Take 2

Huggy Bears at KOBO Art Space Zürich

The Huggy Bears were invited to perform at TAKE II Festival at KOBO Art Space in Zurich. On Saturday, 9.12 Gudrun Schmidinger, Jannis Neumann, Ariadne Randall and The Needles showed excerpts from ther recently premiered shows. This was a wonderful opportunity for the artists to transform and rework their individual performances into one fluid piece. More so, the unique space of the off-space - which is not a theater but a gallery - gave them new opportunities to think and perform their work differently. And so they did!

The bears had a wonderful evening with a great audience and enjoyed getting to know other art makers and producers in Zurich. Foremost of course the KOBO Art space Team themselves. The festival was curated by Viviane Mathis and Gaël Sapin. We owe them a big thank you for such a great time!

The guest performance was made possible through a Reise- and Tourneekostenzuschuss from BMKÖS.

Huggy Bears go TAKE II at KOBO Art Space Zurich

The Huggy Bears were invited to perform at TAKE II Festival at KOBO Art Space in Zurich. On Saturday, 9.12 Gudrun Schmidinger, Jannis Neumann, Ariadne Randall and The Needles showed excerpts from ther recently premiered shows. This was a wonderful opportunity for the artists to transform and rework their individual performances into one fluid piece. More so, the unique space of the off-space gave them new opportunities to think and perform their work differently. And so they did!

The bears had a wonderful evening with a great audience and enjoyed getting to know other art makers and producers in Zurich. Foremost of course the KOBO Art space Team themselves. The festival was curated by Viviane Mathis and Gaël Sapin.

The guest performance was made possible through a Reise- and Tourneekostenzuschuss from BMKÖS.

Huggy Bears Days 2023

Huggy Bears Days 2023

The Huggy Bears Days are coming up! From 26.11 to 28.11 at brut studio and from 29.11 to 30.11 at wuk.performing arts our mentoring program artists will celebrate their big opening nights. This year, we at Bears in the Park have had the pleasure of accompanying four very different, but all extremely exciting projects over a period of several months. The artists engage with diverse topics, from political activism/ apathy, consumption and decoloniality, gender fluidity and transformity. But all of them are united by a certain searching through our complex and often hard-to-digest time. Now we invite you to experience these distinct paths.

studio brut: Sunday, 26.11 – Tuesday, 28.11

Reverse Cowgirl β by Ariadne Randall
It’s a concert, it’s a nature documentary, it’s a piece about becoming who we want to be, and what we leave behind along the way. Our gender, for instance? It’s a way of asking what home means if they’d throw you in jail there for being who you are. Caution: includes sinful dancing and historical instruments. To ensure the highest performance quality, please exchange your identity with the Department of Performance Quality before experiencing the qualities of this performance.

Collective Action (a solo show) by Gudrun Schmidinger
Collective Action (a solo show) is a one-woman rally about the need to move past hyper individualism, towards solidarisation and communality. Inspired by podcast dudes, cottage core, affordable rent and real life magic, Gudrun Schmidinger is on a quest of defeating political apathy, taking the audience on a persona packed, banger blasting journey. After all, in these crisis ridden and tumultuous times, the world needs more… scratch cards.

WUK.performingarts: Wednesday, 29.11 + Thursday, 30.11

Elsewhere by The Needles (Nina Sandino, Daniela Hernandez, Andrea Vezga, Ragnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir)
The precipices of one’s own wardrobe, the wild world of supply chains, the bizarre balance of power between global north and south: The performance collective The Needles enters the spheres of virtual fashion – a universe full of digital rituals and cyberpunk avatars, where cotton is a currency and indigo an elixir of life. Digital fashion is a continuation of social media filters on platforms such as Instagram or TikTok and a signifier of increasing alienation. But do technologies that merge our physical and digital realms really challenge our understanding of mutual care? The performance Elsewhere plays with our craving for instant rewards and the need for new and old rituals while at the same time exploring the history of forced labour in the neoliberal world order and its roots in colonialism.

Neither Fish Nor Meat by Jannis Neumann
The title is a literal English translation of the German saying ‘weder Fisch noch Fleisch’ referring, often with a condescending undertone, to someone or something that is hard to classify: half-baked, immature. As a hybrid being between human and seal, Jannis Neumann attempts to learn more about this zone of vagueness, constantly looking for nuances, tensions, and different perspectives. In Neither Fish Nor Meat, he presents an embodied dialogue with his own physicality, identity, upbringing as a queer child, and society’s ideas of masculinity. Ancient myths of beautiful but terrible Tritons, luring siren songs and seal-like selkies who can shed their pelt are interwoven with stereotyping, queer narratives, and stories of petroleum as a post-modern prosthesis for virility, thus creating a loose fabric negotiating fins and genitals, social norms and sexuality.

