From 11 June to 4 October 2015, Vienna will host its first interdisciplinary biennale: the Vienna Biennale 2015 will establish innovative creative alliances and combine contemporary fine art with design and architecture. Initiated by Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Director of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, and realized in partnership with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Architekturzentrum Wien, and departure, the Creative Unit of the Vienna Business Agency, with support from the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology as a non-university research partner, the first Vienna Biennale is dedicated to the theme Ideas For Change.
The exhibitions and projects of the Vienna Biennale 2015 will explore artistic positions for positive change and spark a discourse against the background of Digital Modernity. "We live in a new age of modernity, in which the digital revolution penetrates all areas of our lives. It is the responsibility of the arts, including architecture and design, to engage with the challenges of Digital Modernity. The Vienna Biennale 2015 also draws on the interdisciplinary role that Vienna played around 1900 in the previous Western modernity, which was triggered by the Industrial Revolution," says Christoph Thun-Hohenstein.
Four international curators were invited to develop projects for the Vienna Biennale 2015: Pedro Gadanho (Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art, New York), Harald Gruendl (Co-Partner, EOOS; Director, IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna), Maria Lind (Director, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm), and Peter Weibel (Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Professor, University of Applied Arts Vienna).
Six ambitious exhibition projects are already scheduled to take place:
Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016 (curators: Peter Weibel and Bärbel Vischer, MAK Curator of Contemporary Art) will highlight the potential of the contemporary scene in Bucharest and Romania against the background of current and past avant-garde movements, such as Dada. The exhibition will feature the winning entries in the idea competition create your bucharest, which opened in October 2014. Mapping Bucharest and the idea competition Create Your Bucharest are realized by the MAK with generous financial support from OMV and OMV Petrom.
Performing Public Art, an exhibition by the University of Applied Arts Vienna, (curators: Peter Weibel and Gerald Bast, Rector, University of Applied Arts) will cover new varieties of public art as manifested in global activism by numerous artists.
Maria Lind will curate a group exhibition in two parts that will be shown at the MAK and at Kunsthalle Wien. The project also comprises a series of discursive events, including four MAK Nite Labs (the MAK Nite Lab A New Enlightenment? The First Public Deliberation already took place in April 2014).
In the context of the city as a laboratory for sustainable lifestyles, the program 2051: Smart Life in the City, organized by the MAK and departure, will develop an exhibition and workshops on projects that represent a new understanding of design (curators: Harald Gruendl and Thomas Geisler, MAK Curator of Design).
The interdisciplinary examination of the topic of urbanity is the motivation behind the exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, realized by MOMA in cooperation with the MAK (curator: Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture, MoMA, New York). The featured scenarios were developed by six teams of experts, academics, and practitioners in workshops in which new architectural possibilities for six global metropolises were tested.
The international competition Seestadt Aspern International, organized by the Architekturzentrum Wien in cooperation with Wien 3420 Aspern Development AG, will explore alternative approaches to urban architecture. The results of the competition will be presented and discussed at the Architekturzentrum Wien (curator: Dietmar Steiner, Director, Architekturzentrum Wien).
The Vienna Biennale Circle of eminent personalities living in Vienna will provide an important connection to the city of Vienna and ensure that all the projects will be brought together with an interdisciplinary approach. The resulting insights will be presented in an additional exhibition.
OMV and OMV Petrom
The complete list of sponsors of the Vienna Biennale 2015 will be published in early 2015.