viennacontemporary 2019 | Special Presentations

Sep 25, 2019 11:44AM

Caroline Coolen, Birce, 2016, bronze, cm 60x48x37. Courtesy of Whitehouse Gallery.


Curator: Fiona Liewehr

Participating Galleries:

  • Thomas Geiger I SPERLING | F18
  • Eva Koťátková I hunt kastner | F12
  • Luiza Margan I Structura Gallery | F23
  • Markus Proschek I SVIT | F19
  • Stefan Reiterer I Galerie CRONE | F14
  • Titania Seidl I Raum mit Licht | F16
  • Marina Sula I Gabriele Senn Galerie | F17
  • Sophie Thun I Sophie Tappeiner | F13
  • Julian Turner I FILIALE | F20
  • Marcin Zarzeka I Dawid Radziszewski | F15

This year‘s edition of ZONE 1, which once again focuses on artists under the age of 40 who live, study or work in Austria, has set itself the goal of strengthening international networking. Six of the ten galleries come from abroad, and the artists they represent work with the media of painting, sculpture, photography, and performative-installation staging. Having grown up in a digitized world, mobility and constant global exchange are taken for granted, and the accelerated adaptation to change is normality. At the same time, it is with growing skepticism that they meet our increasingly dissonant society suffering from overstimulation mixed with a state of cultural exhaustion and the virally spreading, but illusionary reality.

Therefore, they increasingly devote themselves to democratic and collaborative work processes and material experiences of reality – because when connectivity is everywhere, experiencing the real and the material becomes special. In sculpture, this is expressed in the combination of diverging materials and of traditional craftsmanship with modern digital technologies; in photography, it is expressed in the exploration of its instrumental basics, ways of staging, and the manipulation of reality; and in painting, it is shown in the analytical translation of often digital templates into collage-like, technically adept formulations. In installation settings and with performative instructions, the artists raise questions about the loss and surveillance of private space and the economization and regulation of the public sphere and deal with topics such as historical constructions, everchanging socio-political orders, and gender roles.

ZONE1 2019 sees itself as an international creative discourse platform, where young artists and their gallerists – each individually and together – can engage, discuss, and envision with the visitors. Because only those who see tomorrow in the today will move, will not worry! – Fiona Liewehr

Fiona Liewehr is an art historian, curator, and writer/editor based in Vienna. Her experience is based on both an institutional background (Belvedere Museum Vienna and mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) and the art market (director of Georg Kargl Fine Arts).

With the kind support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

Luiza Margan, The Ghostly and the Golden, series of inkjet prints on fine art paper, framed, 210x160 cm, 2015. Courtesy of viennacontemporary 2019.


Curator: Harald Krejci

Josef Bauer | KROBATH | F08

  • Alberto Biasi, Gruppo N | PANARTE | E06 / F07
  • Horia Damian | Galeria Plan B | E08
  • Tess Jaray | Karsten Schubert & EXILE | G09
  • Robert Klemmer | Konzett | G10
  • Alfred Klinkan | Galerie bei der Albertina Zetter | F06 / G07
  • Vakhtang Kokiashvili | Window Project | F10 / G11
  • Jacqueline Mesmaeker | Nadja Vilenne | F09
  • Geza Perneczky, Milan Adamčiak and Michal Kern | SODA Gallery | G08
  • Yuri Zlotnikov and Alexander Pankin | pop/off/art gallery | E10 / F11

The section Exploration gathers various galleries from Europe presenting artistic positions of the 60s and 70s in a concentrated presentation of works. The section shows very different artistic attitudes, all of which, in their specific way, indirectly link or refer to the intellectual heritage of post-war surrealism.

In the 1960s, many artists reinterpreted abstraction as the encoding and decoding of social problems on a poetic level. The intellectual heritage of surrealism played an essential role in this. It offered the opportunity to regain the critical potential of art in times of its political appropriation on both sides of the Iron Curtain. From then on, artists were concerned with the problematization of abstraction as a form of overlapping thinking of different levels of consciousness. Central to this was the concept of poetry.

Mesmaeker’s strictly conceptual method is a poetic approach and a shift of space and biography, of dream and reality, within her work. The photographic works of Géza Perneczky and Michal Kern discursively point out the ephemeral dimension of art, while Josef Bauer’s fragmentation of language as a poetic dimension manages to expand the language space into the third dimension. At second glance, Robert Klemmer’s superficial pop-art colorfulness and self-portrayal turn out to be an introspective, existential dimension of the ego. With his works of the 60s and 70s, the Russian artist Alexander Pankin draws on the tradition of the abstraction of avant-garde and reflects on the question of the poetic aspect of figurative painting. Yuri Zlotnikov’s painting follows the analytical approach to abstraction in the tradition of avant-garde, yet still remaining committed to pictorial and poetic qualities.