Tickets are available through the website of Wuk.performingarts and brut Wien.

About Bears in the Park and the Huggy Bears Mentoring Programme:

Since 2016, Huggy Bears has been a pillar of innovative performance art, supporting emerging artists in Vienna. Each year, the mentoring programme provides three or four individuals or collectives with comprehensive support in areas from production to administration, equipment and dramaturgy. In a series of different presentation formats as well as regular feedback sessions within the group, the young artists’ projects develop into very special pieces. At the end of the nine-month programme, the mentees get to present their performance projects for the first time on a big stage in Vienna. This year, the Huggy Bears Days will be held as a co-operation between brut Wien and WUK performing arts. The mentoring/supporting program “Huggy Bears” is funded by a program grant for the residencies from the BMKÖS and byStadt Wien MA7 as supporter of the initiative Bears in the Park. You may learn more about the program, here.

Close-Up Showing 8. November

On November 8th we are hosting two fantastic artists with work-in progress-showings. Imani Rameses and Lucia Rosenfeld are Vienna-based artists who are supported by our Close-Up Research Residency. They have been working in our studios on their current projects First Person Plural and because cracks tell stories. Now they are invitin the public ato their work-in-progress  showings on November 8th from 6pm. After each showing there will be a short feedback-session with the audience. There is no entrance fee, only bring curiosity.

First Person Plural

In her solo piece, First Person Plural, Imani Rameses takes a much too-long look at herself in the mirror inducing self-binding spells, recursive self-analysis, and unleashing neverending cascades of dichotomies. To get out of this absurd loop of looking, she invites you to journey with her into the mirrored images as she visits and revisits what one calls “one self”. Together, (you and me, she and them) we will attempt to contradict the polarties that prevent us from embracing the multiplicity of selves. First Person Plural is (you and I, her and they) our first attempt to enter a state of syzygy, the alignment of three celestial bodies.

because cracks tell stories

in-between-images appear that tell

stories of the past and the present

weaving through

a landscape of memories

.. ……. …… …… …. ….

……. .. … …. … … …….

……. …….

. ……… .. ……..

choreography and performance: lucia rosenfeld

dramaturgy and choreographic assistance: sebastian bechinger

thanks to: bears in the park, fabian faltin, laurent ziegler

Open Call 2024

OPEN CALL 2024: Huggy Bears Supporting Program

Bears in the Park is looking for innovative Vienna-based artists and collectives who want to join the next round of the “Huggy Bears Supporting Program”. The program is designed for upcoming artists who are either already working in the performance art scene and/or dance or are motivated to enlarge their previous practice with performance art. This way a special transdisciplinary learning atmosphere is created which enables a shared knowledge transfer. The project runs from spring till autumn 2024. During this time participants get project support that involves administrative, technical, financial and artistic help. An intensive learning environment is created through regular feedback sessions within the group and with the leaders of Bears in the Park. Along the road the selected Huggy Bears will show and foster their working process on different occasions. Showings at e.g.“Handle with Care” by brut Wien and collaborations with WUK and ImPulsTanz are part of the program.

Aim of the Huggy Bears Supporting Program

At the end of the program stands the big premiere of each project on one of the established stages for performance art in Vienna (This year’s Huggy Bears are performing from 26th – 30th November at studio brut and WUK.performing arts). From research to rehearsal, from rehearsals to showings, and finally to the premieres, the different phases of creation are met with care, curiosity, and professional advice. Every year 3 to 4 projects (single artists or collectives) will be selected to join this journey. The aim is to place the selected participants on the artistic map of Vienna and to support the first connection points with the audience and other professional players in town. The program is run by Philippe Riéra and Charlotte Bastam.

The Supporting Program contains*

-Monthly group meetings with the staff of Bears in the Park and the other Huggy Bear participants.

– Dramaturgy and coaching support anytime.

– Sharing/showing opportunities along the way such as „Handle with Care“ in collaboration with brut Wien.

– Facilitated and prioritized access to our studios over the whole 7-8 months (Our studios are accessible 24/7).**

– Getting in touch with a wider network of the performance art scene in Vienna and further.

– Several exclusive workshops in the fields of production, outreach, sound, video, and light taking place in a fully equipped theater.

– A week-long residency over summer in a fully equipped theater.

– Administrative and financial support (In the last years our Huggy Bear artists have been supported by BMKÖS).

