During their second partnership with Art Basel Miami Beach, the city of Vienna will offer new experiences in their much-anticipated pop-up. Ocean Drive spoke to the Director of the Vienna Tourist Board, Norbert Kettner, to discuss what to expect at this year's exhibit, why Vienna is the most livable city and and why Miami is best for international contemporary art.
Tell us all about this year's exhibit. What can attendees expect?
Building off of the extensive interest in Vienna from fairgoers and participants last year, we’ve returned with some of our most demanded culinary exports: coffee and wine. Viennese wine, grown within city limits, will be served at The Vienna Lounge in the Collectors Lounge, while in The Vienna Coffeehouse at the Botanical Garden, Viennese coffee creations will be served. This season, we add the perfect accompaniment to both; Beethoven’s music; both traditional recordings of his most popular compositions at the Vienna coffeehouse, and modern interpretations at the Vienna Lounge, on the occasion of his 250th anniversary of his birthday next year. In Vienna – with its art history - we often find the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) with the juxtaposition of music and fine arts. We are true to this very Viennese spirit.
This is your second year partnering with Art Basel Miami Beach. Why Miami?
Vienna has been a partner with Art Basel in Basel for many years, so it’s exciting to have extended this partnership to the US. We see increasing numbers of travelers from the US – visiting Vienna every year. Next year, a new direct flight connection will be introduced, from Boston. It’s so exciting! Here in Miami, we’re proud to be able to contribute elements to the fair experience that enhance the already rich experience. In a saturated pool of international contemporary art, Vienna imbues music and wine and coffee, housed in inviting minimalist interior decor.
Why is it important to incorporate Beethoven's music into the exhibit?
The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birthday. And next year, Vienna will be awash with programming honoring the world-famous “Viennese by Choice.” Beethoven moved to Vienna at the mere age of 22. The Austrian capital became the creative center for the musical genius, and the stage for the majority of his premieres. He was a true disruptor. When he composed the third symphony, Eroica changed classical music forever.
We actually created a list of classical music events in 2020 for ease of navigation: music2020.vienna.info - two of which I am particularly looking forward to are the Leopold Museum’s Beethoven exhibition, and the performance of Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio,” directed by the frequent Quentin Tarantino character, Vienna-born Hollywood actor Christoph Waltz. It will take place on the very stage it was first performed upon. The website also shows some of the most famous “Viennese by Choice” talking about their personal connection to the city, such as Billy Joel, Hans Zimmer, Joshua Bell, Rebecca Bakken and many others.
Tell us about The Vienna Coffeehouse exhibit. How will it demonstrate the lush public green spaces in Vienna?
The Vienna Lounge and The Vienna Coffeehouse reference the city’s pillars of environmentally conscious community-centric artisanal design, utilizing sustainable materials and plentiful public green space... 53% of Vienna is public green space.
The pavilion disappears through mirrors dematerialized in the landscape of the Botanical Garden. A carefully applied ‘birdpen’ stripe pattern on the mirrors’ surface is recognized by birds so there is no risk of them flying into it, while being nearly invisible to the human eye. We are trying to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible. In the Collectors Lounge, key design elements from the 2018 Vienna Lounge have been repurposed to consciously craft a minimally wasteful space, while offering new elements based on how guests enjoyed the previous spaces. The seating areas are ample - and offer different appealing options for sharing a drink and connecting, from the lounge to the coffeehouse. Public green space, cafés, and elegant bars are staples of our Viennese community and culture.
Vienna is once again "the most livable city." What is one thing about Vienna that you'd like our readers to know?
Vienna offers visitors plethora of art and music events, public parks, luxurious accommodations, and delicious cuisine throughout the year. Each fall, Vienna Art Week is staged to foster cooperation and cross pollination between global and Austrian art-world players. Of special artistic note in 2020, beyond the diverse musical offerings specific to the year, the ALBERTINA modern opens, presenting and housing over 50,000 contemporary works; and the Sigmund Freud Museum re-opens, with a world-class contemporary art collection inspired by psychoanalysis.
Thank you for your interest and enjoy the fair!
Photography by: Vienna Tourist Board