As a performance artist I tend to travel a lot. As an Austrian artist I can`t expect people to always know what my very small home country is all about. Basically there is three main reactions, the first of which will probably send chills of recognition to every Austrian who has ever travelled abroad.
People tell you „Sound of Music“ is one of the loveliest movies ever made and ask your opinion about how real it is. Oh you mean that image of Austrians, who basically sing and dance their way through the mountains, accompanied by Apfelstrudel and Edelweiß? Most of these people are shocked to hear that I saw this movie for the first time at the age of 17 in English class. The rest of my family has still never seen it.
„Australia?“ „No, Austria! No kangaroos!“ „Aaaah, i wondered why you had this strange accent!“ Nothing left to say to that.
But there is one more and maybe my favourite: „Where? I have never been to Eastern Europe.“ Even though this is not strictly true, I was tempted to answer: „Well, me neither.“
So, here is the deal: What is Austria? Serve an edible panorama image of our small home country – with/out kitch, please!