Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture

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Logo Linz 2009 (English)
Logo Linz 2009
Logo on a flag at the northern end of the Nibelungen Bridge
Linz., At BOTANICA 2009 in Bad Schallerbach

Linz09 is the common usage for the project Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture . The Upper Austrian capital Linz on the Danube was in 2009 - like Vilnius in Lithuania - European Capital of Culture . On this occasion, the city of Linz organized more than 220 cultural projects, for which a budget of € 68.7 million was made available.

In Austria and Europe, Linz is among other things an important industrial city . However, the city has improved significantly in quality of life over the past few decades, has partially reduced environmental pollution and - more than other major Austrian cities - has specialized in modern art . So was u. a. At the beginning of 2009, the new Ars Electronica Center (AEC) opened on the Nibelungen Bridge, which is designed as an interactive museum of the future .

Investments and sponsoring organization

The organizational sponsor of Linz09 was Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture Organizational GmbH (short form: Linz 2009 GmbH) , which existed from 2005 to 2010 . It was a 100% subsidiary of the city of Linz and had two managing directors , Martin Heller (artistic) and Walter Putschögl (commercial). The chairman of the board of trustees was the Upper Austrian governor Josef Pühringer from the ÖVP and mayor Franz Dobusch from the SPÖ , the republic was a former Federal Minister. D. Werner Fasslabend (ÖVP).

The decisions for building projects and cultural investments on the occasion of the Capital of Culture year have been taken by the state and the city since 2006. The tasks of Linz 2009 GmbH included budget compliance, program planning and processing, coordination with the organizers and other regional authorities , the tourist infrastructure and the attempt at sustainable further development after 2010.

Contrast between industry and art

For a long time Linz was known primarily as an industrial location. In contrast, a local cultural scene has been established in the city since the 1970s, some of which also wanted to present itself nationally with Linz09. The city-owned institutions of this cultural scene are the AEC and the construction of the Lentos Museum with around 150,000 visitors annually. The buildings shape the Danube area at the Nibelungen Bridge . On the banks of the Danube also located Bruckner House (1974). In the course of these cultural impulses, the Upper Austrian provincial museums were also renewed, the provincial gallery was expanded and the Nordico city ​​museum in the nearby town hall district was redesigned in 2008.

As the cultural capital, Linz emphasized the connection between industry, culture and nature. As an industrial city with technologically and economically oriented new universities, it wants to raise culture to the same level and, in reminiscence of the reduced air pollution, enable the coexistence of production centers with an ecologically oriented quality of life. Linz has been pursuing this goal for several decades and owes numerous urban planning changes to the competition and the interaction between economy, culture and nature.

The Linz09 logo was the result of a competition held around 2006 and enabled the playful embedding of the typographic forms point and comma - representing the numbers 0 and 9 (for 2009) - in various image motifs.

Cultural program

In the program, New Art was combined with the city's history and the future, with local and European themes.


Around 205,000 visitors took part in the opening celebrations in the Donaupark from December 31, 2008 to January 4, 2009. At midnight on 31 December, the English composer was as solid music Orlando Gough commissioned Rocket Symphony premiered. It is an orchestrated choral work and was staged with 300 singers for the New Year's fireworks.

Sustainability and district culture

The concept of sustainability played an important role in the debate about the European Capital of Culture project. The sometimes fierce criticism of Linz09 was largely based on the fact that regional media as well as artists and cultural workers accused Linz09-GmbH of lacking respect for long-term, sustainable projects. In return, the Linz09 directorship and local politics emphasized that they should attach particular importance to this. a. on cooperation with Vienna (Architekturzentrum) and the state exhibitions as well as on the program, which was not only shaped by guest performances by foreign artists, but also shaped by art by Linz artists, also in exchange with international actors. The "Hörstadt" project by Peter Androsch , which was also widely recognized internationally, was named as a particularly sustainable project in 2009 . The aim of "Hörstadt" was to make the acoustic environment of a city more aware, among other things. a. with a campaign against forced sound in public spaces and in shopping centers as well as the publicly effective calm poles in the center of Linz. In the course of the project, the Linz charter was passed by the municipal council , in which the city of Linz undertakes to consider the issue of acoustics in all political decisions, especially in construction projects. The most important pillar of the project was the acoustic museum "Akustikon". Only six months after the end of the Capital of Culture year, the project was withdrawn from the political side and the "Akustikon" was dissolved.

Each month special activities were held in a cultural capital of the month .

