash course in the internationally successful seven-step-program “With Happiness To Success”

Force of Smile. Sanatorium Sonnenland WienWoche 2017

Transkarium, where "through entities strains of identities shall be investigated, blown up and given space." (Installation & performance by YKMANN aka Yvonne Kaufmann)

You will also be treated to amazing food in the treatment area Alimonium. Felix Vidensky brings out psychoactive substances in the ordinary food with his Opium im Volk Küche (opium for the masses Cuisine) 

Opium für Volk Küche. Sanatorium Sonnenland WienWoche 2017

If you are thirsty then don't hesitate to search for Herbarium, a black wooden hut serves herbal teas (from the Sonnenland garden) and delicious self-made liqueurs. 

In the evening there will be a wellness concert curated by Natascha Muhič as well as performative interventions by artists YKMANN and sali. 

Don’t forget to register for the day of activities at Sonnenland, as the places are limited. The evening program is open to everyone and FREE of charge.



Sonnenland Erholungsstätte
Werkstättenweg 75
Vienna 1110