Coinciding with the Vienna Art Week, Francesca von Habsburg gathered top artists, gallerists, musicians, and a slew of Vienna’s art students together in the sixteenth district to fête the ten year anniversary of her foundation, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). Peaches and Chicks on Speed performed while guests danced on hospital beds until the wee hours, Habsburg not hesitating to be in the thick of it all despite her daughters’ protestation that her dancing embarrasses them.
Ten years is a relatively small temporal slice considering her family’s four generations of art patronage and collecting. TBA21’s archive of commissions, projects, and exhibitions tells a quite different story, however, reading like something of a top-list of countless works seen in Austria, Germany, and across the world. Julian Rosefeldt’s “Trilogy of Failure”, Christoph Schlingensief’s “Animotograph” series, Sanja Ivekovic’s “Poppy Field” at Documenta 12, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller’s “The Murder of Crows”, Carsten Holler’s landmark 2010 exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof “Aufzugbett (Elevator Bed)”, and Walid Raad’s “Scratching on Things I could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World” from this year’s Documenta 13, are but a handful of TBA21’s illustrious output.
For Habsburg, it has been important to create a context in which she can operate freely, unrestricted by the structures of larger institutions, like her father’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art. Though moving one step closer to such a permanent institution, establishing a compound-like home base for TBA 21 this spring in Vienna’s Augarten, speaking to ARTINFO’s Alexander Forbes about the past ten years and her outlook for the future, she remains steadfast in TBA21’s transcontinental, open approach. (more…)