*Changes in the program structure are always possible, since our funding needs to be secured every year as well as cooporations with our partners. Yet this also means things can come on top!

**At the moment we find ourselves handling some changes. We will need to leave our current studios until the end of 2023 and a new option is still pending. We do our best to provide studios until March 2024, however more will be announced in the next months.

Who can apply?

We are open to transdisciplinary artists, scholars, and other creative minds dealing with time-based artforms. However, we are an institution for performance art. A strong base in performance is therefore necessary for completing the project with us. After all, the goal of the Supporting program is to bring your project on stage. Applications that are thought through with these circumstances and goals in mind will be prioritized. Furthermore, a connection to Vienna is important since our aim is to bring fresh wind to the Viennese performance art scene. Please note, if you are not based in Vienna, it will be difficult to organize the project with you since the monthly feedback sessions, studio time slots and other points of the program need your physical presence. We also encourage projects interested in reaching out into different Viennese communities and (public) spaces.

How to apply

For the application it is necessary that applicants line out an idea of what and how they want to make use of their time with the mentoring program and what kind of project they would like to bring to a stage in autumn 2024. Ideally, this should not only involve the content of the project but also an idea of how to realize it. For the first round we ask you to send in:

-a CV and an artist bio of every team member -a short description of your project (1 A4 max.)

-relevant material (photos, links to videos etc.) of your (previous and work-in-progress) work

-a letter of motivation (please, state here why you  would like to join the supporting program, and how you imagine to make use of what the program and the space can offer you)

-please, send us the application in one pdf document and label it with your (group) name.

All of the application materials need to be sent in one pdf file to charlotte[at]bearsinthepark.org by the 19th of November 2023.  Please note, that we are a program that mainly functions in English. So also send us the application in English. Successful candidates will then be invited for a personal interview in December (presumably interviews will take place between 11th and 19th of December). The selected Huggy Bears will be announced in the beginning of January 2024.

Otto Wagner Wandering Wonders

Otto Wagner Wandering Wonders

We had a fantastic time at Otto Wagner’s Wandering Wonders on Sunday, 08. October. It was wonderful that so many people came around, although autumn came tumbling in with rain and wind. The curation and dramaturgy for this event was undertaken by Philippe Riéra from Bears in the Park. A big thank you goes out to beamy.space and Jürgen Weißhäupl for producing and organizing this great event.

And of course our gratitude goes out to all the great artists making this evening very special!

Artists at Otto Wagner Wandering Wonders

Dance performance by Maria Mercedes @mariamercedes_______

DJ Malenciaga @malikafankha,

Fashion performance by @sebasgec & @bugaric_

Literature performance by Fabian Faltin @rederei_scharnstein

Stunts & Pompoms by @fearleaders_vienna,

Hip Hop and R’nB concert by Bex @bex.terslab

Photos by @eselat

This event was supported by Stadt Wien and BMKÖS



Otto Wagner Wandering Wonders

8. October: Otto Wagner Wandering Wonders

Together with unique Viennese and international artists, the dramaturge and curator Philippe Riéra explores the multifaceted world of Otto Wagner. He created an outdoor parcours with different stations from dance, performance, music, concert, fashion and more and thus integrates the audience into a work of art in the Otto Wagner Areal. The event is produced by beamy.space: Kulturevents im Otto Wagner Areal under the direction of Jürgen Weishäupl.


16h: DJ Malenciaga+ Aperitiv – Pavillon 18
18h: Performance: Otto Wagner’s Wandering Wonders

Maria Mercedes – Dance

Maria Mercedes are a duo around Julia Maria Müllner and Camilla Mercedes Schielin. They are both living and working in Vienna. In their work, they encounter pop-culture-inspired choreographies and transpose them into bizarre settings. Their interest lies in fluctuating encounters between audience and performance at various locations, including rooftops, corridors, storage rooms, gardens or on stages.

Sebastijan Geč/Goran Bugaric – Fashion-Performance

Sebastian Geč will perform a unique fashion performance together with Goran Bugaric in the course of Otto Wangers Wandering Wonders. The custom designer Goran Bugaric, runs his own label BUGARIC since October 2012 in the “Schnittbogen”, in one of Vienna’s subway arches near Gumpendorfergürtel.

Fearleaders Vienna – Stunts & Pompoms

We are the male and non-binary fearleading squad of Vienna Roller Derby. With our beauty, grace and delicate style we bring joy and pleasure to the world of Roller Derby and beyond whilst tangling gender stereotypes when we hit the dancefloor. As Fearleaders Vienna we support gender diversity and emancipation. We subvert gender stereotypes by turning them upside down and expose ridiculous and in the same way toxic masculine behavior with overstatement and irony. Cheer diversity, fear nothing (but heteronormativity, bigotry and a lack of humor).

