Spaces to watch
The Vienna art scene is changing: it seems like new exhibition spaces are popping up at every corner. Nora Duenser talked to Vincenzo Della Corte, founder of Vin Vin, about his plans.
You’re part of a new generation of exhibition spaces in Vienna. What plans do you have for Vin Vin?
In Vienna there are many talented young artists along with too few galleries to show their work. This situation, together with my strong wish to open a space, brought me to found Vin Vin, which I plan to use to act both locally, promoting and nurturing Austrian emerging artists, and internationally, bringing them to other countries through an emphatically interactive and collaborative spirit.
Is there something particular you see in Vienna/Austria’s artistic production that you don’t see anywhere else?
In terms of content, younger artists, are pursuing many different directions, and it will be interesting to see if this gives rise to any proper artistic movements. In terms of infrastructure, Vienna is becoming quite an international environment, as the Academy of Fine Arts, the institutions, residency programs, etc. are inviting more and more artists and professionals from abroad, creating small artistic communities. This could be something unique: at this particular moment in time, Vienna has huge potential, and while travelling around Europe it is easy to recognize a certain curiosity about the Viennese art scene.
You are originally from Italy, what brought you to town?
I arrived in Vienna in 2008 to study orchestral conducting at University of Music and Performing Art, subsequently, in 2010, I met my girlfriend, who was living here too. Then I had more than one good reason to stay here.
And what happened then that inspired you to move into art?
Art has always been, quite clearly, my biggest drive. I remember when I was sixteen years old, reading the Italian translation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and being struck by the cover image, depicting Rosso Plastica, a work (“the” work, I would say) from 1962 by Alberto Burri. Whenever I saw that cover image I was enraptured by its boldness, I was curious about it, I found it marvellously crazy... I was just sixteen, I knew very little about contemporary art.
Gradually my interest grew and developed. I started visiting lots of artists in their studios, writing texts and reviews, organizing exhibitions, going to art fairs, talking with gallerists and learning from their experiences. I was constantly and increasingly feeling the need to show what I considered worth highlighting: I needed to open a space. And then I did it! Of course this is a very condensed summary.
And what do you want to highlight in the space?
I like the idea of building a certain complexity with the choices I make and I am satisfied when someone notices that the artists I show are apparently very far from each other. I mean, each gallery, each space, even the most commercial one, has to think and act curatorially and the homogeneity of a programme resides in much deeper, often hidden elements/contents than the purely aesthetic. I mean, if you look at the most interesting established galleries you will find one common element: unpredictability. A gallery is not a laundry detergents shop!
Can you tell me a bit about the two shows that are/were on view so far?
The inaugural exhibition was a solo show by the German artist Julian Turner, who has been living in Vienna for years. He modified the space, building two environments in the two rooms. The bigger room was meant as an “anti-white cube” situation (we didn’t use the fluorescent lights), through an aesthetic consciously articulated between kitsch and retro. With fake tiles, a fake column, fake marble, and a fake terrazzo floor, that room was an orgy of artificiality. The evening before the opening we finished the installation and Julian stopped for a while, looked at the room and stated, with a very satisfied attitude: “Yes, this is decorative art from a working-class flat!”
The current exhibition is by Joakim Martinussen, a Norwegian who is also based in Vienna. “Top Story Story Story,” as the show is titled, is the very transparent, yet complex result of how Joakim sees the contemporary as the development of single moments, the juggling of mundane things: making phone calls, having a headache, eating lunch, scratching your skin, answering questions for an interview... The show is about many elements: the possibility of composing or cancelling out meaning, the tension generated by opposition, the fascination for finance and sport… Joakim makes all these elements converge in one sharp, synthetic result – I am glad that the exhibition will be installed until the end of June.
There is a huge lack of emerging commercial galleries in Vienna. It’s a bit early to say, but how do you see things going forwards?
Soon I will apply to art fairs and have a stable of artists. In more general terms, I will do my best to keep going forward, and to structure the project constantly and gradually, always being open to what distinguishes art from everything else: the unpredictable!
Last question: someone told me Vin Vin is actually pronounced in French. But it’s your name, right? Still, tell me, are you more Grüner Veltliner or Zweigelt?
Young, light, transparent: it’s time for a good Veltliner!
Nora Dünser is an editor at Spike.
Vin Vin Gallery
>>>>> Follow Spike on Facebook <<<<<<