Collector Stories

Lilli Hollein

Vienna, Austria

»Pleasure can have so many facets – having sex, jumping into a cold, clear lake, or leisurely visiting an art exhibition during the day…«

Lilli Hollein comes from a family where culture is high on the agenda. Her father was the visionary architect Hans Hollein. Her brother led cultural institutions like the Schirn Kunsthalle and the Städel Museum, both in Frankfurt am Main, to international prestige. As a curator and design expert, Lilli Hollein has made an international name for herself. Peter, Barkeeper at the Loos Bar, met Lilli Hollein over an Absolut ELYX “Honeyrider” and talked with her about the various facets of pleasure and what connects her personally with the architecture jewel in Vienna’s first district.

What does pleasure mean to you?
I believe pleasure can be very individual. When people hear the word “pleasure”, many of them think instantly of food or a glass of wine. For me personally the term doesn’t really have a culinary connotation, for pleasure has many facets. For example it can have to do with sex and other perhaps less enticing things. It is a consciously and sensuously perceived experience, this being the reason why Vienna will always remain the city of pleasure regardless of its culinary jewels.

In the last couple of years, has something changed in the way you enjoy Vienna as a city?
What I really appreciate so much is a certain slowness, the different tempo of the city. It is still very characteristic for Vienna and I hope it can be preserved for us. Vienna is a beautiful and cultivated city and, in past years, it has become a city with an extraordinary cultural program and with a very dynamic creative scene. Many designers and artists, with whom we work, love coming to the city. In the meantime, Vienna has developed a very casual “going out culture” in the best sense of the word, one doesn’t have to frequent the most expensive clubs or grills in order to immerse deeply in this scene. Much of social life goes on in a very relaxed way. Vienna is becoming more and more an international city, a fact appreciated by many!

There are surely moments of pleasure that you might like to enjoy more often?
Of course there are! Something I don’t have very often is time to leisurely visit an art exhibition during the day – free time during the day, as the saying goes. Even if one feels a bit guilty in doing that, I really enjoy visiting a museum in-between two appointments in another city. Completely without conversation! Completely alone! Also pleasure is driving around in the car by myself listening to music, without having to be on the phone at the same time. Jumping into the water from a jetty, into a cold, clear lakeis a special treat! But foremost: cuddling my child, spending more time with my husband, away from organized family affairs. Yes, spending time with my family without having to do things... That is true pleasure for me.

Can pleasure be integrated in the day-to-day work routine?
I hope so, since in my life work and private life do overlap a lot. I take pleasure in my work, to make things happen is a strong driving force and definitely a great pleasure. Therefore I have founded the Vienna Design Week together with Tulga Beyerle and Thomas Geisler, which I am still organizing with great passion after now ten years. I don’t want to go into its strenuous aspects. Looking at it as a pie, they would occupy the larger part. Only the part with the cherries and whipped cream is what makes the whole thing so pleasurable. To have to react quickly, to curate, and to program the festival – it doesn’t compensate it is the incentive.

We are sitting at the Loos Bar, an institution of the city.
For many years I’ve had a relationship with this bar. At home, it has always been a topic of conversation. Little Lilli, who wasn’t allowed yet to sip on drinks, already knew the Loos Bar and also knew that it was a small jewel in Vienna’s first district. The portal of the bar, contains the lettering “American Bar” still there until today, which has been reproduced by my father on the occasion of the exhibition “Dream and Reality” in 1984. Also later, the Loos Bar took a special role in my life, because seventeen years ago I had my first date here with my husband Markus Eiblmayr for which it has a special place in our heart

As far as I know you have your own Loos Bar in your office.
That’s true. It is a piece of furniture by the design group “breadedEscalopes”, a kind of “bar cabinet” in the interior of which one can sit. It its interior you also find the well-known cassette ceiling and the surrounding mirror. The Loos Bar on two square meters as it were. For me it is the continuation of the romance between my husband and me. Although the Loos Bar radiates a very intimate atmosphere, one is never quite alone. In our personal Loos Bar we have the pleasure to enjoy a piece of this wonderful bar in intimate togetherness. That is why it will soon move from the office to our house.

3cl Absolut ELYX
3 Barspoons Lavender-Vanilla-Honey
10cl Champagner

Dissolve Honey in Vodka
Champagner fill-up

Photos: Inge Prader

Loos Bar
Vienna Design Week

#AbsolutElyx #ViennaDesignWeek #LilliHollein #loveart

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