Coming to terms with National Socialism

Installation UNTER UNS by Hito Steyerl

The past as “Hitler's favorite city”, to which Linz owes its economic strength and large-scale industry, was the subject of a special exhibition in the Linz Castle Museum from autumn 2008. Hitler planned to convert Linz into a cosmopolitan city on the Danube . Relics of these plans are the bridgehead buildings , which now house the art university (until April 2008 also the tax office), as well as the Nibelungen Bridge . In addition, the plan was made to build an art museum with important works of art from all over Europe on a special order from Linz .

The focus of the exhibition was art under National Socialism and the renovation plans for Linz. Documents, photos, old films, paintings, models and plans were shown under the theme “The Führer’s Cultural Capital - Art and National Socialism in Linz and Upper Austria”. Some visitors criticized the fact that Hitler's plans for a monumental architecture in Linz had too positive an effect on "those who were born later". The exhibition was designed by the historian Birgit Kirchmayr ; invites u to dispute a. the fact that Hitler planned to convert the castle (which is the exhibition venue) into a retirement home in the form of a German manor.

The first rooms showed the stylization of Linz as the “hometown of the Führer”, the expectations of its residents and the cultural-political and historical background. The jubilation at the Anschluss in 1938 and Hitler's glorification of Adalbert Stifter and Anton Bruckner , which continue to have a negative effect to this day, are also discussed. The Mauthausen concentration camp and Hitler's enthusiasm for a Jewish Lohengrin singer acted as a counter-topic . Even if most of the plans remained unrealized, the Nazi urban architecture can still be seen on the Nibelungen Bridge and some residential areas.

The showcase with devotional objects and a guest book with Hitler's entry had a provocative effect . His procurement campaign for the paintings in his Führer Museum was also dealt with - whether legal, Jewish expropriation or ordered art theft, there are fates behind them.


Both the artistic as well as the communicative orientation and approach of Linz09 was in part exposed to severe criticism . The approach of the Linz09 GmbH was attacked mainly by local and regional artists and cultural workers. The criticism, which was formulated primarily in the media and in some cases in an actionist way, diametrically opposed the communication of Linz09-GmbH and could be summarized in the following points:

  • the lack of involvement of local and regional artists and cultural initiatives through Linz09
  • the curation of short-term spectacular projects instead of sustainable cultural development
  • communication towards local artists and project partners that is sometimes perceived as neoliberal and lordly
Logo of the Linz09-critical project "sit out" of the Linz cultural initiative KAPU , which created a studio for Linz artists who refused to participate in the cultural capital project.

The criticism led, among other things, to the withdrawal of well-known local cultural initiatives (such as the regional Phönix Theater under Artistic Director Harald Gebhartl) from the Capital of Culture program. Linz artists founded the LinzNullNein initiative as a criticism forum , students from the Linz Art University used street art instruments to criticize, and the KAPU cultural initiative created a one-year studio program that should enable Linz artists to work outside the Capital of Culture project. Several well-known Linz art and culture professionals gave critical interviews in German-language daily and weekly newspapers, numerous Linz art and culture initiatives jointly drafted, among other things, the Linz09-critical statement “Machine is on fire”, which met with broad media coverage. Media criticism was also loud in Austrian daily newspapers. Above all, the commentators from Oberösterreichische Nachrichten and Der Standard criticized the way the artistic management of Linz09 dealt with regional artists, but ultimately gave a positive assessment of the Capital of Culture year. In addition, various art-loving media from Linz and the surrounding area wrote against Linz09; in the course of the Capital of Culture year, they also networked with the local media initiative with the aim of centralizing criticism of the course of the Capital of Culture project.

Balance sheet

Höhenrausch , one of the most spectacular and most visited projects of Linz09, as part of which art was presented to visitors above the roofs of Linz

The balance sheet is very contradictory. The city of Linz and the representatives of Linz09 speak of an extraordinary success and also refer to economic factors and the figures published by Linz09 GmbH: 3.4 million visitors to Linz09 events, 9.5 percent increase in overnight stays in the Capital of Culture year and 20,000 articles in a total of 2,600 international and national media.

A number of artists from Linz, on the other hand, admit that the Capital of Culture year has only minor positive effects and criticize the program, which is perceived as a short-term spectacle, and the dealings with local artists (see review ).

On the part of high-ranking Linz09 employees from the management team such as Peter Androsch and Uli Fuchs, criticism of Linz's local politics will also be leveled after the end of the Capital of Culture year: these have a limited and very location-related view of art and culture, a positive development of local ( Cultural) politics had failed; The free Linz scene also refuses to develop beyond the local. One year after the Capital of Culture year, the Deputy Capital of Culture director Uli Fuchs diagnosed “a relapse into provincialism” and a lack of international orientation among politicians and artists alike.

