CONTEMPORARY NEW MEDIA AND DIGITAL ART
The curated “Interface – Contemporary New Media and Digital Art” section will focus on digital and new media art, addressing the new, exciting possibilities that digital technologies hold in store. This area will appeal to curators, galleries and collectors alike. The new media offer new possibilities. This young, multidisciplinary and hybrid form of art experiments with different types of artistic expression, forms of representation and perceptual modes. Confronted with a world of technological advances, scientific discourses and social developments, this new media art is engaged in exploring the radical changes taking place in modern communication.
MARLIES WIRTH is an art historian and curator based in Vienna, working at the MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna. As the Curator for Digital Culture she has a key role in the programming of the VIENNA BIENNALE and heads the MAK Design Collection. She curates exhibitions in the fields of art, design, architecture, and technology, such as UNCANNY VALUES. Artificial Intelligence & You (2019), ARTIFICIAL TEARS (2017), and the new MAK DESIGN LAB. She is one of the curators of the international travelling exhibition Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine (A cooperation of Vitra Design Museum, MAK and Design museum Gent) and was co-director for the 12th Global Art Forum (“I am not a Robot”) in Dubai and Singapore (2018). In 2019 she was the curator of the Official Austrian Contribution to the XXII Triennale di Milano. She was nominated curator of the Austrian contribution of the London Design Biennale 2021. Focusing on conceptual art and cultural anthropological contexts of artistic production, she also develops independent exhibition projects and authors texts and essays for publications.
ONE STORY, DIFFERENT TAKES
The curated section “Perspectives” symbolically relates to Kurosawa’s idea of the Rashomon effect, a term related to a particular situation in which an event is given assorted interpretations or descriptions by the individuals involved. Invited galleries present artistic positions that seek to reflect on the conditions in which artists work, whether through critical questioning of identity, gender and economic relations, or related to power politics and their authoritarianisms. The red thread of the section – particularly in relation to the reinforcement of the new post-pandemic world order – can therefore also be understood as symbolic resistance, while at the same time attesting sensitivity of time and space.
It is for this very reason that art is indispensable when it comes to shaping and understanding life and our subjectivities. Seeing the world through the prism of art acts as an antidote to the insensitivity in which we, as individuals, have found ourselves in as a result of the violence prevailing in our everyday life. Art allows us to see the bigger picture and the way everything is interconnected, and to anticipate changes and their political, social and economic consequences. The Perspectives section serves as a narrative link between the galleries and individual artistic practices, defining social and political shifts that enable us to contemplate the possibility of initiating change.
TEVŽ LOGAR works as an independent curator, editor and writer. His recent curatorial project When in Doubt, Go to a Museum is showcasing works of art from five distinguished private collections of contemporary art. Logar has curated or co-curated a number of group and solo exhibitions, including the Slovenian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennial, exhibitions and projects in New York, Montreal, Geneve, Beirut, Budapest, Łódź and Berlin. For the 58th Venice Biennial in 2019, he worked with the Pavilion of the Republic of North Macedonia as a curatorial consultant. From 2009 to 2014, he was the artistic director of the Škuc Gallery in Ljubljana. Logar is a co-founder of the Ulay Foundation (2014) in Amsterdam where he is presently a member of the Advisory Board. In 2014, he was nominated for the Gerrit Lansing Independent Vision Award (Independent Curators International) in New York. He lives in Rijeka, Croatia.
This section that Sabine Breitwieser has put together is dedicated to multiple – open – narratives of post-War art. Just as we continue to experience and learn from the consequences of this war, our way of viewing art from this period is also undergoing change. What, initially, was an attempt to grasp, to reflect on events, cases of destruction and traumata by focusing on the few implicated countries, has become a global project. The same applies to Post-War Art, which, deeply shaken by what had happened, set about developing new forms of art, forging new networks and envisioning new utopia.
The “Utopia: Post-War“ section comprises sixteen solo presentations by local and international galleries who have a close ties with the selected artists. Special features, including experimental film and dance from the post-war period, will round off the exhibition and also address other distribution channels. This section does not claim to offer a complete overview of the art from this period – something that would not even be possible if the focus were just limited to Austria alone. In a time dominated by a global pandemic the exhibition will throw a spotlight on the work of individual artists instead of banking on artistic canons and/or systematic approaches.
SABINE BREITWIESER is currently a 2020/2021 Getty Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and a curator and author based in Vienna. From 2013 until 2018 she held the position of the Director of the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Previously, from 2010 until 2013 she served as Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. From 1988 until 2007 she was the Founding Director and Chief Curator of the Generali Foundation in Vienna. She has organized and directed more than 150 monographic and thematic exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States and has also edited and published about 100 catalogs and books as well as numerous essays. In 2012 Sabine Breitwieser received the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts in New York.