First digital Vienna Art Week draws record visitor numbers

Artdaily_VIENNA.- The first digital Vienna Art Week (13-20 November 2020) has come to a close following over 100 virtual events that celebrated the vitality of Vienna as a city of art. The extensive programme, which transferred online due to new coronavirus regulations, saw the participation of more than 50 festival partners, proving the great diversity and strength of the Viennese art scene.

New digital formats and technologies, such as Zoom, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, made Vienna Art Week possible under the motto: If people cannot come to Vienna Art Week, then Vienna Art Week will come to them . Approximately 36,000 online visits were recorded, making it the most well-attended edition to date.

Martin Böhm, president of the Art Cluster Vienna Association, and Robert Punkenhofer, artistic director of Vienna Art Week, captured the positive outcome and reception of this year’s art festival: "Due to the lockdown, we were forced to switch our physical programme to a digital format within a matter of days. This was only possible thanks to the strength, unity and commitment of the Viennese artists, partner institutions and galleries . Our sincere thanks go to everyone that helped to make this diverse digital programme possible".

The clear highlight of Vienna Art Week was the online visits to 100 artists living in Vienna, as well as the curated exhibition trail through selected artist studios relating to this year’s theme ‘Living Rituals’. The exhibition ‘House of Rituals’, which took over an abandoned Viennese house with 19 Austrian and international artists such as Marina Abramović, Erwin Wurm and Hermann Nitsch, received an excellent response from online audiences.

Bettina Leidl, director of Kunst Haus Wien, emphasised the unifying effect of the art week: "This year, Vienna Art Week has shown that the digital space can also be a place of encounter between artists, visitors and art spaces. The events were a remedy against isolation, allowing us to join together and celebrate the cultural events of this city".

Oliver Hangl, an artist featured in the ‘House of Rituals’ exhibition and Alternative Space operator, was also enthusiastic about the digital format: "Our ‘House of Rituals’, an exhibition without an audience, gave new life to an abandoned building. I’m particularly interested in the individual vs. the collective act of projecting narratives on to the space, which was disrupted by not being able to be physically in the space. ”

A large part of the online programme of Vienna Art Week 2020 such as artist talks, a video tour through Viennese galleries as well a s the ‘House of Rituals’ exhibition can still be experienced via the website , the YouTube channel and Spotify playlist