Two projects that successfully survived the Capital of Culture year are the Kepler Salon, founded as part of Linz09, and the Hörstadt.


  • Linz09: LINZ BOOK: Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture , Linz 2007
  • Linz09: PROGRAM BOOK 1/3: Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture , Linz 2007
  • Linz09: PROGRAM BOOK 2/3: Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture , Linz 2008
  • Linz09: PROGRAM BOOK 3/3: Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture , Linz 2008, ISBN 978-3-211-89215-2
  • Linz09: THE PICTURES: Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture , Linz 2009. The memory book of the year of the Capital of Culture year, ISBN 978-3-200-01678-1
  • Angelika Fitz, Martin Heller (eds.): “LINZ TEXAS. A city with relationships. ”, Vienna 2008, German: ISBN 978-3-211-78896-7 ; Engl .: ISBN 978-3-211-78894-3
  • Peter Arlt: "Linz Atlas", Vienna 2008, Springer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-211-88967-1
  • Birgit Kirchmayr (Ed.): “The Führer’s Capital of Culture. Art and National Socialism in Linz and Upper Austria ”, Weitra 2008, ISBN 978-3-85252-967-7
  • Irene Hanappi: “Linz. Five routes through the Upper Austrian capital: history, culture, sightseeing, eating and drinking ”. Falters CITYwalks Linz - Walk, See & Enjoy, Vienna 2009, ISBN 9783854394105
  • LINZ ZERO NO: Program book of rejected projects , ISBN 978-3-85499-602-6
  • Evelyne Polt-Heinzl: Only traveled through: Linz 09 minutes stay , exhibition accompanying book, Stifterhaus , Linz 2009, ISBN 978-3-900424-74-9
  • Oskar Ters (Ed.): UmLinzRum: WerkStädteSchreiben. ISBN 978-3837034424 .
  • Leonhard Dobusch, Christian Forsterleitner (Ed.): Free networks. Free knowledge: A contribution to Linz's 2009 Capital of Culture year. ISBN 978-3901761645 under Creative Commons license; Book as PDF file: free download (PDF; 6.7 MB)

Web links

Commons : Linz 2009 - European Capital of Culture  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Web 2.0 activities

Linz09 in the media:

Individual evidence

  2. Archived copy ( memento of the original dated February 23, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. of June 12, 2010: Year one after Linz09: Aus for the Akustikon , accessed on October 14, 2019
  5. “Cultural Capital of the Führer” Art and National Socialism in Linz and Upper Austria ( Memento of the original from May 10, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed on January 18, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ↑ The Führer’s Capital of Culture , exhibition text, viewed on October 15, 2010
  8. u. a .: No plateau for daring things. In: Der Standard, daily newspaper from October 22, 2007, Vienna
  9. ^ Article on the homepage of the Revolte gegen die Kulturhauptstadt-Intendanz. In: Österreichischer Rundfunk , viewed on October 15, 2010
  10. u. a .: Tina Auer and Andi Mayrhofer: About rabbits, roosters and dirty hands. In: KUPFzeitung. Newspaper of the Upper Austrian Culture Platform, issue 120/07, Linz
  11. u. a .: Andreas Wahl: Brave in the new times. In: Versorgerin - Linzer Kunstzeitung, 80/2008, Linz
  12. Phoenix does not play along. In: Der Standard, daily newspaper from February 26, 2008, Vienna
  13. Phoenix does not play along. In: The Standard. Daily newspaper from February 26, 2008, Vienna
  14. Linz0no. In: spotsz - Art-Culture.Scene.Linz. Edition 01/2009, Linz
  15. An interview with linznullnein. In: Versorgerin - Linzer Kunstzeitung, issue # 76, December 2007
  16. Photos and a. shown in the Bassena weblog ( memento of the original from March 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed October 14, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. "KI-Portrait: KAPU Project Sitting Out" - radio broadcast from Radio KUPF, broadcast on January 20, 2010 on Radio FRO , Linz
  18. u. a .: Where's the fire? In: The Standard. Daily newspaper from July 7th, 2008, Vienna
  19. u. a. in "machine burns". In: KAPUzine. Journal of the KAPU cultural association. Edition 03/2008, Linz
  20. In: Free press archive of the KAPU cultural initiative, posting on December 18, 2008, Linz, viewed on October 14, 2010
  21. [1] , Linz09 - Official balance sheet, viewed on December 13, 2010
  22. [2] One year after Linz09: "Culture is now taking a break" - In: Der Standard, Wiener Tageszeitung from December 14, 2010
  23. ^ Website of the Hörstadt ; accessed on October 14, 2019