…there is the brightest variety which we call aether, the muddiest which we call mist and darkness, and other kinds for which we have no name.
So wrote Plato of air long before the invention of the camera. The latter, however, allows us to capture wind, breath and similar through their impacts and implications. These might be cultural, physical, or environmental, as the Kunst Haus Wien’s When the Wind Blows photo exhibition demonstrates.
- Works by 24 Austrian & international photographers
- Joint project with the University of Applied Arts Vienna
- Runs Mar 12 – Aug 28, 2022
- See also:
(Eduardo Leal from the Plastic Trees series 2014 © Eduardo Leal)
For something that cannot be observed directly, air serves as a remarkably effective motif for photography.
We have the cultural associations such as those melancholic evenings facing a gentle sea breeze.
Or air as one of the fundamentals of life. Think of the oft-quoted idea that every breath we take might share air once breathed by Caesar or Shakespeare.
Or air as a driver of transformation across landscapes sculpted by the wind. A creator of sustainable energy through wind turbines and yet also a portent and manifestation of the environmental crisis: a carrier of pollutants and ever-increasing weather extremes.
The When the Wind Blows exhibition brings together 24 Austrian and international artists to give form to the invisible through various photos, but also in one or two video and art installations.
The mix ensures a range of perspectives from documentary clarity to interpretive visual art. For example:_
- Hoda Afshar used her Speak the Wind series to document the culture of winds prevalent in islands off the coast of Iran
- Visual artist Sjoerd Knibbeler captures the presence of air by creating studio sets that (as he noted in a 2015 Foam magazine interview) “conduct, capture or obstruct the current of air that flows through or around it”
- Documentary photographer Eduardo Leal highlights one particular pollution problem with photos of a Bolivian landscape scarred by plastic bags carried on the wind
- Isabelle Ha Eav’s Gust of Wind series presents almost dreamlike interpretations of wind’s impact
Tickets and dates
Drift your way around the photos from March 12th to August 28th, 2022.
You can visit When the Wind Blows separately with a simple counter exhibition ticket (€9 for an adult at the time of writing). I usually pay €12 for a combination ticket covering the exhibition and entry to the main Hundertwasser museum in the same building. But then I have a lot of affection for Hundertwasser’s colourful oeuvre.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
A couple of other photo exhibitions run in Vienna for at least some of the same time. The Albertina, for example, has a Michael Schmidt retrospective planned. And the Wien Museum MUSA has an exhibition of street photography covering around 15 decades of Viennese history.
How to get there
Take a peek at the Kunst Haus Wien article for navigational tips.
Address: Untere Weißgerberstraße 13, 1030 Vienna