Second Press Conference Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 10:30 a.m.
Venue MAK Lecture Hall, Weiskirchnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna 


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How do we want to live and work in the future? How do we want to develop our cities? With what ideas and impulses can fine art and the applied disciplines of design and architecture contribute to make a better society? Those are the central themes of the very first VIENNA BIENNALE, which will take place from 11 June to 4 October 2015.
“As the first multi-sector biennale in the world, the 2015 VIENNA BIENNALE—under the title of IDEAS FOR CHANGE—is devoted to approaches to positive change from diverse creative perspectives and gains insights into the significant topics of our time via this intensive encounter between art, design, and architecture,” says Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, Director of the MAK and Head of the VIENNA BIENNALE, during the presentation of the exhibitions and the participating international artists, designers, and architects on 24 March 2015 at the MAK.

Posted 29 March 2015

Initiated by Thun-Hohenstein and organized by the MAK in partnership with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Architekturzentrum Wien, as well as departure, the Creative Center of the Vien-na Business Agency, with support from the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology as a non-university research partner, the VIENNA BIENNALE 2015: IDEAS FOR CHANGE will develop a unique discourse that will push the customary genre boundaries by means of context-related projects at several exhibition venues.

The starting point and connecting theme of the projects of the VIENNA BIENNALE are the—in part rapidly growing—cities, whose enormous potentials and problems will be investigated from the viewpoint of various creative branches. As a result, a multifaceted panorama of criticism, ideas, and concrete solution proposals will unfold: Architecture and design are focusing on six megacities on five continents; fine art on Bucharest as a striking example of a city behind the former Iron Curtain; design and architecture on the Austrian capital, which has repeatedly been ranked the world’s most livable city; art on the possibilities of a new enlightenment evolving in the urban context in particular, as well as on the importance of the urban public space. “What all projects have in common is that while they are each grounded in a particular discipline, they are open to other sectors in several respects. The interplay of the creative sectors gives this Biennale its unique character,” according to Thun-Hohenstein. 

Ensuing from this intended “conversation between the arts,” the Biennale curators Pedro Gadanho (Curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York), Harald Gruendl (Co-Partner, EOOS; Head of IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna), Maria Lind (Director of Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm), and Peter Weibel (Executive Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe; Full Professor, University of Applied Arts Vienna) have developed exhibitions that facilitate creative alliances.

