Summer is making its slow exit, and you can embrace the lack of sweat patches, slow-cooking in public transport and finally don your matrix coat, order that pumpkin spice latte, and flock to Vienna, because it’s a whole flippin' month of curated by_! The gallery festival where 21 renowned Viennese galleries invite international curators and give them free reign over their gallery spaces to do as they please with it is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
This year's installment of curated by_ focuses on its host city and explores the specific aspects of the Viennese system – its optimism, pessimism, political situation, and its potential and exciting position as a bridge between the East and West. Making it obvious that Vienna isn't just Sacher cake, Danube Waltz, and Ver Sacrum 100 hundred years ago, curated by_ places modernism under fresh scrutiny and Vienna is, once again, a topic of discussion and continues to manifest itself within the current contemporary art landscape. Under the title “Viennaline,” a plethora of exhibitions, talks, events and even a gallery breakfast are on schedule from 13 September to 13 October. So many in fact, that if you're having a hard time keeping track, may I suggest you just pin your personal highlights in our app Exhibitionary? We'll perform as your personal secretary (fancy, right?) and send you alerts so you can stay that art-loving chaotic person (or art-loving, very organized person, for that matter) you are, without missing anything!
At Crone Wien, Mark Rappolt, Editor-in-chief of the art magazines ArtReview & ArtReview Asia curates “Now Forever.” The exhibition takes its title from a slogan of the Vienna Tourist Board and explores how Vienna presents itself to the world and how this image is reflected back, questioning the sociocultural mechanism for which Vienna stands. So, this is set to be interesting. It features works by Christoph Schlingensief, VALIE EXPORT, Anna Witt and Ming Wong amongst others. If you do remember Schlingensief‘s Bitte liebt Österreich installation/performance/reality TV event back in 2000, we have a gem for you: there will be a talk on September 15, at 3 pm at Crone Wien with participants of this very project.
Curator Said Demircan creates layers of duplication through exhibition-making at Croy Nielsen, using narrative devices, intertextuality and the writings of W.G. Sebald, which also presumably inspired the title of the exhibition “All'estero & Dr. K. Takes the Waters at Riva: Version B,” featuring works by Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Tess Jaray and Miriam Yammad amongst others.
At Galerie Meyer Kainer, curator Melanie Ohnemus brings together works by Mathis Altmann, Bonnie Camplin, Salvo, Lucie Stahl and Amelie von Wulffen. Influenced by Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto written in 1985, Ohnemus curates an exhibition that proposes an anti-essentialist perspective and rethinks dichotomous categories (such as man/woman, human/machine, private/public). Thus creating a state that takes thoughts on identity and dichotomy, and negotiates these in a manner that is simultaneously contradictory and integrative, utilizing the presumed loss of control as redemptive and enriching by transferring text to a construed representative function of the exhibition.
Taking the legacy of Viennese Actionism and its radical experiments as a base, Georg Elben curates “Performance – The Body as a Continuum in Art,” an exhibition that showcases photographs and videos not as documentary evidence but as artworks in their own right. Featuring works by Kerstin von Gabain, Marko Lulić, and Elfie Semotan, among others at Gabriele Senn Galerie, displaying pieces of exhibitionistic loneliness and ironic intimacy.
“Speak in Order That I May See You or Whistle and I'll Come to You,” at Christine Koenig Galerie, is an exhibition of images, words and music featuring works by Félicia Atkinson, David Grubbs, Susan Howe, Gerhard Rühm, and Toni Schmale. Curator Daniel Muzyczuk conceived the exhibition starting with the voice as a guide and conductor of a journey and amplifies this with visual collages.
Also pretty nifty are Tony Cokes' assembled travel notes, that create a speculative image of Vienna by appropriating and meshing non-art, historical figures and touristic clichés, and are featured in "Could you visit me in dreams?" curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini at Galerie Nathalie Halgand.
Julia Garimorth curates “Panta Rhei,” at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, an exhibition that makes us aware of the irreplaceable nature of the moment itself. Along the lines of Heraclitus’ teachings that “everything flows” and nothing ever stays the same, it makes sense that Garimorth chose Sheila Hicks' colorful and fluid sculptural works (think colorful cascades of linen cords tumbling from ceiling to the floor) and Judith Reigl's canvasses that neither have a beginning nor an end.
Following the unsolved case of Amelie Lagrange (the ominous pan-skull combination discovered in Vienna), Thomas Jeppe & Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel curate the exhibition “Compositions” at Charim Galerie, exploring an unknown geography, mapping disruptive territories, and opening up the unclassifiable. With works from Bernhard Willhelm & Jutta Kraus, Kiki Kogelnik, Ines Doujakand Ashley Hans Scheirl amongst others, the show produces transgressive connections and reveals unseen networks of thoughts and gestures within the physical and mental landscapes of Vienna.
At Galerie Ernst Hilger curator Katarzyna Uszynska poses the Hanna Arendt inspired question of “How Banal Is Evil?” featuring – amongst others – the work of artist Alfred Hrdlicka whose oeuvre can be regarded as a perpetual plea against a world of bourgeois coldness and bureaucratic misanthropy.
The curatorial team Latitudes serves you “Cream Cheese and Pretty Ribbons!” with an aftertaste of Karl Kraus at Galerie Martin Janda, and ventures into the apparently perilous middle ground between too much content and too much form and too much everyday and too much artiness, featuring works by Sean Lynch, Batia Suter and David Bestue among others.
Inspired by a collection of short stories by Ingeborg Bachmann, Jérôme Sans has curated an exhibition at Krinzinger Projekte, that sketches the fragility of a collective history which is constantly reinvented. In the same way as Bachmann’s collection, the show unfolds around the imagined stories and writings by the artists themselves, featuring works by Mika Rottenberg, Leandro Erlich, and :MENTALKLINIK: Yasemin Baydar & Birol Demir, among others.
Curators Mirjam Thomann & Jenni Tischer at Krobath gallery are asking you to question the milieu that you inhabit (or that inhabits you) and curator Robert Müller at Galerie Emanuel Layr stages “Elevations,” turning the exhibition space into some mixture of speaker’s corner meets I-ain't-listening, featuring works by Ilya Lipkin, John Miller, Georgia Sagri and Tanja Widmann, among others.
Also, art historian Christina Bartosch, curator Andreas Krištof and art historian Nicole Scheyerer, each made a personal selection of their Top Picks of curated by_ which you can check out in our app.
Like it wasn't enough, this is also happening:
Viennacontemporary, Austria's international art fair, runs from 27–30 September under the roof of iconic Marx Halle. Not only is it a good mix of international top players and up-and-coming galleries, representing their most exciting artists, but this year‘s viennacontemporary stands out in the crowded art calendar as a place for exciting events as well: hosting a series of talks titled “Where are we now?”, curated by Kimberly Bradley. The conversations and discussions will reflect upon the viability of current art-world models. “Living Images” will venture into the worlds of music and augmented reality, and the special presentation puts Armenia in the spotlight at Focus, curated by Sona Stepanyan.
Probably a bit less blazer and more l’art pour l’art, Parallel Vienna, the self-declared hybrid between art fair, exhibition platform, and artist studio opens its doors in a vacant office building from 25–30 September. Not only is it a cool place to hang, but they also usually got a load of parties, talks, and events.
Enjoy the late summer – not only in Vienna.
— Naa Teki Lebar