The MuseumsQuartier includes various museums that host art exhibitions. It also has its own indoor exhibition space that features contemporary art tackling contemporary themes.
- Intermittent exhibitions
- Focus on video and art installations
- Especially those offering sociopolitical commentary
- Normally (but not always) free entry
- Temporary home to FOTO ARSENAL WIEN
- Current/future exhibitions:
- Mari Katayama (Sept 1 – Nov 19, 2023)
- Gundula Schulze Eldowy (Sept 1 – Nov 19, 2023)
- These require a ticket
- See also:
Art and commentary
(Entrance to the MQ exhibition tract)
Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier (MQ) complex might best be described as a home for modern & contemporary art and culture. Not just a vehicle for displaying that art (see, for example the MQ Art Box or Leopold Museum) or expressing that culture but also a place for both to come into being.
Q21, for example, is a space for creativity: a working environment used by several dozen culture-oriented initiatives, groups, businesses, agencies and similar. From bookshops and film festivals to games makers and artists-in-residence.
Q21 also has its own MQ Freiraum and MQ Salon exhibition areas, located within an outer tract that once formed part of the Imperial stables (back when contemporary art meant a nice portrait of an Archduke in a wig).
The exhibitions within feature all forms of visual arts but with a small bias toward installations and video art. Expect to see both established and up and coming artists.
Equally, those same exhibitions tend to tackle themes critical to today’s world and offer their own form of sociopolitical commentary.
As such, you might drop in and discover everything from album posters to three-dimensional fabric art. And all with (normally) free entry.
So what’s on at the moment?
The location currently serves as a temporary exhibition home for FOTO ARSENAL WIEN while they await their move to a new permanent location. So you’ll need a ticket to visit the exhibitions.
- Schattenwinde: exhibition of photographs by Gundula Schulze Eldowy featuring her austere images of Germany taken across 1977-1990 (Sept 1 – Nov 19, 2023)
- Me and mine: exhibition of photographs by Mari Katayama, who uses her own body to explore issues around society and concepts of beauty (Sept 1 – Nov 19, 2023)
Selected past exhibitions
- Crossing Lines. Politics of Images: part of the Foto Wien festival, which had its 2023 HQ in the MQ. A timely examination of photos in political communication and image projection, touching on such topics as distribution & social media, authenticity, and blurred lines of reality vis a vis propaganda.
- LandRush. Ventures into Global Agriculture: video installation(s) created by Frauke Huber and Uwe H. Martin. A look at modern agriculture from various perspectives, exploring the consequences for climate change, biodiversity, soil quality and water resources.
- Oasis: Karina Mendreczky and Katalin Kortmann Járay created an installation consisting of an almost fae-like collection that flowed with themes around life, death and our relationship to nature. Built from sculptures, photos, fabrics, drawings, and audio.
- No Dancing Allowed: a collection of multimedia installations viewing dance as a social and emotional need. Dance as a metaphor for expression, particularly freedom of expression. And all in the context of COVID-related restrictions and those imposed by the culture and politics of modern society.
- Overground Resistance: a selection of art as activism or activism as art. Pieces from various countries, created by those working in or with climate justice movements.
- Approximation by Bilderbuch: various artistic creations that came about through collaborations with or around the successful Austrian band Bilderbuch. A paeon to open minds, collaboration and rejecting the limits of your own metier. Unusually for Q21, this one needed an entrance ticket.
- Japan Unlimited: contemporary Japanese art at the interface between Honne (your genuine feelings and emotions) and Tatemae (those you can display in public according to the unwritten rules of society).
How to get there
Follow the travel tips at the end of the MuseumsQuartier page. As you stand outside facing the main entrance, turn left and follow the outside wall until you see the signs for the exhibitions.
Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna | Website