Photo credit: Daniel Sostaric


31 Artists from Vienna
31 Artists from New York
1 Suitcase

May 14–19, Picture Theory, New York
June 14–29, Kunstraum Super, Vienna

The suitcase as an exhibition concept can be associated with Daniel Spoerri‘s Der Koffer (1961) and Marcel Duchamp‘s La Boîte-en-Valise (1938-1941), among others. Spoerri saw the suitcase as a symbol and means of transportation to collect and exhibit objects from the Nouveau réalisme group. Duchamp, on the other hand, used a box to gather all his works like a miniature, mobile museum. ‘37x21x21’ borrows from both approaches. The suitcase is a practical means of transportation as it ships art to exhibit from Vienna to New York and back. What also takes place is bartering, the oldest form of commerce that historically sustained communities. In this transcontinental exchange, artists trade art for art.

The project questions current international exhibition practices where high valued works of art are shipped around the world often for short durations. It attempts to bring as many artists as possible in contact with each other at the lowest possible effort. Furthermore, they are confronted with the question of what they are willing to exchange to an unknown colleague in lieu of compensation: What is its worth and are there differences? Could the exchange of goods be more valuable than currency? And at large, what is the role of artists in sustaining our communities?

Organized by
A Suitcase
Markus Riedler & David Mase

Picture Theory
Rebekah Kim

The suitcase was designed and produced by Martin Schnabl, winner of the Austrian State Prize for Experimental Design.

Supported by Austrian Cultural Forum New York