Vienna Art Week 2010: Crossing Limits


Marathon Interview: Talking Heads with Vito Acconci, at Secession


Various locations, 15th to 21st November 2010

The Vienna Art Week has been enormously quick to establish itself as an event that would be very hard to think away from Vienna.

Michael Häupl, Mayor of Vienna

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The sixth edition of the Vienna art week opened on November 15, 2010 under the motto Crossing Limits. The theme alluded to how art permeates our reality, providing a factor of stability in times of economic and social upheaval. Today, crossing limits does not mean to break taboos in a neo avant-gardist style or to move in a crossover field, but to contribute to shaping our reality through artistic intervention.

The program included permanent exhibitions, studio visits with artists, architects, designers and fashion makers, gallery days or exclusive guided tours through special shows. For example, curator Angelika Nollert and artist Valie Export guided visitors through her exhibition at Belvedere; and Generali Foundation’s director Sabine Folie presented its programme.

Panel discussions included subjects such as the limits and contingencies of collecting, and ‘the art of design’; the 18th Vienna Architecture Congress explored the subject of public space; at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna there was a talk about Research and Teaching in Performance Art; Albertina held a symposium on ‘Michelangelo as a Draughtsman’; and there were artist’s talks by Albert Oehlen and Heimo Zobernig at Essl Museum Contemporary Art, amongst others.

Performance art also had its space in the context of a series entitled Speak and Spell with Sue Tompkins, Christian Falsnaes, and Rancourt/Yatsuk curated by Spike Art Quarterly magazine.

At Secession, six artists were invited to present their works situated at the interface of visual art and film, politics, architecture, music, fashion literature, design, and identity. The interview marathon lead by Robert Punkenhofer consisted of a series of successive presentations/performances and conversations of one hour each and highlighted the backdrop of Crossing Limits from different angles. Speakers included Vito Acconci, Gilbert Bretterbauer, Minerva Cuevas, J.J. Hudson, Trevor Paglen and Vesna Petresin Robert.

Special to this year was also the exhibition Crossing Limits in Urban Transitions curated by Ursula Maria Probst. Seven international artists and groups of architects were invited to occupy and utilise urban spaces. The transformation of the urban space into a performative space was one of the constitutive elements of the project. Participating artists were Marissa Lobo, Katrina Daschner, Aldo Gianotti, Nicolas Jasmin, Sonia Leimer, Kris Lemsalu, and Corinne Rusch; video screening by Laurie Anderson, Yvonee Rainer, Adrian Piper and Friederike Pezold.

Featuring more than 100 individual events, the Vienna art week developed into a successful European art festival and the largest annual festival spanning art from the Baroque to the present day in Austria.

The goal of the event was to focus on visual art activities to further position Vienna internationally as a lively and innovative art location. With the opening of the programme concept, the Vienna Art Week 2010 addressed a new and broader public by collaborating extensively with artist-led initiatives and related institutions from the fields of architecture, design and fashion. As a result the Vienna Art Week grew since its foundation, under the leadership of artistic director Robert Punkenhofer, from more than 20 programme partners to more than 70, from 30 special events within a week into more than 100, and from 500 guests to more than 20.000 visitors. The success is moreover reflected by the enormous media response, nationally and internationally, as clippings in leading publications such as The Art Newspaper, Art Magazine and The Financial Times document.

Panel Discussion: Beyond Borders and contingencies of collecting, at Dorotheum

departure design tour: Lobmeyr introduced by Polka


Exhibition Crossing Limits

Photos © Nathan Murrell

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