25. Oktober 2022

ALL IS WELL THAT BEGINS WELL.
WE HAVE NO END

A brief history

eigensinnig has never taken the easy way out. Contradictions and opposition lead to transformations, which lead to contradictions again – 0 becomes I; becomes 0; becomes something new; becomes 0. Between being and questioning, we have been (dis)assembling ourselves to become a whole for 10 years; the perfect time to look both forward and back. Phew, let us take a deep breath for a second.

 

How can art be put in order? Hmm... What we are trying to do here is contemplate the last ten years of eigensinnig, but in fact we know: Order needs to be redefined. Because every end is a beginning, every beginning marks the end of a phase that has passed, every answer leads us to new questions.

 

Did you know? The Greek semicolon can also be interpreted as a question mark, therefore we follow our intuition between 0; and I;, between end and beginning. Ten years, that means ten eventful chapters of our eigensinnig story:  

 

0;I BATTLE AGAINST THE SUN

More than 100 years ago, a Futurist opera entitled Victory over the Sun caused a stir: with just two performances, Kazimir Malevich and other avant-garde artists ignited the entire theater world. Our own battle against the sun begins with a hopeless offer for sales premises in Vienna’s 6th district (yes, exactly: in the 6th district) and eventually transforms us into the black center of Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz. eigensinnig should not exist at all, and yet it cannot happen any other way – not like an idea, but like something that is inevitable; like the transformation of energy into matter. Necessity rather than coincidence.

 

In the beginning, we still think like everybody else, the most important thing is to be seen, so why not settle in the heart of Vienna’s prominent fashion center? Collections have been ordered, furniture commissioned, drafts of showrooms are created in our minds, on paper and on the walls. It simply has to materialize. This beginning is immediately the end of thinking like everyone else: Our visions for the 6th district burst, someone else moves into the location, we start over.

 


Cigarettes, phone calls, level-headed and hot-headed conversations with facilitators. They ask why we want to move to Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz all of a sudden. They say we are going to need walk-in customers. This is already the beginning of something that obstinate minds call aesthetics: eigensinnig does not need any of this, it stands for itself, develops its own force of attraction. The idea persuades our facilitators and, much like in Victory over the Sun, we light a fire on Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz. We lock the sun into a house and let something new develop in there.  
 

0;II ALL IS WELL THAT BEGINS WELL…

Hesse says being yourself is the ideal law of youth, even if the whole world was against it. Youthful despair is replaced by youthful impetuousness. In the words of Joan of Arc, “Who, if not we? When, if not now?” We prepare our showroom, curate, dare to experiment and break with conventions. Do what thou wilt is the only law, according to Aleister Crowley. What we want is to constantly change, to surprise and be surprised.  
 

 

 

 

 

eigensinnig is neither round nor square, it becomes a center for obstinate minds who do not think in stereotypes. In a dialogue, we create and exhibit. Photo galleries and vernissages between designer brands. The safe run-of-the-mill life is over, we are finally pursuing our own darkness. Between subculture and dull high culture, we make time stand still and leave the path of the many. Obstinacy is fun – Hesse was right about that.


0;III HAPPINESS MAKES YOU LAZY

 

Perhaps our artistic forum for fashion, photography, craftsmanship and art runs too smoothly: We let things slide, we lean back. Everything looks immortal. No wonder I am covered with dust, the time traveler in Victory over the Sun remarks, and for a while we feel completely timeless as well. Suffused with this improbable lightness, we don’t know what to do, so we wait for something extraordinary within the extraordinary. eigensinn panta rhei – we try to step into the same river twice and lose ourselves slowly, yet imperceptibly.

 


eigensinnig is avant-garde; we know no time, we let ideas come and go like waves, but is that still avant-garde? Spirals feel like circles, and everyone looks happy. For the time being, we content ourselves with artistic dialogues, the act of creating retreats into the background. But there is more to eigensinnig, it simply has to materialize and help other things materialize.
 

0;IV WE LOOK BACK TO MOVE FORWARD

 

The creative potential in the space between our high walls can be divined through small holes. We take a breath and give shape to ideas that have been lurking within us for a long time. eigensinnig becomes a unity; the showroom becomes a creative house; we lock coincidence into a house, and ideas are necessities again. The inner pendulum clearly swings into one direction: Our own ideas finally manifest themselves and become palpable, the fashionable character of eigensinnig takes shape. We start drawing our thoughts, creating our drawings; eigensinnig fashion is unstoppable.

 


"I WAS WAITING FOR
SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY
TO HAPPEN BUT [...]
NOTHING EVER DID
UNLESS I CAUSED IT."
CHARLES BUKOWSKI

 
 
Lethargy is replaced by an obstinate energy that comes from within. Do what thou wilt. Fabrics, people and bodies are attracted by the hidden sun on Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz. Our first own designs lead to our true eigensinnig style and the launch of our own fashion label.
 
