Perceptions of Today

Perceptions of Today

Vienna Contemporary returns for 2019, bringing together 110 galleries from Central and Eastern Europe. From post-war surrealism of the 1960s to today’s leading voices, the event looks at the evolving relationship between art, politics and the human condition. New as Boris Marte, Head of Erste Innovation Hub, notes: “A vivid and free art community is indispensable for modern democracies.”

We live in an increasingly connected world, where constant communication and global exchange are the norm. Vienna Contemporary shines a light on society’s relationship with digital technologies, highlighting emerging artists from Austria who respond to media overstimulation. Zone 1 presents paintings, sculptures and installations that explore varying perceptions of reality, highlighting shifting notions of truth and fiction whilst drawing attention to increased levels of surveillance.

The contemporary condition is also addressed by 2019’s video artists. In Falling Awake, moving images consider sleepless states and social anxieties. Tensions between technological development and individuality are palpable, with many works addressing the deeper economic and power structures underpinning society. The selection, which includes work by pioneering feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer (1939-2019), also holds a mirror up to diverse communities, celebrating a multiplicity of identities.

The fair launches a series of discussions around these topics, demonstrating how art can inspire dialogue. From talks on the future of creative practice to its capacity to effect change, Vienna Contemporary offers a platform for idea generation. Artist Candice Breitz joins a panel on gender equality, whilst leading philosophers and experts – including Roger McNamee, Mark Zuckerberg’s advisor – discuss the role of social media in politics, culture and society.

26-29 September. Find out more here.

Lead image: Alex Grein, Rolling, 2019, Courtesy Galerie Gisela Clement.