Kunsthalle Vienna

How to Live Together, exterior strategy in collaboration with Boy Vereecken

Vienna, AT
Type: Exhibition Architecture Spatial Design

How to Live Together


How To Live Together booklet

  • Curator: Nicolaus Schafhausen
  • Curatorial assistance: Juliane Bischoff
  • Graphic Design: Boy Vereecken & Antoine Begon
  • Spatial Design by Studio Miessen
  • Project Leader: Markus Miessen, Berta Cusó
  • Team: Pelin Alkan, Tasos Antonopoulos, Torben Körschkes, Anni Leo, Giannella Cocco, Paula Palermo
  • Photography: David Avazzadeh © Kunsthalle Wien, Enric Duch

The structure the studio developed for the exhibition evolves on two levels, which mirror the spatial layout of the lower and the upper exhibition hall, and allude to the principles of our coexistence as well as the necessity to rethink the spheres of democracy. Besides variably applicable display elements, the spatial concept includes the implementation of a new ceiling structure, which represents the idea of a society in a state of flux. The display elements are reminiscent of ruins and allude not only to the architecture of ancient meeting places as the origin of democratic principles, but also to the coexistence of different political realities in the present. The intervention on the ceiling in the hall upstairs consists of suspended metal chains and refers to a changing society, in which civic involvement as a fetish plays an increasingly important role. The call for participation goes hand in hand
 with the desire to fabricate utopias. These structural elements form a big picture, which is destined to remain incomplete in its entirety. A transforming society needs and must seize on possibilities for change, which enable collective conceptions of the future.

How To Live Together explores the conditions and prospects of living together in terms of individual and social dimensions. Key factors of this survey exhibition not only include dynamics and shifts at the political and economic level, but also changing social relations. The works of more than thirty international artists from different generations are based on personal experience and, at the same time, point to changing relations between the private and the political, between stagnant and accelerating contemporary circumstances, reality and utopian ideals. The diverse models of living together presented, reveal how society is more than just the sum of its individuals.

From August Sander’s portraits of society to Tina Barney’s depictions of social elites to Cana Bilir-Meier’s cinematic exploration of the forgotten stories of migrant workers, How To Live Together shows that the stranger, the other, is something people are made into. Universal human feelings including love, fear, faith, and longing for peace, are addressed by Goshka Macuga’s android, which launches an appeal to humanity while simultaneously calling for traditional role models to be overcome. Inspired by the debate on Brexit, Wolfgang Tillmans’ campaign marks a counter-movement: involvement in civil society – based on solidarity and on what interconnects us – gains heightened importance.

Artists: Bas Jan Ader, Kader Attia, Sven Augustijnen, Tina Barney, Cana Bilir-Meier, Ayzit Bostan, Mohamed Bourouissa, Kasper De Vos, Ieva Epnere, Aslan Gaisumov, Gelitin, Liam Gillick, Paul Graham, Johan Grimonprez, Binelde Hyrcan, Leon Kahane, Herlinde Koelbl, Armin Linke, Goshka Macuga, Taus Makhacheva, Pedro Moraes, Sarah Morris, Adam Pendleton, Yvonne Rainer, Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij, Willem de Rooij, August Sander, Ritu Sarin / Tenzing Sonam, Augustas Serapinas, Jeremy Shaw, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel