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Vienna: Fair Enough 0

By Hugo Engelbrecht

The consolidation of the Viennafair, the market place for cutting-edge contemporary art in CEE, seems to have worked out. The injection of fresh money helped the fair in its 8th edition to get rid of unsuitable exhibitors, thus eliminating the kitschy oeuvres of German art dealers and the dozens of more or less inspiring organisations sponsored by an Austrian bank with interests in the region. This time we’ve got a compact ensemble of 21st century art, brought to Vienna by Austrian, eastern-European and Turkish galleries, plus a handful of “international” exhibitors who turned out to be founded by emigrants from the Soviet empire. But to lure Russian galleries to Vienna and damage the Art Moscow in Moscow at the same time, did not not get standing ovations. To deescalate the situation, Viennafair will move the dates for 2013 further into the autumn, and come back at the 2nd weekend of October 2013. 

Exhibitors, interviewed by Arterritory, state they have liked the atmosphere in Vienna, and the results. Next to Natalia Zintsova’s “Illusion” series of lightboxes, Ksenia Podoynitsyna, director of Gallery 21 (Moscow), tells why:

Happy to have got a ticket to Vienna is also art director Marina Vinogradova at Anna Nova (Saint-Petersburg), who represents Soap, Haim Sokol and the likes:

Hans Knoll, of Knoll (Vienna/Budapest), who simultaneously operated booths both at Art Moscow and Viennafair, is everything but amused about the hostility between the new owners of the Viennafair and the established fair at the Central House of Artists in Moscow. Anyway, standing next to a video installation by Paul Horn, he likes the overall improvements in Vienna, and his own sales figures for the weekend:

Sex, church and swastika made it into a smoking installation at Konzett (Vienna). The artist, Les Tardes Goldscheyder, explains the piece:

How art reflects the zeitgeist was also on show at the booth of Dvorak (Prague). Curator Tara Semenov introduces “Cat Carpet” and “Dog Carpet” (by Ondrej Brody) to the Arterritory camera:

Crazy objects one can buy at Gazelli (London) as well. Surrounded by “The Most Honorable” (an umbrella made of silicon and human hair) and other stuff by Khanlar Gasimov. Ali Richards, who represent the gallery, thinks she will come again in 2013:

Vienna and its heritage… Lili Hargassner from Mauroner (Vienna) demonstrates Jochen Höller’s “Wittgenstein-Generator”, a hands-on text sculpture:

One more voice from the Austrian cutting-edge scene: The owner of Projektraum Bucher (Vienna), Viktor Bucher (in front of Daniel Leidenfrost’s “Siedlung”), sees some improvements to this year’s edition of the Austrian art-fair, and promises another bulk of freshly scouted talents: