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Culture Zone Magazine Vienna

Artist in Residence "Imaginary Patterns" - Elena Rabkina

Gemeinsam mit der Initative Question Me & Answer schrieb die Superbude 2022 einen gemeinsamen Open Call aus. Hintergründe und das realisierte Projekt sind in diesem Artikel beschrieben.

Superbude Artist In Residence Elena Rabkina
Project "Invisible People"

The open call selection was made in favor of artist Elena Rabkina, who focuses on documentary photography. Additionally, she creates works that carry an immersive character, take place in public spaces, and develops social games that deal with societal challenges such as personal identity or burnout.

Elena Rabkina was born and raised in Belarus. During the protests of 2020, she had to leave the country due to her activist involvement and found her new home in Odessa, Ukraine. In March 2022, she lost her home again and fled to Krakow.

The search for a new place to live and to process the war in Ukraine led the artist to apply for the advertised residency. The studio became her temporary home, where she spent half of her time grieving and was alone for the first time since the outbreak of the war. The Superbude provided a safe space, and Elena became part of the team, finding support, comfort, and herself in a controlled environment.

During her stay, the artist worked on two projects. The first project, "14 Confessions to the City," was used to process her experiences in Odessa. In the project, she documented her thoughts on the war in Ukraine on boards in the form of an open diary, which were then exhibited in public places in the 2nd district of Vienna. Vienna is a stranger to Elena, and no one can be as honest as someone you don't know. Additionally, empty boards were hung up, on which passers-by could write their own confessions and thoughts. The collection can be seen in the Superbude, where additional confessions can still be submitted. For more information on the art project, visit

Web Superbude Hotel Hostel Home Artist In Residence Elena Rabkina 11
Web Superbude Hotel Hostel Home Artist In Residence Elena Rabkina 2

The second project, "Invisible People," is dedicated to the diversity within the Austrian hotel industry. Elena spent a lot of time in the Superbude's cafeteria, where she met the staff and was fascinated by the variety of cultures and ethnicities represented in various areas. Above all, she wants to make visible the employees who work behind the scenes in a hotel and who are crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of the kitchen, technology, and housekeeping areas. She accompanied the people in their activities, talked to them, and captured the conversations in photographs. The documentary photographs are exhibited in a playful way so that visitors to the exhibition can get to know the employees better. Through this conscious engagement, the artist wants to strengthen the visibility of so-called "Invisible People."

A portrait of an employee of the housekeeping department of the Superbude Wien Prater, standing in the hallway of the hotel.
Superbude Hotel Vienna Prater Artist In Residence Elena Rabkina 12

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