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THE SHAPE OF THE CAFÉ TO COME

Installation, 2009

Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna

The traditional Viennese coffee house offers space, both private, as an extension of our living  room or office, and public, as a waiting room. Its relationship with time is also curious, since the duration of a visit is not necessarily linked to consumption. Time seems to pass differently in a coffee house.

POLKA developed three related projects at the invitation of architect Gregor Eichinger for the group exhibition ‚The Shape of the Café to Come’, presented at Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna. The ‚Raumstühle’ (‚Space Chairs’) are experimental reinterpretations of the most famous coffee house chair of all, the Thonet Nr. 14.The wood is extended, bent and folded, defining a certain private personal space even while remaining public. The ‚Zeitzucker’ (‚Time Sugar’) dispenser illustrates the passing of time. With just a few crystals passing at a time through its narrow opening into the coffee cup, we are reminded of the preciousness of this resource in former times. The ‚Zeitansage’ (‚Time Announcement’) is a clock that provides only a very approximate indication of what time it actually is, just as a Viennese waiter would ever so vaguely reply if you would ask him.