20 September - 10 November 2013

Theophil Hansen. Architect and Designer. Exhibition celebrating Hansen's 200th birthday

Born and trained as an architect in Copenhagen, grown in maturity as an artist in Athens, and working in Vienna from 1846 on, Theophil Hansen rose to become the decisive architect of the city's "second society" and the whole Ringstrasse era within only a few years. As a representative of Historism, he influenced the architecture of the period with his stylistic models. The city owes a number of prominent monumental buildings to him, among them the Musikverein Concert Hall, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Stock Exchange on the Ringstrasse Boulevard, the Museum of Military History in the Arsenal, the Protestant School on Karlsplatz, and the Parliament Building.
The anniversary year and the imminent general refurbishment of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna have provided the opportunity to present Hansen's plans for the Academy in the context of these buildings in an exhibition realized by the Graphic Collection of the Academy in collaboration with the Art History Department of Vienna's University of Technology.

22 November 2013 - 12 January 2014

 I am another world | Artistic Authorship between Desubjectivization and Recanonization

There are many reasons why artists appear as fictive persons or anonymously in a collective and create narratives situated between fiction and reality: as reference to gaps or blind spots in an otherwise discursively safeguarded canon, as a critique of institutional structures of authorship or their representational politics of normative gender roles and ethnicity, as protection from political persecution, and, last, not least, to demystify the inflated figure of the artist person. Collective authorship is currently situated on the fault lines of a deconstructed, postmodern concept of the subject and the anarcho-activist forms of resistance and critique of capitalism that may (and must) be organized collectively. These formations also refer to issues of virtual identities and the phantasms of their respective security policies. Narrative and documentary evidence still seems to be central to the construction of alternative identities and the camouflaging of their fictitiousness when it comes to revealing the claim to truth of both historicizing discourses and canonical formations in art history: historiography and memory can be reconstructed and reevaluated this way.

In this respect the exhibition attempts to trace several questions: Does the "death of the author" go hand in hand with the rebirth of the audience or the reinvention of artistic sovereignty? Is the desire to contest authenticity and to form collective authorship a means to resist the post-Fordist pressure of individualization? The artist-subject seems to depend on splitting up by means of the aforementioned strategies of camouflage and disguise in order to "survive," as he/she already has to play so many roles and fill so many gaps in today's capitalist society.

7 March - 18 May 2014

The very last judgment triptych

Hieronymus Bosch's triptych The Last Judgment is one of the most famous works in the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. It was painted around 1500 at a time of radical change, during which the old feudal structures were shattered and the modern world and its capitalist system were born. The artists Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann, Maruša Sagadin, and Ina Wudtke have reinterpreted the triptych for the present day and, in xhibit, are showing their interpretations of the three panels in three-dimensional displays in the three rooms of the Gallery. The interpretations of the exterior panels in grisaille, created by Herman Asselberghs and Dieter Lesage, are being exhibited in the two connecting spaces between the rooms.

In The Very Last Judgment Triptych, the city and the world once again face final judgment. Unlike the work by Bosch, the topography of The Very Last Judgment Triptych is a radically secular one. The spatial coordinates of contemporary cosmopolitans, which The Very Last Judgment Triptych is intended to bring to mind, are no longer the Creation, Heaven and Hell, but the city, the state and Hardt and Negri's "Empire". The Very Last Judgment Triptych presents and questions different forms of redevelopment of the city, the state and the "Empire". It attempts to investigate whether ecological and economic cleanups are not merely an excuse to drive away inconvenient groups of people. Is expulsion the fate of the multitude? Anti-gentrification activists squat buildings, the Occupy and Occupy Gezi movements occupy places and parks; but the last image we see is the image of their expulsion. Does it have to be like this? What can we hope for? How can a more just world come into existence if we have lost faith in the prophecy of a Judgment Day? What day, which days do we want to celebrate as days of justice, even if we no longer believe in ultimate justice?