Last weekend dozens of artists, writers, cartoonists, novelists and independent magazine makers took over Kunsthalle at the world-renowned MuseumsQuartier here in Vienna. Taking place for the fourth time in a row, the fair has grown bigger and more known each year, this year expanding over a three day period. From Friday until Sunday Kunsthalle was filled with interesting publications, from magazines to art books and posters, sold by the artists themselves. A must visit for any print-lover!
Last weekend offered again perfect weather and blue skies and one of the favorite hang-out spots of the Viennese youth, the MuseumsQuartier, which is located right in the middle of the city, got filled with sun bathing citizens. So there was no better place for the Independent Publishers and Zine Fair to take place than exactly there. As the fair was free for the public to attend, it pulled in a lot of people from museum visitors to intrigued passers-by, forming a mixed crowed. I talked to a few of the exhibitors on Sunday, just before closing, and they seemed to be very pleased with how the weekend had gone. So as it seems the fair was a success yet again. Maybe we’ll see an even bigger audience next year!
At the fair itself, more than 60 local and international exhibitors and artists were showcasing, selling and exchanging their works. And also a few workshops, lectures and speeches were given by the organizers and curators of the event throughout the weekend – a great opportunity for anyone interested in print or independent press.
The main point of the happening was for independent publishers to showcase their latest work in any form they wished. Mainly zines, posters, prints, magazines, printed ephemera, art books and art magazines were on sale, along with t-shirts and tote bags made by the artists. A Zine, which is a common name for an independently published magazine with a small circulation and all original art work done by the artist, often produced with simple means like a photocopier, was seen in many forms at the fair.
What makes the fair special, and the organizers take special pride in this, is the particular dedication to a thriving local publishing scene here in Vienna. Even though this was the original reason for the fair, the event is distinguished from other fairs because of the wide mix of local and international talents, which enables them to work, exchange and engage with each other. In a visitor’s eye, this mix of local and international talents was exactly what made the event interesting.
Moreover the wide range of styles and artists allowed the visitors to gain a good insight into the state of the current independent publishing scene and offered something for everyone. If you were looking for a new interesting art book, the next addition to your personal collection of zines or just a cool new poster for your wall, you could find it all here.
One of my favorite exhibitor was Aleksandar Todorovics, and his posters (see above). The artist introduced himself as a man “of Europe” after an inquiry of his origin, which made an impression. He balanced his work between great photography and graphic design, combining them into interesting poster designs. You should definite check out his webpage for his amazing work.
A small local independent publishing house called Create & Destroy caught my eye once I walked in, with their humorous and art, retro and hard-core influenced designs and catching slogans. The label says to be in a war against “man’s claim of the end of print” and is dedicated to bringing back the printed matter. They have their own online shop where you can see the merchandise and make your CxD Zine subscription.
Also the hand drawn works of Vienna based artists Jakub Vrba, originally from Czech Republic, were engaging. The naive style of his work, often including a political message or satire were something different between the clean-cut art books. You can see more of his work on his blog, which he updates fairly regularly.
The interior space of Kunsthalle felt like the perfect setting for the fair with its obvious art related atmosphere, but also the ground plan worked well with several exiting points and table areas. The setting itself gave the fair its own feel, with a very relaxed mood. Hope some of you had the time to visit the fair, and explore new artists and exhibitors. We found so many inspirational art works, which we will definitely be writing about in the future!