The notion of being at the navel of the universe (a notion that is so deep-seated in some parts of the world that it sometimes verges on narrow-mindedness) is thus somewhat more innocent than Gustave Courbet’s “Origin of the world” (»L’Origine du monde«) and has an ambiguousness which can be seen from many standpoints. The outline of Austria, a few centimetres above the waistband, could be a fitting contemporary vision of Austria. Austria as a new “navel of the universe”, open to the flow of people and ideas and the unmistakeable imprint of the citizens of a country (who have cut their umbilical cord).
(Heidi Hackl and Andreas Schett)
The name chosen by the musician, co-festival director and art director Andreas Schett for the company that he founded in 1996 could not have been clearer about its programmatic approach: the visual campaigns, images and exhibition and magazine designs by “Circus – Office for Communication and Design” demonstrate not only the enormous diversity of its creative team, but also their acrobatic ability to juggle with art and design, self initiative and the service ethic and individuality and teamwork. The work of the company is less marked by any particular style than by the discipline of the concepts which Circus is happy to implement using the most unconventional of media. As a result of its work for such clients as the Austrian Alpine Society and the exclusive Vienna shoemakers Scheer, Circus has long experience of making ironical play of traditional symbols. Often inspired by music, such works are an object lesson in “thinking visually”. This applies particularly to the Tyrolean cultural magazine, “Quart”, for which Circus has both the formal and contentual responsibility and which has already received a number of international awards.