Fabian Faltin – Literature-Performance

Fabian Faltin is known for his performances, novels and as a gardener. His major works have been shown at Festival der Regionen, London National Theatre, brut, WUK, Beijing Fringe, Bears in the Park, and many more. He teaches writing and public speaking at Bruckner University Linz, and is currently running a speaker’s agency for Bad Ischl Salzkammergut 2024 – European Capital of Culture.

Bex – Hip Hop, R’n’B concert

BEX is a Ghanaian-born, up-and-coming artist from Vienna. Her path to music was rather unconventional, but that’s what makes her journey so eclectic. In 2021, she started working on her sound. From then on, she has paired her confidence and skills with the right amount of explicit content to allow her listeners to take a break from their reality to escape into her fantasy. Within a very short period of time, the young artist has created her own space to blossom. Vital were features on W1ZE’s EP “Down Low,” and on the Nono Punch-produced track “Bounce,” which entered Vienna’s FM4 charts and made it clear that BEX is one to watch in the coming years.

At Otto-Wagner-Areal, Baumgartner Höhe 1 Vienna
Pavilion 18

To get there by public transport take busline 47A, 48A until Penzing Klinik.

Entry is free!

Workshop Day 15 September

Bears Workshop Day 15. September

It’s time for another Bears Workshop Day! We are opening our doors for people eager to learn, dance, perform and exchange. However, this time the occasion is a bit more special. Together with six other centers for art and culture, Bears in the Park is part of the Kulturelle Ankerzentren in Vienna. From the 11.09 – 17.09 each day another Ankerzentrum will introduce itself and the possibilities it is offering. And on Friday 15. September it is our turn!

As always, our recent artists-in-residence will invite you to their practices. For one day, Bears in the Park becomes a site of moving minds and bodies. In order to be part of this event you only need to check the program and register for the workshops you want to attend with: charlotte@bearsinthepark.org.

As always: Our Workshop Days and events are free of charge.

For the full timetable and description of the events, please click here.

Workshop Day Overview

12:00  – 13:30: ALBERTO CISSELLO: Shared Practice “Dramaturgies in silence”

13:00 – 17:00: STEFANO D’ALESSIO: Workshop “Hubby Gears”

14:00 – 15:30: DORIS HINTSTEINER: Workshop “Elements in Communicatio”

15:30 – 17:00: CAMILLA SCHIELIN: Workshop “Pilates girlies, lets dance!”

17:30 – 17:50: PUC COLLECTIVE: Work-in-progress-showing “Hide and Seek “

18:00- 18:30: LUCIA ROSENFELD: Open Rehearsal “because cracks tell stories”

Time and Place:

Friday 15. September
from 12h
at Bears in the Park, Kempelengasse 1, 1100 Wien


Huggy Bears go Kultursommer

On July 15th Ariadne Randall, The Needles and Jannis Neumann  will perform “a bears summer night” for Kultursommer (program). The audience will get a unique preview of what will await us for the artists’ upcoming premieres in November. In one hour the audience will experience dance, participatory elements related to fashion, a human seal and a music set with a very old instrument. More so, the summerly vibes at the open air Kultursommer stage will give the evening a very special atmosphere.

When & Where:

15.7., 18:30 – 19:30
Kultursommer-Stage Schrödingerplatz, 1220 Vienna
free entry!


Am 15. Juli werden Ariadne Randall, The Needles und Jannis Neumann im Rahmen des Kultursommers (Programm) “a bears summer night” performen. Das Publikum erhält einen einmaligen Vorgeschmack auf das, was uns bei den kommenden Premieren der Künstler*innen im November erwartet. In einer Stunde erlebt das Publikum Tanz, partizipatorische Elemente zum Thema Mode, eine menschliche Robbe und ein Musikstück mit einem sehr alten Instrument. Die sommerliche Stimmung auf der Open-Air-Bühne des Kultursommers wird dem Abend zudem eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre verleihen.

Wann & Wo:

15.7., 18:30 – 19:30
Kultursommer-Bühne Schrödingerplatz, 1220 Wien
Eintritt frei!


