April 5th to July 14th, 2024

Biennale Headquarters at KunstHausWien

The Biennale’s headquarters are to be located at KunstHausWien, which is currently undergoing the final stages of its major sustainable refurbishment. Into the Woods is the group exhibition curated by Sophie Haslinger for the first Klima Biennale Wien; it is devoted to one of the most important ecosystems of our time. On two floors of the Museum, 16 contemporary artistic positions explore humankind’s impact on the state of the forests and their destruction, but also the collective and symbiotic effects of the forest ecosystem.

The Garage Project Space is home to modular workspaces with repair cafés and workshops. The Inner Courtyard is to be given a temporary and sustainably built event space for talks, performances, concerts and community meetings. In keeping with the principles of re-use and upcycling, the Climate Culture Pavilion designed by the Breathe Earth Collective for the 2020 Year of Culture in Graz is to be repurposed for the Klima Biennale Wien. What’s more, in June, KunstHausWien will also be hosting the first Vienna Climate Summit, a new type of interactive symposium format aimed at the school and extracurricular education community, with workshops as well as scientific and artistic initiatives.

Into The Woods

Perspectives on forest ecosystem

Curator: Sophie Haslinger
Artists: Rodrigo Arteaga, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefán, Eline Benjaminsen, Alma Heikkilä, Monica Ursina Jäger, Markus Jeschaunig, Isa Klee, Susanne Kriemann, Jeewi Lee, Antje Majewski, Richard Mosse, Katie Paterson, Oliver Ressler, Abel Rodríguez, Diana Scherer, Rasa Šmite & Raitis Šmits
Location: Biennale headquarters at KunstHausWien
Time: 5 April till 11 August 2024

More than ever, the world’s forests have become monuments to the imbalances found on our planet. Forests filter water and air, and supply resources and food. As habitats for the majority of terrestrial animals, forests are beneficial to human health, and, as vital carbon stores, help stabilize the planet’s climate. Logging and the profit-oriented exploitation of woodlands are accelerating the ecological crisis while climate change fuels deforestation.

Artistic perspectives on various forest regions of the world—from the Amazon rainforest, to the Embobut Forest in Kenya, to the primeval forests of the Carpathians, to the Swiss pine forests, and to local woodlands—address pressing issues surrounding this sensitive ecosystem. On the one hand, the works in the exhibition engage with human influence on the condition and destruction of forests, and, on the other hand, with the collective and symbiotic nature of the forest ecosystem. Into the Woods speaks to reckless deforestation, the effects of forest monocultures, the tensions that exists between economic forest use and sustainable conservation, the financialization of the climate crisis, the threat to woodlands due to global warming, as well as the ecological processes and complex interrelations at the core of the forest ecosystem.

The artists in the exhibition bring to light the pivotal role that forests play for the health and stability of our planet. Research-based, enlightening, and poetic works—some of which were developed in cooperation with scientists—make this complex topic feel tangible, and offer new perspectives on an ecosystem that is seemingly all too familiar.