PRINT April 2000


the Austrian Boycott Debate

THE VIENNA SECESSION has put its distinctive facade—one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the city—at the disposal of artists like Franz West and Renée Green for work critical of the new Austrian government, a coalition formed by the conservative People’s Party (known by its German initials ÖVP)—the hitherto dominant Social Democrats’ long-time partner in the Austrian government—and the openly racist, far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). Encouraged in part by the harsh international reaction to this dismaying coalition, almost every noteworthy Austrian intellectual, artist, filmmaker, writer, actor, and critic has signed one of the numerous petitions against it and personally distanced him- or herself from the new government. Artists have also played an instrumental role in the almost daily demonstrations, which reached their climax when 250,000 Austrians took to the streets of

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