With the series »Vienna Art Spaces«, PW-Magazine offers insights into the dynamic landscape of contemporary art spaces in Vienna.
What brought you to open Shore in May?
As the old gallery model is in crisis, there may seem to be an opportunity to create an alternative. Knowing some great artists, having a background in start-ups, and admiring the enrichment economy, I thought I might take a shot.
Do you understand Shore as a »classical« gallery?
It’s a commercial gallery and I don’t have the ambition as some people try to disrupt the art world as I have a lot of doubt that it is possible at all. But besides the obvious, working with new artists, I also try to innovate on the distribution side. As far as I’m concerned, there is a strong conflict between hereditary sector-specific practices and the need for galleries to stay and become more relevant. When I say that, I do not mean democratisation. I think that is a complete myth.
From 2016 to 2018 you have run the project-space Super in Athens together with Lukas Panek. Is Shore a continuation of this?
In a way, a reorientation. The starting point has not changed so much, but the direction is now sharpened. Before it was just trying out different things, learning. Now it is about going forward.
What qualities are important for you to work with an artist?
I want to show artists who have a very distinguished practice. There’s nothing more to say…except maybe that I generally favor artist who have a broader vision, who like to think about the overall communication of their doing. Of course, general personal qualities like reliability and dedication are also important.
Do you see a political responsibility in your work as a gallerist?
Not per se, since I see the task of a gallerist at the border between art and business. For me, both of the fields are neither as such political or even moral since art is concerned with unique visions and business with making money. But because art is founded on the cultivation of taste, and this activity certainly flourishes best in stable social situations. The engagement with art seems, therefore, to be intrinsically pacifistic.
How do you want to position yourself in the Viennese art scene?
I don’t compare. But what I want to create in the long run is rather an organization that strives for the experimental, the particular, and finds a new twist in the distribution of art. Maybe you have to be a bit of a loose cannon to achieve that.
It’s a nice city, not very big and a little peripheral. I hope it’s a good place to start.