about the exhibition

In 2016, AWAY presented art resulting from the temporary re-location of 105 artists, the stimuli provided by a foreign residency grant for their artistic work and its development. The project reflected the enormous efforts made by everyone involved – by the artists, the organisers of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport and the partner institutions on site. The exhibition Stories from abroad was exhibition temporarily located in a former Post and Telegraph Office built in 1909/1910 and, set up on four floors and 2.700 sq.m., revealed a panorama of the different residency destinations and the stories brought home.

read more more

The curatorial concept can be outlined quite quickly whereas the complexity of long-term impacts on the artists and their work as well as the Austrian art system is not easy to grasp: In a questionnaire, around 170 artists who benefited from residencies from August 2013 to the end of the exhibition in December 2016 were requested to send a residency report, a portfolio and a proposal for the exhibition. Since the outcome of the residencies is an artistic process rather than “products”, the artists were not only asked for specific works created during or after their stay abroad, but also for their experiences, interim results and “by-products”. After all, the AWAY exhibition aimed at making visible the reflexion, i.e. being referred back to oneself, being on one’s way or frequently only being away from everyday life and the scene. However, it also wanted to show the different international studios that fundamentally differ by their orientation and the support provided: While some places (Krumlov, Banff) foster focused work in an atmosphere similar to a retreat, others (such as ISCP in New York) offer strategic, career-promoting programmes. The destinations include a number of new mega-cities (Istanbul, Shanghai, Tokyo), but also Europe’s classical, iconic art centres with a focus on photography (London, Rome and Paris). At Yogyakarta, one of the residencies is located in the “global south”, tending in its orientation towards a project-in-residence and also permitting exhibitions.

The AWAY exhibition addressed fundamental aspects of ateliers: The atelier is understood to be the sister of the “white cube”, the allegedly neutral, white art space of modernity from which many artists turned away since the emergence of land art. While this former battlefield of artistic confrontations has become a convention, the studio – defining a broader concept of the arts as this term is also used in the media sector – has plenty of potential: The previously static workrooms and the object-oriented, discredited art created there only seemingly dispersed in thousands of e-mails and flights in the global village. In the current razzmatazz of arts orientated to quick hypes, the focusing of artistic work and temporary timeouts in a “studio” seem to be more important than ever. In this context, a key role is played by artist-in-residence programmes and studio houses established all over the world nowadays. Today, more than ever before, an art studio is an essential production space – serving as a presentation room and a place of exploration.

Apart from their promotional aspects, the international residency grants of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport are also seen as an honour and moreover, are intended to provide stimuli and extend an invitation to make “something” of this opportunity. This highly individual “something” that is difficult to grasp took shape in the diverse “stories from abroad” told in the exhibition.

read less less

stories from abroad


Stories from abroad, curated by Alexandra Grausam and Genoveva Rückert, started on the 4th floor of the former Imperial and Royal Post and Telegraph Office by outlining the chronology of the destinations and the 1,200 grants awarded since 1985. Works created in Chengdu/China and the media art studio in Yogyakarta/Indonesia provided the atmospheric entry point. One of the hotspots was New York with its coveted studios. And via photos, installations and objects, the journey continued to the iconic European art cities of Rome and Paris. The bright rooms of the 5th floor were dedicated to Shanghai and Banff. Acoustic impressions from different places guided the visitors via the central stairwell down to the 2nd floor where works produced at the studios in Istanbul, Krumlov and London and a section focusing on film were presented.The 1st floor provided room for the project’s theoretical reflections in the think tank. Here, exhibits took visitors to inspirational origins in Mexico, Beijing, Tokyo and Chicago. In addition to presenting specific works, the exhibition also made room for a discussion of studios in contrast to site-specific work and “being referred back to oneself”.

The former Imperial and Royal Post and Telegraph Office located at Zollergasse 31 (Mondscheingasse 13-15) was constructed as a corner building with a prominent corner turret towering above the roof according to the plans of Eugen Fassbender (1854-1923) in 1909-1910.

exhibition floor plan


Former Imperial and Royal Post and Telegraph Office
Zollergasse 31, 1070 Vienna

Share: Away on Facebook


Previews and reviews, seeing all the nooks and crannies: stroll through the exhibition of Stories from abroad, accompany Thomas Drozda, the Austrian Minister of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport, on his tour through the exhibition and have a look at the photos of eSeL to see what was going on at the former Imperial and Royal Post and Telegraph Office during the opening of AWAY on 9 November 2016.

To enlarge photos, please click on them.


10/11/2016 | 11/12/2016

AWAY exhibition | Stories from abroad


Works of around 100 artists. Impressions, statements and experiences – artists-in-residence transmitted texts and images virtually and in real time from studios in all corners of the world. Discussions with art and cultural policy experts. Exhibition, Instagram residency and publication: all that was AWAY – a project around residencies that took stock of the renowned international residency programme under which the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport has sent Austrian artists all over the world since the 1970s.

kozek hörlonski
Salvatore Viviano
Kosta Tonev

Travel book-Slam in cooperation with Slam B


Guided tours by the curator

Former Imperial and Royal Post and Telegraph Office
Zollergasse 31, 1070 Vienna

vimeo channel

Stories from abroad opened up spaces and stories, an artistic view of places abroad and on the artists’ own personality in this new environment.


Out of 185 artist contacts and around 120 submissions, the curators selected 105 artistic positions that directly told their “Stories from abroad” in the exhibition. All the artists who took part in the exhibition are listed here.

Additionally, you can explore many experiences, statements and studio impressions provided by artists not represented in the exhibition in the Instagram residency and in the diary.

Share: Away on Facebook

partners & friends

We thank all project partners for their support. With material, products, equipment, location, know-how, commitment and experience, they supported us and made AWAY exhibition possible.

With special thanks for the great space:

Away 100blumen Away ail Away myaustrian Away esteban Away leutner Away mirtillo Away illy Away klangfarbe Away magdas Away monochrom Away kulturquartier Away paraflows pokorny logo left 400x110 Away samsonite Away schweppes Away sixpack Away aon Away viennaartweek Away voeslauer Away Cobenzl Away wiengin
Away parnass Away thegap