Cultural Investigations

With more than 110 galleries and institutions from 27 countries and works from over 500 artists, Viennacontemporary is the highlight of the Viennese autumn art season. Offering innovative exhibits, family programmes, guided tours, informative talks and an extensive list of collateral events, the schedule is a vast and insightful indication of Europe’s current creative scene. Through endeavouring to create an accessible and balanced schedule, the festival establishes itself as a frontrunner in the international fair network.

Taking place at the Viennese Marx Halle, this year’s edition offers a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their work. Nordic Highlights, for example, offers a range of artists from galleries across Finland, Denmark and Sweden, such as Cecilia Hillström Gallery and Gallery Taik Persons. Amongst the rich selection are several reputable names, including Georg Baselitz, who was instrumental in leading the generation of German artists following WWII in handling themes of national identity in their practice. Alongside this special presentation is Zone 1, a showcase of 10 practitioners under the age of 40 who were born or educated in Austria, whose combined practices form a multi-layered narrative of contemporary art. Curated by Marlies Wirth the collection focuses on a range of themes, from Peter Jellitsch’s drawings that investigate the history and development of the internet, to an expansive installation from Kay Walkowiak that explores the power struggle between creator and subject.

Complementing the displays are several talks curated by Kate Sutton, who has selected the theme Borderline, which focuses on the comprehensive changes that European institutions are facing through the lens of industry experts. With panel discussions and presentations from a variety of museum directors, collectors, dealers, curators and critics, the series looks at how the borders of the pre-existing institutional format can be pushed and challenged from the inside. The list of events includes: Positions In Print: The Ethics of Art Writing, a discussion with curator and writer Osei Bonsu, Curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Valentin Diaconov, and writer Ana Teixeira Pinto, and Model Patrons: The Shifting Role of the Collector, with Founder and Director, Bellas Artes Projects Jam Acuzar, Founding Director, Delfina Foundation Aaron Cezar and Collector and Founding Director at collectorspace, Haro Cumbusyan.

Viennacontemporary is held 21-24 September at Marx Halle Vienna. For more information:

1. Win Wenders, Untitled, from the series Written in the West, New Mexico, 1983, © Wim Wenders, courtesy Ostlicht, Galerie für Fotografie.