Cartoons are art with a high entertainment value. They are graphic artworks with a punchline, not just drawn jokes. That’s what makes them so appealing: They move at the interface between art and illustration. This popular yet underestimated genre receives support and promotion by the gallery, the shop, and publications.
Interview with Clemens Ettenauer: born 1986 in the countryside, in Vienna since 2007. After taking evening classes for his high school diploma, he started his training as a publishing assistant. In 2010, he founded Holzbaum Publishing House.
Who are you?
I am a publisher, a bookseller, a gallerist and an event organiser.
Since when have you been at Q21?
Since2012. But Komische Künste has existed since 2010. I became involved in 2012 and have been the manager ever since.
What are your fields of activity?
I publish books, mostly with a connection to humour or Vienna, and organise cartoon exhibitions. Since 2013, I have also been hosting the indie book fair BuchQuartier, which is currently taking a break due to the coronavirus. The thing I enjoy most about everyday work is our Facebook pages ‘Wien in leiwanden Grafiken’ and ‘Österreich in leiwanden Grafiken’, where we use pie and bar charts to make satirical comments on life.
Cartoons are art because…?
…they are the result of a creative process.
How do you reach your goals?
When I’m enthusiastic about something, I just get started instead of overthinking. I also use very long to-do lists.
What challenges do you face?
Since we don’t receive any subsidies, it has become more and more important that our books appeal to the markets. Still, we want to keep a certain standard, because otherwise it wouldn’t be fun anymore.
What's the special thing about cartoons?
They can help us become more relaxed about things that make us angry, because they allow us to laugh at them
…make people laugh and think.
Q21 Backstage: eSeL REZEPTION is both workspace and showroom for the popular info hub and art calendar www.esel.at. The team of eSeL keep up with all the openings and events of the Vienna art scene. In addition to providing catalogues and information on all important exhibitions, eSeL offers photographic insight and inside tips on museums, cultural institutions artist-run spaces and art communities in Vienna.
Q21 Backstage: In the KABINETT comic passage located in the passage between Mariahilfer Strasse and Fürstenhof exhibitions dedicated to various forms of the combination of words and images (in common parlance: comics) are held. The passage comprises two and a half gallery spaces and a vending machine containing the publications accompanying the exhibitions. Curators: Thomas Kriebaum and Sibylle Vogel