A Hardscrabble Initiative Is Bringing More Than a Dozen Galleries From Vienna Together to Launch the City’s First Virtual Art Week

A Berlin edition is set to launch on April 11.

Mitchell Syrop All Systems Go (1985). Courtesy Croy Nielsen, Vienna.

In a bid to bring the experience of an art week online, a small digital design firm has launched Not Cancelled Vienna to highlight programs by 14 galleries in the Austrian city.

“It is our way to try to help the community when everything had to shut down, which makes the situation specifically worse for those smaller galleries who can’t invest a lot of money in online programs or viewing rooms,” says Istvan Szilagyi, who organized the event through his company, Treat Agency.

The website, which includes images of artworks, videos of conversations, and information about participating artists, “heads” to Berlin for the German city’s art week later this week. Organizers say 2,500 online visitors have come to the Viennese edition, and have spent an average of two minutes looking through various pages.

The dealers contacted by Artnet News say they have been pleased with the event.

“It’s not really meant as a sales platform,” says dealer Rosemarie Schwarzwälder. “But the echo in Vienna, especially in the media, was noticeable, and it kept the online audience engaged in the gallery scene.”

That local factor is essential, adds Henrikke Nielsen of the Croy Nielsen gallery.

“We really liked the idea of it being a local project, featuring only Vienna galleries,” she says. “It might seem strange to limit a digital project to a physical community, but the current crisis makes local galleries work more actively together everywhere. I think Not Cancelled succeeds in doing something special because of the local focus.”

Her gallery is presenting works by LA-based artist Mitchell Syrop from the 1980s and ’90s, alongside a video about his work and an interview.

Vienna’s in-person art week, a well-attended gallery-share event titled Curated By, is still scheduled for the fall. But the opening of the Albertina Modern, a sparkling new museum, has been postponed indefinitely.

Not Cancelled Berlin will launch on April 11 with the participation of 16 galleries, including Eigen+Art, Klemm’s, Peres Projects, and neugerriemschneider.

Not Cancelled Vienna is on view until April 9.

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