By Marc Fischer / Public Collectors
Public Collectors, Chicago, IL, 2023
Dimensions: 6 in x 8.25 in
Binding: Staple bound
Color: Full color
Public Collectors publication #81 takes a trip to an amusement park in Vienna just days before many of the attractions closed for the season. From the back cover:
When the Vienna Art Book Fair’s Director Marlene Obermayer invited the publishing imprint I co-run, Half Letter Press, to participate in the 2023 edition of the event, she generously booked a hotel room for me. Last time the fair was held in 2019, the hotel was a short stroll to the fair. This time it was about a 25 minute walk. She explained, “Its not the same like last time but also a really nice one (next to the famous PRATER).” I wondered why I had never heard of the Prater and meant to look it up before my trip. In the frenzy of packing books, I never got around to that. Instead I found out when I arrived.
Founded in 1766, the Prater includes a massive amusement park (Wurstelprater) filled with dozens of garish rides, an enormous Ferris wheel, tests of strength and skill, bizarre sculptures and gnarly ride facades covering every surface, and a variety of restaurants and other delights. You don’t have to pay to get in—there’s just a fee for whatever rides and games you want to enjoy. You can walk through the park any time, including before it opens, which I did on the way to and from the fair every morning and evening. At night it’s a whole other reality with dazzling lights, pounding music, and rides whipping bodies in every direction, testing any visitor’s ability to hold in their wurst. As one YouTube video-maker commented, the Prater “feels like a carnival on steroids.”
These photos were taken in the third week of October, just days before most of the rides would shut down for the season. The Wurstelprater is a fully immersive experience that could never be fully documented in all of its countless details. Anyone thinking this booklet might ruin the surprise of visiting for the first time should know that I have barely scratched the surface.
— Marc Fischer / Public Collectors
Public Collectors was founded by Marc Fischer in 2007. He is based in Chicago, IL. Public Collectors makes projects and publications with a general focus on marginal and overlooked materials and subjects, and participates in exhibitions and events. Public Collectors publications are distributed by halfletterpress.com.