YouDance – eine Fotoausstellung im Kempelenpark

Over the past few months, filmmaker and photographer Elena Tikhonova has repeatedly visited Kempelenpark in the 10th district to take some very special pictures. Because Kempelenpark is not only inhabited by the Bears. Every working day, hundreds of people, many of whom have only recently arrived in Austria, come and go in this large concrete building. And somewhere between, there we are with our art space. Since the windows of our studios are on the first floor, we sometimes attract a certain curiosity…. sometimes. And that’s a good thing, because our lives, our work, and our timing here often seem very different. We have people dancing, making music and noise, moving in all directions, while at the same time people come to Kempelenpark to learn German, to get further education or to visit the bicycle workshop.

For years we had the feeling of seeing each other every day, but not knowing much about each other. The photo project “YouDance” wants to break up this situation, at least for a bit. Bears and the Park and Elena Tikhonova have spent several days interviewing people visiting Kempelenpark about their connection to dance and performance, while capturing their reactions in pictures. We wanted to know what do our neighbors actually know about us? And what interests them, or doesn’t interest them, in dance and performance art? During the shootings we started to have conversations. People told us where and when they like to dance and when they prefer not to. Or they told us about how they used to take dance lessons themselves in their home countries. We, on the other hand, talked about what actually happens behind our studio doors. Although we didn’t always understand each other, either because of language barriers or different experiences, it was still nice to meet.

The photo exhibition “You Dance” is meant to be a humorous survey of the coexistence of two worlds that have hardly ever come into contact with each other… even though they share the same premises.

We would like to thank all the participants of the project for having accepted us, our questions and the camera. After the opening in June 3rd, the pictures can be taken down and taken away by the photographed persons themselves.

Opening “YouDance”

June 3 – 20h

in the foyer of the Kempelenpark

Kempelengasse 1, Building section 1, 1100

The opening takes place in the context of Quality Street.



In den vergangen Monaten hat die Filmemacherin und Fotografin Elena Tikhonova immer wieder den Kempelenpark im 10. Bezirk besucht, um ganz besondere Aufnahmen zu machen. Denn der Kempelenpark wird nicht nur von den Bears bewohnt. Jeden Werktag gehen Hunderte von Menschen, von denen viele erst seit kurzem in Österreich sind, in diesem großen Betongebäude ein und aus. Und irgendwo dazwischen sind wir mit unserem Kunstraum. Da sich die Fenster unserer Studios im Erdgeschoss befinden, ziehen wir manchmal eine gewisse Neugierde auf uns… manchmal. Und das ist auch gut so, denn unsere Leben, unsere Arbeit und unser Timing hier erscheinen oft sehr unterschiedlich. Bei uns wird getanzt, Musik und Lärm gemacht, sich in alle Richtungen bewegt, während Menschen in den Kempelenpark kommen, um Deutsch zu lernen, sich weiterbilden zu lassen oder die Fahrradwerkstatt zu besuchen.

Jahrelang hatten wir das Gefühl uns zwar täglich zu sehen, aber nicht viel voneinander zu wissen. Das Fotoprojekt “YouDance” möchte diese Situation etwas aufbrechen. Bears and the Park und Elena Tikhonova habent an mehreren Tagen die Besucher*innen des Kempelenparks zu ihrer Verbindung zu Tanz und Performance interviewt, während ihre Reaktionen in Bildern festgehlaten wurden. Wir wollten erfahren was wissen unsere Nachbar*innen eigentlich über uns? Und was interessiert sie oder auch nicht an Tanz und Performance-Kunst? Bei den Aufnahmen kam es zu Gesprächen. Menschen berichteten uns, wo und wann sie gerne tanzen und wann lieber nicht. Oder sie erzählten davon, wie sie früher selbst Tanzunterricht genommen haben. Wir dagegen sprachen darüber, was eigentlich so hinter unseren Studiotüren passiert. Zwar haben wir uns dabei nicht immer ganz gegenseitig verstanden, sei es wegen Sprachbarrieren oder unterschiedlichen Erfahrungen, war es dennoch schön einander zu begegnen.

Die Fotoausstellung “You Dance” versteht sich als eine humorvolle Bestandsaufnahme über die Koexistenz zweier Welten, die bisher kaum miteinander in Berührung kommen… obwohl sie das gleiche Areal teilen.

Wir danken allen Teilnehmer*innen des Projekts, dass sie sich auf uns, unsere Fragen und die Kamera eingelassen haben. Die Bilder können nach der Eröffnung im 3. Juni von den Fotografierten selbstständig abgehangen und mitgenommen werden.

Eröffnung “YouDance”

3. Juni – 20h

im Foyer des Kempelenparks

Kempelengasse 1, Bauteil 1, 1100

Die Eröffnung findet im Rahmen der Quality Street statt.