BAROQUE BAROQUE. VIENNA.

Olafur Eliasson, BAROQUE BAROQUE installation at the Winter Palace in Vienna Photo: © VIENNA ART WEEK 2015 The annual Vienna Art Week commenced from November 16 – 22 during unseasonable warm temperatures. A plethora of programming and events—some 200 in total—included establishment institutions and galleries, independently run off-spaces, and open artist studios. Exhibition openings were bolstered by talks, film screenings, guided tours, and of course performances. A splashy opening party hosted by Dorotheum auction house lit the night up in scores of Sekt and the local brew. In the revelries' aftermath, an intense week of art viewing and numerous panel discussions highlighted the cultural primacy of contemporary art. Under the rubric of the art week's socialistic theme of the “Common Good," noted sociologist Saskia Sassen gave a talk called “At the Systemic Edge: Where even the material becomes invisible." Time and again politics, economics, and activism were topics broached by lecturers. Belgian philosopher, critic, and curator Dieter Lasage discussed the notion of political populism as related to the Greek crisis and its leftist protagonists at the Kunsthalle. An all female roundtable of curators at the Academy of Fine Arts talked about the ways of financing their operations and very existence. That was euphemism for navigating around the often untenable conditions that come along with strings-attached government funding. Touchingly, in the case of Çelenk Bafra, curator at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, she wistfully commented on failures, and the lessons gleaned from the administrations deeply troubling attitudes. Europe's refugee crisis, the inhumane Paris massacres, and institutionalized austerity policies thus make cultural exchange the last bulwark against outright barbarianism. And that's the civilized world techno-sphere for you, now where's the art???

Olafur Eliasson, BAROQUE BAROQUE installation at the Winter Palace in Vienna
Photo: © VIENNA ART WEEK 2015
The annual Vienna Art Week commenced from November 16 – 22 during unseasonable warm temperatures. A plethora of programming and events—some 200 in total—included establishment institutions and galleries, independently run off-spaces, and open artist studios. Exhibition openings were bolstered by talks, film screenings, guided tours, and of course performances. A splashy opening party hosted by Dorotheum auction house lit the night up in scores of Sekt and the local brew.
In the revelries’ aftermath, an intense week of art viewing and numerous panel discussions highlighted the cultural primacy of contemporary art. Under the rubric of the art week’s socialistic theme of the “Common Good,” noted sociologist Saskia Sassen gave a talk called “At the Systemic Edge: Where even the material becomes invisible.” Time and again politics, economics, and activism were topics broached by lecturers.
Belgian philosopher, critic, and curator Dieter Lasage discussed the notion of political populism as related to the Greek crisis and its leftist protagonists at the Kunsthalle. An all female roundtable of curators at the Academy of Fine Arts talked about the ways of financing their operations and very existence. That was euphemism for navigating around the often untenable conditions that come along with strings-attached government funding. Touchingly, in the case of Çelenk Bafra, curator at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, she wistfully commented on failures, and the lessons gleaned from the administrations deeply troubling attitudes.
Europe’s refugee crisis, the inhumane Paris massacres, and institutionalized austerity policies thus make cultural exchange the last bulwark against outright barbarianism. And that’s the civilised world techno-sphere for you, now where’s the art??? With thanks courtesy Max Henry for ARTNET 2015.

Olafur Eliasson, BAROQUE BAROQUE installation at the Winter Palace in Vienna
Photo: © VIENNA ART WEEK 2015