The Viennacontemporary art fair has positioned itself as a gateway to the east, putting the spotlight every year on an eastern European country – this year Armenia
Once a year Vienna becomes an international meeting point for the arts, and especially for those who consider themselves European. The Viennacontemporary art fair has positioned itself as a gateway to the east, putting the spotlight every year on an eastern European country - this year Armenia.
“Vienna itself is already in the east,” says Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, who has been artistic director of the fair since 2012. “If you look at the galleries, most of them have been exhibiting eastern European artists. The same goes for museums like the Mumok, and also the corporate collections share this interest. It has grown naturally.” Steinbrecher-Pfandt points to diversity: the east is not just one region but has many faces.
Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, who has been artistic director of the Viennacontemporary fair since 2012.
Hungary has a developed professional art scene; ten galleries from there are present at the fair. Other countries have hardly infrastructure, and need to build up. Therefore Viennacontemporary works with local partners, such as artist-run spaces that might want to develop into a gallery. Such relationships grow over the years.
“It is all about building this bridge,” the director says. “For collectors, it might not seem so logical to travel to individual eastern countries. As a fair we bundle this interest, connections are created. We try to represent different scenes that people can dock on to, and then they continue their conversation with respective artists or galleries on their own.”
Coinciding with Viennacontemporary starts a program of 21 guest curated gallery exhibitions, in the Curated by series. This year’s edition has a focus on the city of Vienna itself, and how life between baroque and present times unfolds.
Viennacontemporary takes place from 27 to 30 September 2018.