Art institutions in conversation: the Talks program of viennacontemporary.
We are living in a moment of tectonic shifts in institutional infrastructures across Europe – on political, social and cultural levels. As part of viennacontemporary’s daily program, curator Kate Sutton has put together a program of talks engaging with different aspects of these shifts, as seen from the perspectives of artists, art historians, international collectors, museum directors, dealers, critics, and curators. Titled Borderline, this series of conversations and panel discussions will look at individuals and initiatives seizing on the sudden structural flexibility and working to push the borders of institutions from within: from collectors experimenting with fresh formats for patronage, to dealers testing out alternative models for commercial collaboration, to artists, curators, and critics weighing the ethical implications of activism and critique within the larger infrastructure of the globalized art world.
22-24 September 2017: 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm | Talks Area I C41
Kate Sutton (US) is a writer based in Zagreb, Croatia. In addition to writing catalogues and monographs, she is a frequent contributor to Artforum, among other publications.
In addition to the Borderline program, a number of independent Talks are taking place.
Thursday, 21 September 2017 | 12:30-1:30 pm
Ami Barak, Curator of the Art Encounters Biennale
Ovidiu Șandor, President of the Art Encounters Foundation
Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of Kunsthalle Wien
An open door to an art scene between a long history and a short story.
Entitled Life a User’s Manual (Das Leben Gebrauchsanweisung), the central exhibition curated by Ami Barak and Diana Marincu, will survey and compile fragments from everyday life, as seen in both current artistic practices and historical art projects from the 1960s onwards.
Like in Georges Perec’s novel, La vie mode d’emploi, the exhibition will present characters, situations and contexts – stories that span not only over a day, but also a lifetime. As the fluxus artist Robert Filliou said, “art is what makes life more interesting than art”.
The second edition of the Art Encounters Bienniale will bring together a group of international artists who will engage in meaningful dialogues with the region’s artistic discourses and communities. The exhibition will be embedded across a wide range of cultural and public venues in Timișoara and Arad, and will highlight the ways in which artists reflect on many day-to-day realities that are now becoming increasingly unstable.
Thursday, 21 September 2017 | 2:00-3:00 pm
Wilfried Cooreman, Collector, Belgium
Vivian Gandelsman, Contemporary Art Researcher, Consultant, Co-Founder Artload.com, São Paolo
The Artload platform was designed for those who are new to contemporary art or anyone who would like to take a closer look into the field. It offers dozens of video interviews with the most influential people on the international art circuit: artists, curators, gallerists and many other professionals. Artload is the result of a continuous research and provides both local and global critical perspectives on contemporary art through its interviews. It intends to present new ways of looking at art history and the manifold narrative possibilities that contribute to the appreciation of the artistic action. This talk offers to share with the viennacontemporary’s audience the process experience of producing a project and to promote an interaction between the interviewees, the interviewer and the audience.
Friday, 22 September 2017 | 1:00-2:00 pm
Jam Acuzar, Founder and Director, Bellas Artes Projects, Bataan/Manila
Aaron Cezar, Founding Director, Delfina Foundation, London
Haro Cumbusyan, Collector, Founding Director collectorspace, Istanbul
Collectors have long been hailed as the primary engine of the art market, but the recent boom in contemporary art institutions has brought with it seemingly myriad other opportunities for support – from biennial commissions to museum endowments, travel grants and residencies. But lest such opportunities start to feel like obligations, this conversation collectively brainstorms other creative possibilities for contemporary patronage, drawing on the experiences of the speakers’ own institutions.
Friday, 22 September 2017 | 3:00-4:00 pm
Max Mayer, Gallerist, Düsseldorf
Henrikke Nielsen, Gallerist, Croy Nielsen, Vienna
Mari Spirito, Founding Director, Protocinema, Istanbul/New York
Franziska Sophie Wildförster, Curator, Writer and Co-Director of Kevin Space Vienna
Counterintuitive though it may seem, the spectacular growth of the art market has brought with it a spike in gallery closures, as the traditional gallery model proves no longer adequate to meet market demands. This conversation takes an honest look at the situation currently facing commercial galleries, before exploring attempts to forge more sustainable paths for international exchange, through gallery-sharing initiatives like Condo and Okey Dokey.
Friday, 22 September 2017 | 5:00-6:00 pm
Maja Ćirić, Independent Curator, Belgrade
Alanna Heiss, Founder, Artistic Director, Clocktower Productions, New York
Irena Popiashvili, Curator, Dean of Visual Arts and Design School at Free University of Tbilisi
Marlies Wirth, Curator, MAK – Austrian Museum for Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna
While galleries face pressure to #GroworGo, institutions like biennales or museums experience an opposite backlash, as the art world audience is stretched thinner and thinner. Jetset rumblings against “biennale fatigue” can cloud over the reality that these institutions and infrastructures can still mean much more than just another opening party. This discussion draws on both recent and historic initiatives that have answered, incorporated or even anticipated the needs of their communities.