 


0;V SECOND BREATH

The attraction of eigensinnig takes on a life of its own: Our creative conglomerate grows, we need more people and more heads. A team materializes; a workshop materializes. Our ideas come thick and fast, and with every impulse, eigensinnig sends a thousand more impulses to the outside world. We create a cosmos where we can try, fail, make changes and try something new again. We blindly follow the anti-fragile creative force that has been helping us in our battle against the sun.

 

eigensinnig at Paris Fashion Week. Impressions lead to questions, lead to creations, 0 becomes I; becomes 0; becomes II. We do our own thing, enjoying it is key.

 

Soon our workshop becomes too small, there is simply too much sun in here, our ideas require more space. We tear everything down and rebuild it, as often as necessary until we can breathe. In our new workshop, we finally can. Phew!

 

0;VI BLACK SWAN

A black swan only doesn’t exist until someone finds it. Unpredictable disasters simply cannot be predicted. Below the surface of the creative house, hardly perceptible vibrations come loose and are only discovered when things have already broken. Toni and Stefanie go their separate ways.

 

 

 

We practice the art of failing and balance on a fine line between 0 and ; – how much baggage can the creation process bear? Toni remains eigensinnig; Ernest Hemingway calls this the Artist’s Reward. I’m not done with eigensinnig – even if the sun was against it.

 

0;VII THE END OF LINEAR TIME

If one were only an Indian, instantly alert, and on a racing horse... Like Franz Kafka, we dream of more and we make the More happen. eigensinnig is like an atomic nucleus, permanently suspended in a state between decay and formation. 0 is I is ; We leave the spurs because there are no spurs. We discard the reins because there are no reins. Headless and neckless, we ride through the polycrises of our time, between Covid and autolysis; between destruction and its creative fruits.

 

 

 

 

In our battle on all fronts, in the midst of creative, global and personal crises, we cannot let the sun within our walls rest; again and again, light bursts through small cracks to attract ideas and obstinate minds. We are riding, riding, riding, without a horse’s neck and without a horse.

0;VIII AVANT-GARDE IS INESCAPABLE

The first of Zarathustra’s seven solitudes is silence in the face of big thoughts.  Emptiness occupies eigensinnig and creates a vacuum, energy nearly slips away from us completely. Impulses fail to appear, we turn inwards like the rest of the world, waiting in front of locked doors and gathering dust. Stiflingly empty spaces lead forward and backward at the same time, a quantum entanglement of sun and darkness in the workshop. There is no dialogue, and only occasionally our big thoughts glance through our shop window through their masks.

 

We are in the middle, at the end and at the beginning – necessity rather than coincidence. On a spiraling path, craftsmanship, art, philosophy, psychology and music always lead us to our eigensinnig fashion. Inspired by dynamics between the different ways of thinking, a truth emerges: eigensinnig is inescapable.

 

This end, too, is a new beginning. Standing still creates a thirst for action, and eigensinnig has to reinvent itself. Again. Inside and outside, everything is hollowed out, not a stone left standing. New eigensinnig minds populate the rooms while a new space for new ideas is forming. eigensinnig 0;I. Black and blacker swans cast their shadows in which we rekindle the sun.

 

0;IX BLACK, THEN - AGAINST THE WORLD

Our victory over the sun is black: Black defines our thoughts and becomes the anchor point of our obstinate art. Black avant-garde fashion from our workshop develops its own personality and is marked with three ochre lines. The new eigensinnig minds recognize beauty in destruction and, like in other areas of their lives, move against the norm. In our new workshop with our new team, cigarette smoke entangles buzzing heads who create unconventional things.

 

We know that everything is not going to end well. But we will find a way. As always.

 

0;X WE HAVE NO END

Black will continue to define eigensinnig in the future – we are becoming an autonomous artistic solar system, drawing obstinacy from our own, apparently inexhaustible, energy sources. We want our house to be filled up with our ideas, to burst at the seams.

 

In a constant dispute with its own self, eigensinnig has found its glocal identity and reinvented itself over and over again. We move from Vienna to Paris and into the world, and yet we continue to focus on obstinate Sankt-Ulrichs-Platz. So it has been 10 years, and every idea feels like a new beginning that inevitably has to arise. Creating, experimenting, crossing boundaries –  do what thou wilt shall be the only law, and we find it delightful. Let the crises come, we will master them; we will refute them; we will turn shadow into light and light into shadow, 0 becomes I; becomes 0; becomes something new; becomes 0.

 

All is well that begins well. We have no end.“ – from Victory over the Sun

 


Text: Laura Bruning | www.gorillaverlag.com & Toni Woldrich | www.eigensinnig-wien.com

Photography: Silvia Max | www.eigensinnig-wien.com


TAILOR-MADE

We have been a creative house for almost 10 years. We create designs that make our eigensinnig obstinacy visible. Tailor-made. According to your wishes, to accentuate your character.

If a model or your size is sold out, please contact us.

You wear a non-standard size? We can make it for you. Tailored to your body and your style.
 
Come and visit us at eigensinnig and let us advise you. We will create your desired style.