I would like to thank the team of the Vienna Art Week 08 for their exceptional commitment and wish the event every success.
Michael Häupl, Mayor of Vienna
Under the motto ‘BIG TIME’, the 2008 edition of the Vienna Art Week placed a spot light on the local artistic scene. New events within the programme included the ‘gallery nights’ with openings in more than 20 of the most interesting and prestigious Viennese galleries, an ‘off-space tour’, guided by Lorenz Seidler to provide the opportunity to meet artists and visit them at their workspace, and a series of performances curated by Spike Art Quarterly magazine and featuring Tris Vonna-Mitchell, Florian Hecker and Momus.
The section ‘AHEAD OF TIME’ offered panel discussions about subjects on international art issues. Eight panel discussions brought 43 renowned experts to Vienna.
The panellists of ‘The Market of Design – Following or Leading the Art World?’– amongst them designer Alfredo Häberli and Paola Zini, Director of Torino 2008 World Design Capital – discussed the financial crisis and its relation with the market. In the discussion titled ‘On and Beyond the Market: The Future of Criticism’ independent critics such as Jan Verwoert of frieze magazine or Hans-Jürgen Hafner, an independent art critic and curator from Berlin, spoke about their autonomous position. Branislava Andjelkovic, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, engaged in a discussion about ”The Museum of the Future” with Sir Norman Rosenthal, former Exhibitions Secretary at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and Barry Lord, who was just assigned to coneive the “Haus der Geschichte” in Vienna.
One of the absolute highlights of the section was a salon-style discussion about art and money with Robert Punkenhofer, Lucy Orta, Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Gerald Matt. During the discussion, a performance by Studio Orta was presented: a group of three naked models posed on different types of furniture at different heights in acrobatic positions. At the same time, a group of house painters and decorators were invited to produce a series of canvasses and photographs in the style of the grand masters. Directly after the performance and the discussion, the Mexican artist Teresa Margolles presented her new work Costura de una Linea sobre Tela Ensangrentada.
‘PRIVATE TIME’ comprised the program of Art Cluster Vienna with guided tours of private collections and curator-guided visits to the studios of some of the most exciting Vienna-based artists.
All Viennese art institutions contributed with programme highlights to the Vienna Art Week that enabled access to an international diversity of artistic expression.
At MUMOK, a performance, several artist talks, a panel discussion and a special tour took place. On Sunday, visitors could experience the Peter Kogler exhibition at MUMOK. MAK, Albertina, KHM and Belvedere offered insights into their collections and current exhibitions with special talks and guided tours.
During the Vienna Art Week, the Vienna artbook award was granted for the third time. The prize, doted with 25.000€, is the most prestigious art book distinction in the world and was given to Foto: Modernity in Central Europe 1918–1945 by Matthew S. Witkovsky. The book was published in 2007 by the National Gallery of Art in Washington in collaboration with Thames & Hudson.
During one week full of exhibitions and discussions, guided tours and studio visits, about 5.000 guests participated in the festival.