City-Wide Gallery Event Brings International Curatorial Talent to Vienna

Some 19 Viennese galleries will stage simultaneous openings.

Starting September 8, the Austrian capital will celebrate the opening of the eighth edition of “Curated by_Vienna,” a city-wide program of gallery openings organized under a joint theme, in which each participating gallery invites an internationally renowned curator to guest curate a show.

This year, the umbrella theme “Meine Herkunft habe ich mir selbst ausgedacht” (My Origins? I Made Them Up) was devised by German critic, writer, and cultural theorist Diedrich Diederichsen.

Related: Ai Weiwei Brings His Controversial Life Vest Installation to Vienna

Some 19 Viennese galleries will organize shows put together by a selection of prominent curators, including Dhaka Art Summit curator Diana Campbell-Betancourt, who will organize a group show of Bangladeshi artists at Galerie Krinzinger’s “Projekte” space, and Chris Sharp, who’ll curate a group show of international artists at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder.

The new director of Berlin’s Kunst-Werke, Krist , will curate a show at unttld contemporary; curator of Kunstverein Hamburg is putting together a show at Krobath Wien; and artist Cosima von-Bonin will take the curatorial reins at Gabriele Senn Galerie with a show titled “Enough Romance, Let’s Fuck.”

Vienna's Belvedere Museum has the largest collection of Gustav Klimt works in the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Vienna’s Belvedere Museum has the largest collection of Gustav Klimt works in the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The format emulates the structure of Berlin’s wildly popular “Gallery Weekend” during which over 50 galleries stage simultaneous openings in the German capital. Although Vienna’s version doesn’t offer the same scope and breadth as its German counterpart, the Vienna event chooses instead to focus on the curatorial aspect with group shows.

Started in 2009 by the Vienna Business Agency, the event was launched to reinforce the cooperation between Vienna-based contemporary art galleries and international curators. Within Europe, Austria—and its capital city—occupy the space between North and South, and East and West, and consequently the city benefits from a unique cross-cultural position reflected in its institutions and non-profit organizations.

Running concurrently to the gallery exhibitions, the Vienna Business Agency has orchestrated a symposium of talks and panel discussions at the Vienna Secession under the title of “I Made Up My Own Origins,” on how artists have become role models in society, and how the changing role of the artist reveals itself in the artworks.

Selected participants will address a number of contemporary themes including “After Patriarchy” with Alicia Agustín and Æsa Sigurjonsdottir, or “Distant Relatives,” a discussion between Sharp and Campbell-Betancourt.

“Curated by Vienna” runs from September 8  – October 15, 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

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