Lomographers (and non-lomographers) find inspiration and fun with experimental photography through the Lomo camera. In the “Lomo Shop” in Vienna’s Museums Quarter they will find lots of fancy items.

Have you ever used a Lomo? For the non-lomographers among you: A Lomo is a small camera originally produced in St Petersburg, with which you can take exciting and experimental pictures. But in fact it’s more a new approach towards analogous photography, it’s an attitude. It’s fun!

Christina Bibawy was involved in lomography projects in Vienna while she was still a student. Then she founded the first lomography club in 1996: the legendary “Lomo Depot”, a club where not only the whole Lomo production package was presented but exhibitions, too. And where the wildest parties were celebrated, I’m told… To cut it short, what started a couple of years ago in Vienna may be called a true “Lomo cult”.

In 2001, the Kunsthalle Wien opened its new building in the MuseumsQuartier, the former imperial stables that had been rebuilt into Austria’s largest modern culture complex. The Lomographic Society was offered to take a space on a permanent basis there. Christina took the offer and opened the Lomography Shop in the midst of this explosive cultural, urban and historic setting. Since then her shop has been a meeting point for the local Lomographer community, but also for visitors from elsewhere.

Always on the lookout for fancy and obscure gadgets all over the world, Christina drags her finds back to the store – mostly “need-not” but “must-have” stuff. Some of the products are available in vast quantities, others are one-offs. Avant-garde design sits alongside recycled products; small series of goodies alternate with industrial mass-produced goods; and digital sounds compete with photographic originals and printed rarities from flea markets or illustrious auction houses.

In addition to the goodies, the shop’s architecture and design catches the visitor’s eye, reflecting the different facets of Lomography. Unusual materials, flowing elements and mobile structures respond to the location’s philosophy and the range and change of the products on offer.

In the shop’s vestibule, which runs off into the entrance of the Kunsthalle, Christina hosts spontaneous and well-planned LomoParties. “There is always a reason for feasting,” says the shop-owner, who especially loves it when foreign visitors suddenly realise that it is the Lomography World they have entered.

Lomography Shop Vienna

Address: Kunsthalle Wien, Museumsquartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna
Tel: +43 1 523 7016

Text and Photos: Christina Merl

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