Tess Jaray and Horia Damian deal with reflections on architectural space and emphasize the poetic over the rational. Milan Adamčiak, on the other hand, uses music to open up the poetic space. From a certain point onwards, Alberto Biasi operates only under the programmatic group name Gruppo N and works on the poetic potential of rational-geometric structures. In his kind of art-brut quoting painting, Alfred Klinkan’s art places biographical references and Western myths in new narrative contexts. Vakhtang Kokiashvili’s work relates to the folklore, myths, and mysticism of his homeland.

Mag. Harald Krejci

Born in Linz / Donau, Krejci studied art history in Augsburg and Munich. In 2000, he started working at the Kiesler Foundation in Vienna, where he was in charge of the scientific research and evaluation of Friedrich Kiesler’s estate. He curated exhibitions at the MMK Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt am Main, the Drawing Center New York, and the Kiesler Foundation Vienna. In 2009, he joined the team of curators at the Belvedere, where he curated numerous exhibitions. In 2017, Krejci was appointed the head curator of the Belvedere. He curated retrospectives on Franz West, Günter Brus, and Rachel Whiteread as well as the first presentation of Vik Muniz in Austria.

Yuri Zlotnikov. From series Abstraction, space, rhythms, people. The end of 1980s - the beginning of 1990. Paper, pastel, gouache. 60х84. Courtesy of pop/off/art

Focus: NSK State in Time

Curator: Tevž Logar | E24 | F25

Participating artists: Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle, Burak Arikan & Ahmet Ögüt, Danica Dakić, Vadim Fishkin, IRWIN, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Laibach, Ilona Németh, Alban Muja, Adrian Paci, Lia Perjovschi, Mladen Stilinović, New Collectivism, Jaan Toomik, Ulay, Tadej Vaukman, Živadinov

This year‘s Focus section will revolve around the question: "What is the understanding of a state that is not based on territory but in time?" Based on the phenomenon "NSK State in Time", curator Tevž Logar questions the notion that art is represented in the realm of a nation state.

Created as a conceptual art project in 1992 by the groups comprising the "Neue Slowenische Kunstmovement" (NSK) in response to the political upheavals in Yugoslavia, the "NSK State in Time" without any territory is now the virtual home of over 15,000 citizens worldwide. The state provides citizens with rights of participation that encourage open-ended actions, such as the formula- tion of their own constitution, currency, educational system, or popular culture.

In the current era of reassertion of fascism and xenophobia, the question of post-nationalism, as posed by the NSK State in Time, is as relevant today as it was when it was founded.

The current Focus presentation can be seen on the one hand as one of the NSK‘s open-ended actions directly addressing the mechanisms of the contemporary art system. On the other hand, the presentation revolves around a selection of artists who, through their work, reject the idea of boundaries and thus stimulate critical thinking on topics such as memory, history, and existing geo- political paradigms.

Tevž Logar is an independent curator working with various galleries, institutions, and collections. He was an associate curator and editor at Galerija Gregor Podnar in Berlin, artistic director of the Škuc Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a lecturer of 20th Century Art History at the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA), Ljubljana. He lives in Rijeka, Croatia.

This year’s Focus presentation is kindly supported by the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory and ERSTE Foundation.

Mladen Stilinović, I da i ne ti (And Yes and Not You), 1973. Courtesy of Galerie Martin Janda, Wien.

Video: Falling Awake

Curator: Attilia Fattori Franchini | A02

Participating artists: Rosa Aiello, Wojciech Bąkowski, Lucy Beech, Josef Dabernig, Aria Dean, Michael Franz, Barbara Hammer, Diego Marcon, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Marianna Simnett, Leslie Thornton, Nadim Vardag.

A selection of moving images considering the various modes of examining the contemporary condition – sleepless, aware, in constant tension between technological development, individuality, loss, desire, and mediatic presence. Artists recount voyeurism and intimacy as forms of resistance, revealing social anxieties along with deeper economic and power structures.

The films chosen present complex subjectivities, narrated or abstracted, at times performed by the artists themselves. Ideas related to transformation, gender, and identity affirmation appear throughout the selection, in flux, augmenting their fictional potential with the help of digital and post-production techniques. Tapping into the Viennese tradition, historical feminist films selected from Austrian collections will inform and complete the program. Falling Awake envisions the condition of falling as a fundamental state, to disrupt traditional modes of seeing and feeling, and to help understand the perpetual mutability of things.

Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based in Vienna and Milan. She is the curator of the commission program BMW Open Work by Frieze and of Curva Blu, a residency project in Favignana, Sicily. She is currently preparing upcoming projects in Naples and Milan.

With the kind support of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.


In this edition of viennacontemporary, collaboration and exchange will be re-examined at different levels and tested as an open field of experimentation. This time, for example, cooperation possibilities between galleries range from shared booths over subtle architectural interventions, such as walls that do not completely separate two stalls, allowing for neighborly and collegial work, to even more informal meetings between gallerists from different regions. Dialogue and cooperation for mutual benefit, shared leadership tasks, collectives at the top of institutions and in the production of art – in the art world, all kinds of new forms of cooperation have been long established. Using these initiatives, which are to be expanded in the future, we are testing new ways of working toge- ther to present the fair in an even more exciting and versatile manner.