This creative exchange culminates in the Vienna Biennale Circle, an open platform, which will accompany the entire genesis of the Biennale and which, in addition to the heads of the Biennale’s partner institutions, is comprised of eminent personalities who live in Vienna. The Vienna Biennale Circle interconnects the Biennale projects on a meta-level by addressing creativity as the key element for future human work in the digital age. “The interconnectedness of the Biennale projects and the resulting cross connections yield a central, joint message: Positive chang-es must come from the bottom up—from all of us!”, says Thun-Hohenstein.
Overview of Exhibitions and Projects:
Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016 (An exhibition by the MAK; curators: Peter Weibel, Executive Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe; Full Professor, University of Applied Arts Vienna; and Bärbel Vischer, Curator, MAK Contemporary Art Collection) searches for a potential cultural space that spans across Europe in the light of avant-garde movements. Starting with Dada, Surrealism, Lettrism, Nouveau Réalisme, and the Theatre of the Absurd, the exhibition is con-cerned with the consolidation of knowledge about current contemporary Art, Memory, and the metaphor of Revolution in the context of the Roma-nian art scene. The project began with the idea competition Create Your Bucharest, announced in October 2014, which sought social and cultural visions for the Romanian metropolis. Chosen by a jury in Bucharest, the winning works will be presented in a dedicated section of the exhibition. Mapping Bucharest and Create Your Bucharest are realized by the MAK with generous financial support from OMV and OMV Petrom.
The Performing Public Art Festival (A project by the University of Applied Arts Vienna; curators: Peter Weibel, Executive Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, and Full Professor, University of Applied Arts Vienna; as well as Gerald Bast, President, University of Applied Arts Vien-na) is devoted to Public Art, which harbors a great opportunity for a func-tioning democracy. The citizens’ movements of today show the emer-gence of a new form of public space and art in public space, namely, public art. “Public art manifests itself today as an event in public space. It is geared to replacing silent sculpture with a new idiom of attention,” explain Peter Weibel and Gerald Bast. This new language evolves out of actions, acts and events. Artists, working unnoticed by the gallery and museum system, are producing a new form of public art. Public art is becoming one of the most important practices of contemporary art in the moment when painting and sculpture are increasingly becoming a market art and thus out of the reach of a public defined by democratic action. At the Performing Public Art Festival eleven works by both Austrian and inter-national artists and artist groups will exemplify the scope of new public art and perform their ideas for change.
In light of the dystopian forecasts and counteractive targets for the 21st century, the project 2051 (Jointly organized by the MAK and departure, the Creative Center of the Vienna Business Agency; curators: Harald Gruendl, Co-Partner, EOOS and Head of the IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna; as well as Thomas Geisler, Curator, MAK Design Collection)—an Orwellian inversion of the year in which the first VIENNA BIENNALE is taking place—aims to demonstrate the changing role of design in the context of positive social change as well as to make this role come alive. In the urban space of Vienna, exhibition satellites—so-called “demonstrators”—will be erected that will confront the city’s inhabitants with future developments from the fields of mobility, labor, money, health, housing, care, hospitality, education, consumerism, and entertainment in the set-ting of the urban everyday. The exhibition 2051: Smart Life in the City at the MAK displays the topics of these “demonstrators” in the context of the protest project Hypotopia – Die Milliardenstadt [Hypotopia: The Billion-Euro City], which was developed by students at the Vienna University of Technology in the fall of 2014. All of the “demonstrators” will be intro-duced with their research questions, aims, and—later—also corresponding public feedback.
Under the programmatic title Future Light (curator: Maria Lind, Director of Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm), Maria Lind develops a discourse to rediscover central ideas in art, activism, and theory, which were already held high at the time of the Enlightenment, among them the approach to light, individuality, and the public. Her project comprises a group exhibition at the MAK, an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wien (Museumsquartier), off-site commissions in Vienna, and a reader.
Existing paintings, videos, sculptures, and drawings by seventeen artists will make up an installation without walls but with plenty of natural light in the group exhibition at the MAK. The reflected and refracted light, which
often creates opacity and abstraction in contemporary art and preserves the condition of human visual perception, as well as the future as a point of orientation in many artworks, will be brought to bear in this group exhi-bition at the MAK. The work The Report also reveals an alternative future, with which STEALTH.unlimited together with Stefan Gruber revisit the history of Vienna’s urban movements.
The exhibition LOVING, REPEATING by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz at Kunsthalle Wien will present three video-based works and a series of new sculptures, which make up an atmospheric time-reflective installa-tion. The videos are highly staged scenarios where the past is recreated for a future use and new desires take shape. Amidst glitter, curtains, cam-ouflage patterns, impressive wigs and a certain amount of musical inter-action, a form of playful opacity makes itself felt among characters who are deliberately difficult to categorize. Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz produce performances for the camera, making use of a dense net of references on experimental film, the history of photography and under-ground (drag-) performance.
Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities (An exhibition realized by MoMA in collaboration with the MAK; curator: Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York) presents the results of a 14-month initiative examining new architectural possibilities to address the rapid and uneven growth of six global metropolises—Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York City, and Rio de Janeiro—from which design scenarios were developed. Six inter-disciplinary teams (MAP Office and Network Architecture Lab, Superpool and Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée, NLÉ and Zoohaus/Inteligencias Colectivas, URBZ and Ensamble Studio/MIT-POPlab, SITU Studio and CohStra, as well as RUA Arquitetos and MAS Urban Design ETH) each focused on one of these cities and designed acupunctural outlooks on how to change urban environments for the better. An online platform ( invites the public to contribute other examples of urban practices. A selection of these submissions will be presented as part of the MAK installation.
With the project aspern INTERNATIONAL (A cooperation between the Architekturzentrum Wien and “Wien 3420 Aspern Development AG;” cura-tor: Dietmar Steiner, Director, Architekturzentrum Wien), the Wien 3420 Aspern Development AG in cooperation with the Architekturzentrum Wien is running an invited idea competition for a plot of land in the Lakeside Park Quarter in aspern Vienna’s Urban Lakeside. Seven architecture firms chosen from across Europe are taking part. Vienna is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities; the largest urban development area is aspern Vien-na’s Urban Lakeside in the east of the city. The aim of the competition is to develop alternative approaches to the city’s architecture. The results of the competition will be presented and discussed during the VIENNA BIENNALE 2015—even before the jury meets. The exhibition aspern INTERNATIONAL offers both the jury and the public the opportunity to learn about the competition entries and further projects by the participating architects.
The exhibition The Art of Working: Agency in Digital Modernity (An exhibition at the MAK by the Vienna Biennale Circle) on the upper floor of the MAK Columned Main Hall presents guiding priciples and directions for action for the future of human work in the digital age. In the course of intensively examining all the Biennale projects, the Vienna Biennale Circle has identified the importance of creativity for the development of human work—above all in light of the trap presented by digital automation—as a key topic of Digital Modernity. The core team of the Vienna Biennale Circle will consolidate these insights in an exhibition manifesto designed by buero bauer.
To supplement The Art of Working, the exhibition of contemporary fine art 24/7: the human condition will be on display in the MAK DESIGN LAB
(curator: Marlies Wirth, Curator, MAK).
The VIENNA BIENNALE 2015 will be accompanied by an array of events, symposia, workshops, and talks. A range of parallel projects at the partner institutions will also be open to visitors to the Biennale.
Detailed texts on the Biennale exhibitions and a complete list of the
participating artists, designers, and architects are available for download in the press area of the VIENNA BIENNALE website
is organized by  MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art  in cooperation with
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Kunsthalle Wien
Architekturzentrum Wien
Vienna Business Agency, departure
Research Partner: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology 

