Project Capricorn
An expedition through museums in the Karmeliter Quarter

Vienna 2, Karmelitermarkt, 2 May through 30 June 2001.

Alexandre Métraux

In and around the Karmelitermarkt in Vienna's second district, museums had opened temporary branch exhibition spaces in empty storefronts. Under the title Project Capricorn, Christoph Steinbrener had created an exhibition concept that provides a framework for ten museum presentations. On the one hand, this part of the city was chosen because as the "Mazza Island" it tells a tale of cultural annihilation. On the other hand, the market square's numerous empty storefronts demonstrate the way in which the former diversity of small shops has given way in the face of an economy dominated by standardized retail chains and supermarkets.

Project Capricorn, which owed its title to a film by Peter Hyams about a simulated Mars landing, attempted to work against the cultural and economic decay of an urban neighborhood.
The Sigmund Freud Museum had invited Alexandre Métraux to curate its dependency at Grosse Schiffgasse 11. In the immediate vicinity of a still prospering florist, he designed an exhibition that deals with the connection between Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and botany. His text in the Newsletter 1/2001 is an expanded version of his contribution to the catalog of Project Capricorn (ed. by Christoph Steinbrener, Vienna, Triton Verlag, 2001).