Ringturm Wrapping

Future Dreaming

Daniela Kostova

Summer 2019

Ringturm

Bulgaria’s Daniela Kostova is the artist behind the wrapping of the Ringturm 2019.

2019 artistic covering of Vienna’s Ringturm reaches for the stars – opening on 26 June. 

On the picture from left artist Daniela Kostova, Alexander Schallenberg (Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, and for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media), Amelia Gesheva (Deputy Culture Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria) and Günter Geyer (Managing Board Chairman of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein). © Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein / Richard Tanzer
On the picture from left artist Daniela Kostova, Alexander Schallenberg (Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, and for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media), Amelia Gesheva (Deputy Culture Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria) and Günter Geyer (Managing Board Chairman of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein). © Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein / Richard Tanzer

The 2019 artistic wrapping of the Ringturm was officially opened on 26 June at a ceremony attended by Austrian Foreign and Culture Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Bulgaria’s Deputy Culture Minister Amelia Gesheva.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 26 June, Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, welcomed the invited guests to a special ceremony to mark the completion of this year’s artistic covering of the Ringturm. Alexander Schallenberg, Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, and for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media, and Amelia Gesheva, Deputy Culture Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, were on hand to celebrate the transformation of the Ringturm into Future Dreaming, a work by Bulgarian artist Daniela Kostova.

Culture Minister Schallenberg highlighted the international cultural contribution made by the art installation in the heart of Vienna, which has become an established tradition over the years: “For the 12th time, the artistic wrapping of the Ringturm has created a prominent symbol that reflects the broad spectrum of contemporary Austrian and international art. I’m especially pleased that a conscious decision is made time and again to give artists from Central and Eastern Europe a space in which to display their work on this striking landmark. The wrappings address topics that are significant for society and mirror current events, prompting us to reflect on them.”

Bulgaria’s Deputy Culture Minister was delighted with the selection of the artist for this year’s wrapping. “Just like the little child on the facade, who is discovering and exploring the world, we should also approach the challenges of our time with a sense of curiosity, and search tirelessly for new ways to build a better future – for us and our children,” Gesheva emphasised.

“This year, we again deliberately chose an artist from an East European country. This turns the cultural spotlight on the regions in Eastern Europe where our Group operates, shifting the focus away from our daily business of policies and premiums. Daniela Kostova is a seamless addition to the impressive list of East European artists who have been commissioned for the artistic wrapping of the Ringturm,” Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, explained.

Daniela Kostova’s artistic wrapping of the Ringturm: Future Dreaming
On the side of the Ringturm facing the Danube Canal, a toddler is looking at us with alert eyes. She is dressed in a space suit. A white dove is landing on her helmet, its wings still spread. The bird, symbolising the dream of flight, features prominently in various emblems of space missions. The toddler’s empirical world is shaped by new encounters: even before she can walk, she is dreaming of the big, wide world. Her toy, a mobile with flying celestial bodies, is depicted on the back side of the building. It indicates a change in perspective: gazing at the Earth from far away, at the fragility of our planet, the environment in which the children of the future will live. Talking about her piece Daniela Kostova commented: “In my work I have repeatedly dealt with the question of what ‘safe play’ signifies in various cultural and social contexts. The site-specific display of this particular project adds another dimension to the subject. What interests me here is the wide angle through which we can take a look at the future of our children”.

The artist
Born in Sofia in 1974, Daniela Kostova is an interdisciplinary artist. She studied at the National Academy of Art in Sofia (Bulgaria) and the Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York (USA). Kostova focuses on comparing and contrasting different cultural models, looking for the points where they overlap and the hybrid forms this gives rise to. She has displayed her work at numerous institutions using a range of exhibition formats, including at Queens Museum of Art in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia, Kunsthalle Wien in the Austrian capital, Geneva’s Centre d’art Contemporain and the Fridericianum in Kassel. Her exhibitions have been reviewed by the likes of The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Flash Art International and Art in America.

She has received a number of scholarships, including travel scholarships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), the American Foundation for Bulgaria and the European Cultural Foundation, as well as an ArtsLink Residency fellowship at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio. Kostova also has various prizes to her name, including the 2011 Unlimited award for contemporary Bulgarian art. She is co-founder of the interdisciplinary collective Bulgarian Collaborative, Director of Curatorial Projects at the Radiator Gallery, a mentor of NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Program and a board member for the CEC ArtsLink exchange programme.

Dedicated to supporting the arts in Austria and Europe
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein is committed to promoting cross-border cultural dialogue and backing social causes. Supporting a range of art projects in Austria and abroad as well as young artists is a leading priority for VIG’s main shareholder. The artistic covering of the Ringturm is a high-profile symbol of this philosophy. Several well-known Austrian artists have designed the Ringturm wrapping, including Gottfried Helnwein and Arnulf Rainer. Since 2012 artists from Eastern Europe have been invited to create images for the artistic covering.