Vienna’s first free munic ipal election, held in May 1919, results in an absolute majority for the Social Democratic Party. A reform project commences, attracting much attention from admirers abroad and fierce antagonism from opponents at home. The goal is a farreaching democratization of society as well as the dramatic improvement of workers‘ living conditions.
The initial situation is catastrophic. In the wake of World War I, Vienna is in a state of massive crisis. Housing is the central issue. A revolutionary fiscal policy, built around a luxury tax, provides funding for the creation of over 60,000 apartments along with numerous social, leisure, and cultural facilities by 1934.
“How to live?” is hotly debated across Red Vienna. This concerns all aspects of everyday life: the place of men and women, the fostering and education of children, the structuring of leisure, the design of apartments, the division of domestic labor, the treatment of the body, and the role of art and culture.
The exhibit reaches from Wien Museum MUSA to over a dozen locations across the city. Structured around a series of themes, these “walkable objects” are accessible temporarily, revealing Red Vienna’s rich architectural heritage – the built utopia that has become part of Vienna’s urban landscape.