Otto Hainzl


12.11. – 21.12.2016

The Austrian photographer Otto Hainzl pursues the questions of humanity and society. In the cycle 'corviale' shown in the Soiz gallery, he explores the concrete block in the suburbs of Rome bearing this name. A block of flats, almost one kilometre long, ten stories high and with 8,000 residents, built between 1975 and 1982. For a time, Hainzl was one of these residents.

When corviale rears up on the horizon behind fields and trees, it becomes apparent that this is a planner's idea of an exemplary project. As Hainzl nears the building its inner life can be discerned – in conflict and harmony with the power of the concrete.

One already puzzles over the hidden lives behind this facade bedecked with pots of flowers, washing lines and sunshades. The 4th floor which was once planned as a shopping promenade and meeting place, is today home to squatters. The rooms have been reconstructed by families who have organized their own building materials.

The other floors display a colourful world: Hainzl shows green balconies between steep walls, long unused electrical wiring and signs or corridors and stairs which suddenly end in a wall because someone now lives behind it. People are omnipresent in corviale but never seen in these pictures.

In this work, Otto Hainzl reveals the constructions we have created and in which we are reflected. This building which was created on a drawing board, has mutated into a constantly changing labyrinth and forces the visitor to search for new ways through it. Hainzl also guides the viewer of his photographs through a labyrinth. You see paths, interpret signs, go astray, find new routes. Finally forced to reflect on life: its history and failed visions, coexistence and individual needs.

The book 'corviale' was published in 2015 by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg (ISBN 978-3-86828-596-3).

Soiz Galerie

Eva Riesinger

Schustergasse 19
D-94032 Passau

closed since March 2020