Think of FOTO ARSENAL WIEN as a place to expose people to the joys and roles of creative photography through exhibitions, events and activities.
- Currently in the MuseumsQuartier
- Should move to its own premises in 2024/2025
- Regular international exhibitions
- Also organises the FOTO WIEN festival
- See also:
(The temporary premises in the MuseumsQuartier)
For a long time, the Kunst Haus Wien carried the official torch for photography in Vienna with its excellent exhibitions (where, rather thrillingly, I got to meet Alec Soth and Susan Meiselas).
But the Kunst Haus was never a dedicated photographic institution, given its wide range of other interests and activities.
That hole in the municipal infrastructure has now been filled by FOTO ARSENAL WIEN, allowing the Kunst Haus to refocus on contemporary art and the environment while also maintaining the legacy of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
However, sometime around the end of 2024 or early 2025 should see the new institution move to its own permanent premises and exhibition rooms in the Arsenal complex (hence the name).
This Arsenal is the site of a former military facility (mostly army barracks) completed in the 1850s as one reaction to the civilian population getting ideas above their station in 1848; they had the temerity to demand (gasp!) such things as press freedom and more democratic representation.
The location’s martial past remains, for example, in the form of the Museum of Military History, but the site also hosts various academic and cultural facilities.
One such institution is the state-owned ART for ART complex, which supports opera houses, theatres, film companies and similar though costume and set production and other services.
This complex is set to expand to include FOTO ARSENAL WIEN and Filmmuseum LAB. The latter forms part of the Austrian Film Museum and will be dedicated to film conservation, archiving, processing, digitalisation, and such like.
So consider FOTO ARSENAL WIEN as the institutional centre of photography and lens-based media in Vienna.
Exhibitions & events
(This way for excellent photo exhibitions)
Two aspects of the work of FOTO ARSENAL WIEN should particularly interest visitors to Vienna.
First, a series of what promise to be top international exhibitions. The current schedule is:
- On Abortion: solo exhibition for Laia Abril (December 15th, 2023 to March 10th, 2024)
- Play and Punish: solo exhibition for Karolina Wojtas (December 15th, 2023 to March 10th, 2024)
- Resistance. Flood. Fire: solo exhibition for Beate Gütschow (March 22nd, 2024 to June 23rd, 2024)
- From a Tongue we are Losing: solo exhibition for Laure Winants (March 22nd, 2024 to June 23rd, 2024)
Second, the FOTO WIEN festival previously run by the Kunst Haus. This takes place over a month in early summer and brings us a huge and vibrant mix of photo exhibitions, talks, workshops and other events across the whole of Vienna.
Tickets & visitor tips
You need a ticket to see the exhibitions, of course, priced at €10 for a standard adult last time I checked.
The surrounding MuseumsQuartier is full of further opportunities to see modern and contemporary art, both through freely-accessible open-air installations and in ticketed museums and exhibitions.
If your interest is specifically photography, then also consider a visit to Westlicht: a private venture with a camera museum, photo exhibition and more.
How to get there
Follow the travel tips at the end of the MuseumsQuartier article.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Austria | Website