Saturday, 23 September 2017 | 1:00-2:00 pm
Osei Bonsu, Curator, Writer, London/Paris
Valentin Diaconov, Curator, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
Ana Teixeira Pinto, Writer, Berlin
This past year the international art world has been rocked by a series of high profile debates policing just who can give voice to whom. The fallout of these discussions has challenged both the limits to which art criticism can pose a critique and the extent to which such writing is inherently complicit with the institutions within which it operates. This panel will address these questions while weighing in on what it is that art writing can still do.
Saturday, 23 September 2017 | 3:00-4:00 pm
Kimberly Bradley, Writer, Journalist, Educator, Vienna/Berlin
Sohrab Mohebbi, Writer, Associate Curator, REDCAT, Los Angeles
Jonas Staal, Artist, Rotterdam/Athens
Alessandro Vincentelli, Curator of Exhibitions and Research, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
When it comes to expressing political opinions, an art space can be considerably more flexible than other public institutions. Flexibility, however, does not necessarily equate to sensitivity nor, for that matter, efficacy. This panel looks at the various intricacies and ethical entanglements that can arise when addressing pressing social issues (such as nationalism, racism or war) from within the institution.
Saturday, 23 September 2017 | 5:00-6:00 pm
Defne Ayas, Director Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam
Boris Ondreička, Artist, Curator TBA21, Vienna
Joanna Warsza, Artistic Director, Public Art Munich 2018
Whether for permanent institutions or temporary initiatives like biennales or public art projects, audience development and engagement requires its own type of calibration. At what point does speaking to an audience shift to speaking at? What gives institutions “the right” to tackle certain issues? Are there instances where the curator has to draw lines? These are some of the questions fueling this conversation.
Sunday, 24 September 2017 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
The show’s previous guests include leading representatives from the cultural, economic, and political spheres, or the international art world (Shirin Neshat, Thaddeaus Ropac, Jeffrey Deitch, Michael Kimmelman, Erwin Wurm, etc). The show’s objective is to present the biographies, attitudes, stories and opinions of the most interesting personalities from various social spheres and discuss current cultural, political and social issues with them based on their personal biographies. Talk in German/(TV-Station:W24).
Sunday, 24 September 2017 | 1:00-2:00 pm
Anna-Sophie Berger, Artist, Vienna/New York
João Ribas, Deputy Director, Senior Curator, Serralves Museum, Porto
Under the title “New Literacy,” this year’s Ural Biennial poses the question “how might the visual and bodily practices of contemporary artistic production form the basis for understanding the speeds, languages, and interfaces of the recent transformation that information and communication technologies have had on the way we live, work, dream, and play?” In this conversation, curator João Ribas will expound on this question with participating artist Anna-Sophie Berger.
Sunday, 24 September 2017 | 3:00-4:00 pm
Daniel Grúñ, Art Historian, Writer, Curator, Bratislava
Emese Kürti, Art Historian, Head of acb ResearchLab, Budapest
Darko Šimičić, Art Critic, Curator, Secretary, Tomislav Gotovac Intitute, Zagreb
Part art work, part art historical repository, the artist’s archive occupies a peculiar place within institutions. What is the ideal life for an artist’s archive? Where would it be displayed? What kind of access would it offer? This panel brings together three curators and researchers who have worked extensively within artist’s archives, to share their insight and experiences.
Sunday, 24 September 2017 | 5:00-6:00 pm
Juliette Blightman, Artist, London/Berlin
Felix Gaudlitz, Co-Founder, saxpublishers, Vienna
At a time when publishing has been “in crisis” for decades now, the persistence of the artist’s book seems all but inexplicable. This panel puts Felix Gaudlitz, co-founder of Vienna’s saxpublishers, in conversation with artist Juliette Blightman to revisit some of the thoughts that went into the making of Blightman’s latest artist book, while debating the wider issues of art publishing.
Photos: Ami Barak © Dragoș Jivan; Ovidiu Șandor © Dragoș Jivan; Nicolaus Schafhausen © Steffen Jagenburg; Wilfried Cooreman © dyod; Vivian Gandelsman © Denise Andrade; Jam Acuzar © Carlos Von der Heyde; Mari Spirito © Serkan Emiroğlu; Alanna Heiss © Clocktower website; Irena Popiashvili © Eugene Timerman; Marlies Wirth © Anastasia Ekhlakova @BRICK&MORTAR; Jonas Staal © Stephan Vanfleteren; Alessandro Vincentelli © Colin Davison; Defne Ayas © Albrecht Fuchs; Boris Ondreicka © Boleslav Boska; Joanna Warsza © Paz Guevara; Anna-Sophie Berger © mum/Klaus Pichler