See Agenda>

Pedro Gadanho

Pedro Gadanho, Portrait
Curator of Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
© Martin Seck

Pedro Gadanho is the Curator of Contemporary Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since he joined MoMA in 2012, he curated the exhibitions 9+1 Ways of Being Political and Cut’n’Paste, and he is responsible for the Young Architects Program. Previously he divided his time between architecture, teaching, writing, and curating. Gadanho holds an MA in art and architecture and a PhD in architecture and mass media. He is the author of Interiores 01>010 and Arquitetura em Público and received the FAD Prize for Thought and Criticism in 2012. He was the editor of the bookazine BEYOND, writes the ShrapnelContemporary blog, and contributes regularly to international publications. He curated Metaflux at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibitions such as Post.Rotterdam, Space Invaders, and Pancho Guedes, An Alternative Modernist. He was also a chief curator of ExperimentaDesign between 2001 and 2003. Among exhibition layouts, galleries, and refurbishments, his designs include the Ellipse Foundation in Lisbon, the widely publicized Orange House in Carreço, Family Home in Oporto, and GMG House in Torres Vedras.

Harald Gruendl

Harald Gruendl (* 1967 in Vienna) studied industrial design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 2005 he earned his doctorate in philosophy, and in 2009 he completed his habilitation in the theory and history of design.
In 1995, along with Martin Bergmann and Gernot Bohmann, he founded the design studio EOOS. EOOS is one of the leading international offices for furniture and industrial design, with clients such as Alessi, Armani, Bulthaup, Dedon, Duravit, Herman Miller, MatteoGrassi, Walter Knoll, and Zumtobel. In 2008 he founded the non-university IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna, which specializes in research and teaching and produces independent theoretical studies with a focus on sustainable design and the history of design. In addition to various international teaching activities on the theory and practice of design, Gruendl, a proponent of interdisciplinary learning and open education, is the coordinator of the international Learning Network on Sustainability (LeNS) for the German-speaking world and initiator of the IDRV presence on iTunes U. He is the author of the books The Death of Fashion: The Passage Rite of Fashion in the Show Window (2007) and The Cooked Kitchen: A Poetical Analysis (2008). He is coeditor of Tools for the Design Revolution: Design Knowledge for the Future (IDRV, 2014).© Udo Titz © Martin Seck

Harald Gruendl, Portrait
Co-Partner, EOOS, Head of the IDRV – Institute of Design Research Vienna
© Udo Titz

Maria Lind

Maria Lind, Portrait
Director, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm
artservice, Post it!, 2014
© artservice

Maria Lind (* 1966 in Stockholm), a curator and critic, is the director of Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm. From 2008 to 2010 she was the director of the graduate program of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in New York. From 2005 to 2007 she served as director of IASPIS in Stockholm, and from 2002 to 2004 as director of the Kunstverein München.
From 1997 to 2001 she worked as a curator at the Moderna Museet in
Stockholm, and in 1998 as co-curator of Manifesta 2, Europe’s biennale of contemporary art. Responsible for the Moderna Museet Projekt, Lind worked with artists on a series of 29 commissions that took place in a temporary project space, both within and outside the museum in Stockholm.
There she also curated What if: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design. In 2011 she guest-curated the group exhibition Abstract Possible: The Tamayo Take at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. Maria Lind has contributed widely to newspapers and magazines as well as numerous catalogues and other publications. She was the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement. In 2010 Selected Maria Lind Writing was published by Sternberg Press.

Peter Weibel

Peter Weibel (* 1944 in Odessa) studied literature, medicine, logic, philosophy, and film in Paris and Vienna. Through his widespread activities as an artist, curator, theoretician, and nomad wandering between the arts and science, he has become a central figure in European media art. Alongside professorships at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (since 1984) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (1984–1989), 1989 saw Weibel establish the Institute for New Media at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, where he served as head of the institute until 1995. Peter Weibel was the artistic director of the Ars Electronica festival in Linz from 1986 to 1995, served as Austrian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale from 1993 to 1999, and held a guest professorship at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, from 2009 to 2012. From 1993 to 2011 he served as head curator at Neue Galerie Graz, and in 2008 he assumed artistic direction of the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla (BIACS3) as well as of the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2011).
Since 1999, Peter Weibel—who, in addition to numerous other prizes and honorary doctorates, was also awarded the Oskar Kokoschka Prize for his artistic oeuvre in 2014—has also served as director of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Beginning in 2015 he will curate the lichtsicht
5 – Projection-Biennale in Bad Rothenfelde.
© ONUK © artservice

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Peter Weibel, Portrait
Executive Director, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe; Full Professor, University of
Applied Arts Vienna

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