Vienna Gets Its Own Biennial

The Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) is the main venue and organizer of the first Vienna Biennale. Photo:

The MAK announced the theme and curators for the first Vienna Biennale at a press conference yesterday. Taking place from June to October 2015, the expansive show will be titled “Ideas for Change.” The MAK is the main organiser and venue, along with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Kunsthalle Wien, and the Architekturzentrum Wien.

Appointed curators include Maria Lind, Peter Weibel, Pedro Gadanho, and Harald Gruendl, who bring a background in design and architecture to the table, in addition to art and theory. This selection reflects the biennial’s cross-disciplinary ambitions. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, director of the MAK and head of the biennial, referred to it as “the first multi-sector biennale in the world.”

“The interplay of the creative sectors gives this Biennale its unique character,” he added.

The first edition of the biennale in the Austrian capital is set to focus on the social and financial implications of mega-cities—a surprising choice, as sleepy Vienna is clearly not one of them. It will also explore Bucharest’s new role as cultural hotspot in the region.

Vienna has been the focus of several editorials recently lauding the high quality of life in the city, and even dubbing it “the next Berlin.”

With its numerous high-quality institutions, its art week, two contemporary art fairs (see Art Salzburg Founder Wolfgang Pelz Takes Over Vienna Fair) and now, a biennial, the palatial city on the Danube is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the European art world.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 opens June 11, 2015.


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