A cooperation between the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the MAK
In 1867 the School of Arts and Crafts was established at the Imperial Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry (today’s MAK) to enable Austrian arts and crafts to compete internationally. This school is the antecedent institution of today’s University of Applied Arts Vienna, which is now celebrating its 150th anniversary.
The exhibition Aesthetics of Change: 150 Years of the University of Applied Arts Vienna in two parts casts a glance back onto 150 years of the University’s history, while at the same time daring to look into the future.
This time span is the topic of the first part of the jubilee exhibition in the MAK’s lower Exhibition Hall, curated by Patrick Werkner and Elisabeth Schmuttermeier. The objects on view are from the University’s own collections, supplemented by works from the MAK’s holdings. Associated with this are thousands of people in teaching and studies, among them “stars” from the history of art, design, and architecture, as well as relative unknown names.
With an encyclopedic arrangement of the topical points, the exhibition highlights the vicissitudes of the Angewandte’s history and the developments it begat and begets. Up-to-date videos to convey a sense of contemporary education, showcase student projects, and give glimpses into life at the Angewandte.
The second part of the jubilee exhibition in the MAK’s upper Exhibition Hall, curated by Peter Weibel and Gerald Bast, outlines theses for the future and advocates for a reorientation of education, art, and society. Three chapters present aggregated trends. The exhibition focuses on current and visionary research, in addition to contemporary artistic positions.
Pursuing this idea leads to an interactive exhibition experience. The spotlight is on the new; old structures dissolve in the darkness. This combination of ruins and enchanted forest allows the search for the future to commence.