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Call Exhibition Participation | Thicket of Ideas - Thicket of Times. Students of the Academy in dialogue with Raqs Media Collective

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With this open call, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna invites students to submit art works and project ideas for participation in the exhibition "Thicket of Ideas - Thicket of Times. Students of the Academy in Dialogue with Raqs Media Collective". For the presentation works and concepts are searched for that engage with the holdings of the Academy’s collections from a decolonial perspective. The presentation will coincide with the reopening of the Academy in the contemporary exhibition space at Schillerplatz and is envisaged as a parallel exhibition to the collection presentation Hungry for Time curated by Raqs Media Collective in the Gemäldegalerie.

Submissions for the exhibition Thicket of Ideas – Thicket of Times

For participation in the group exhibition Thicket of Ideas - Thicket of Times, students from all institutes are invited to take a critical look on works from the collections of the Gemäldegalerie, Kupferstichkabinett, and Glyptothek from a decolonial perspective. The engagement with the artworks of the collections can be inspired by questions articulated by the Raqs Media Collective with regard to their exhibition (see below) and/or tie in with the Academy’s existing expertise and debates in the field of postcolonial theory development. Works of art (videos, performances, installations, paintings, drawings, etc.) but also collaborative, cross media art works, digital formats, ideas for display solutions and design concepts as well as concepts and programs from the field of art education can be submitted. Their synopsis is intended to form that "thicket" of ideas alluded to in the exhibition title Thicket of Ideas – Thicket of Times. Hence, the presentation, which will be shown in the contemporary exhibition space of the Academy at Schillerplatz, is intended as a sounding board to the collection exhibition Hungry for Time curated by Raqs in the Gemäldegalerie.

The following selection of questions, among others, form points of reference for the epoch-spanning and historically relativizing engagement with the works in the collections:

  • How can individual works or contents of the collections be reinterpreted, activated, or challenged from a contemporary decolonial perspective?
  • In what way do the works reflect cultural identity narratives or even the Academy’s own institutional identity?
  • How can the Academy’s characteristic juxtaposition of academic contemporary art-making and traditional art history in the collections can be seen as a rupture and dis-order of time horizons and how can this perspective be made productive in context of the exhibition?
  • Can the works help us discover other notions of time that counter the linear model of progress, be they layered, cyclical, apocalyptic, etc.?
  • Are there elements of the collections which appear "outside" of time – either through ideas conveyed in individual works of the idyllic or even "primitive" life in nature, or in terms of implementation of the "unfinished, incomplete" work?

Background information on the collection exhibition curated by Raqs Media Collective

Since their inception in 1992 in New Delhi, Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been exploring notions of temporality and the construction of history(s) in their artistic and curatorial work. They inquire to which extent these interrelate with identity-forming cultural knowledge systems. Their projects call for "epistemic disobedience" (W. Mingolo) – well within the context of the current de-colonialism discourse – and strive to show the complexity and multiple perspectives of traditional self-images, worldviews and cultural practices.

On the occasion of the reopening of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna at Schillerplatz, Raqs take a critical look into the collections of the Gemäldegalerie, Kupferstichkabinett and Glyptothek. They are particularly interested in the ruptures of mediated history(s) that can be revealed through the collection holdings. They see the Academy’s art collections as an "intense[ive] place where historical sediments and the narratives that persistently accompany them encrust and ossify."  By establishing individual "scenes" in their exhibition in the Gemäldegalerie that relate works from the collections to one another as well as to selected contemporary positions, they strive to dismantling these narratives and subjecting them to critical reassessment.

For more information on Raqs Media Collective visit:
For more information about the exhibition Hungry for Time, the collection and to view the virtual Gemäldegalerie visit: and

For more information about the exhibition concept of Raqs, please contact Stephanie Damianitsch ( , +43 (0) 664 80887-1304).


Participation is open to all students currently enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Submissions should be uploaded as a PDF file (max. 5 MB) and include the following:

  • written proposal (approx. 1 A4 page)
  • in case of a submission in German: an abstract in English (approx. ½ A4 page)
  • photos/sketches of the art works/project ideas
  • list of estimated production costs
  • brief curriculum vitae (max. 1 A4 page).

The PDF file is to be uploaded to by 11.00 a. m. on 25.03.2021.

Jury, selection and course of events

The selection of art works and project proposals to be presented in the Thicket of Ideas - Thicket of Times exhibition is the responsibility of the Academy’s exhibition committee. Applicants will be informed of the commission’s decision by mid of April 2021 latest.

During the SuSe 2021 semester, a block course will accompany the exhibition preparations. The course brings together different perspectives of lecturers and collections staff at the Academy and offer an in-depth exploration of postcolonial issues and insights into the collection presentation curated by Raqs. Individual topics related to exhibition theory and practice will also be covered. The submitted project ideas should be further developed, refined and finalised within the framework of the course.

The exhibition will open as part of the Academy’s reopening festivities in early October 2021.

For questions regarding proposals, please contact Stephanie Damianitsch ( , +43 (0) 664 80887-1304).