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About us

The establishment of Open Space came about in a mapping out of a “conceptual forcing” and creating cross-border dialogues. The idea emerged in mid 2007 with the urge to build and create interconnected routes concerned with European space, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe and the Balkans on a non-profit based constituency. The mechanisms have aimed to introduce certain dynamics by operating within the realm of an “institution”, serving as a hub, connecting all the complexity of strands together. As the founder of Open Space, I decided to establish it in Vienna, as owing to the city’s gateway position between East and West Vienna has a lot to offer.

The initiative aims to bring diverse creative practices together to encourage exchange and joint projects. This aims to explore the future, generating new ideas to improve transnational networks as well as creating a zone of communicative transfer in a particular socio-cultural setting and reveals how culture-specific conditions in and/or beyond its trans-locality facilitate new kinds of creative connections within multi-directional models of curating.

In combination with existing values, this engenders a connection to explore the mechanism for a critical engagement of creative production leading to pluralistic approaches. This is where the new edition of Open Space came to live. Now we function as an online forum whose primary focus is to bring different critical perspectives on art and visual culture to the surface in order to reach to broader audience.


The following list shows who are who in the coordination team within its management structure:

Associate Professor, Dr Gülsen Bal, PhD

Initiation: Director, Head of Development of Projects and Programmes

Gülsen Bal, Assoc. Prof, Dr., is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. She has an academic position as a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Arkin University of Creative Arts and Design in Cyprus. Bal was appointed as a Departmental Advisory Consultant at Istanbul Bilgi University, where she was a full-time lecturer and Head of Department, Course and Program Coordinator, NABA and Domus Academy liaison and Erasmus co-ordinator for the period of 2013-17. At the same time, she lectured as a Visiting Professor at Istanbul Yeditepe University for the MA degree program between 2013 and 2017. She taught at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in the Department of Visual Culture from 2008 to 2013.

She completed her undergraduate degree in time-based media in London and her MA in Critical Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, where she also completed her doctorate. Her research has involved exploring the temporal and strategic conjunctions of differential structures, seeking to understand the implications and complexity of the “production of subject” formulated in multiple strategies within creative strand.

Bal is a curator and an art and visual culture theorist. In 2007 she initiated the non-profit Open Space – Zentrum für Kunstprojekte within its multi-layered constituents. The Open Space program aims to offer the most vital facilities for contemporary art in Vienna on the basis of an essential geopolitical standpoint in which an artistic agenda offers the potential for new interactions between creative and ‘not-yet-formalized’ practices in search for new outlines of contemporary arts. She has received several awards for the distinguished delivery of the programs in recognition of the best accomplishments of its activity and demonstrating considerable commitment to contemporary art.

Her recent curatorial practices include: “too much, too little” at Open Space (Vienna, 2018); “Lost in Europe: in the wake of Britain’s inner emigration” at Open Space (Vienna, 2018); “Demanding the Impossible at Unexpected Turns” at Open Space (Vienna, 2017); “What is Left?” at freiraum/ MuseumsQuartier Wien (Vienna, 2016); “To what end?” at Camera Austria (Graz, 2015); “Say what?” at Galeri Zilberman (Istanbul, 2015), “Places of Transition” at quartier21 INTERNATIONAL/ MuseumsQuartier Wien (Vienna, 2014); “BALKAN(S) NOW” – Status seminar and artistic survey” at Vienna Art Fair - ‘VIENNA Live’ (Vienna, 2013), Mestna galerija (Ljubljana, 2013) and Remont (Belgrade, 2013); “It’s in the ‘can’” at Open Systems (Vienna, 2012); the 12th edition of the renowned festival “PIXXELPOINT: Let’s Get Ready” at Metropolitana Gallery (Nova Gorica, 2011), Nova Gorica City Gallery (Nova Gorica, 2011), Tir Gallery (Gorizia, 2011) and the Mostovna Cultural Centre (Gorizia, 2011); “Ist dies alles?” at Open Space (Vienna, 2011); “No Ifs, No Buts” at DEPO (Istanbul, 2010) and she is also one of the co-curators of the 28th Biennial of Graphic Art: “The Matrix: An Unstable Reality” at Gallery Škuc (Ljubljana, 2009). Among others, she was selected by London’s Saatchi Gallery as one of a hundred curators from all over the world to participate in “100 CURATORS 100 DAYS” for the largest exhibit of its kind on a global platform in 2012.

She is the author of NEGATION OF COMPLICATED MIRRORS – An Examination of Differential Structures within the “Production of Subject” Realised through Creative Practice, Lambert Academic Publishing House (Saarbrücken, 2016). Apart from numerous essay publications, she has also edited The READER: Tomorrow is not Promised!, Lambert Academic Publishing (Saarbrücken, 2017); Past Futures Manifested, b-flex publishing (Istanbul, 2014); A special issue: Reader: BALKAN(S) NOW, Journal of Open Systems (Vienna, 2014); A special issue: Of Many Worlds!” / Aus vielen Welten!, Journal of Open Systems (Vienna, 2013); A special issue: Is this all there is?, Journal of Visual Art Practice, Intellect Publications in association with the National Association for Fine Art Education (London, 2012); Open Space –what is possible in the political potentiality... / Open Space – Mögliche Umrisse politischer Potenzialität..., Divus (Vienna, 2011); Open Space – what is possible in creative practice / Open Space – Mögliche Umrisse von Kunstpraxis, Divus (Vienna, 2010); Open Space – Mapping contemporary creative practice / Open Space – Schnittpunkte Aktueller Kunstpraxis, Divus (Vienna, 2009); A special issue on Turkey: The Space of Min(d)field, Third Text Magazine – Routledge (London, 2008); Türkiye’de Dün-Bugün Dönüşümleri, Taylor Francis Publications (Istanbul, 2008); Gone City: re-reading cultural turn in mobility, Bucher Verlag (Bregenz, 2008).

Bal sits on the Advisory Board of Third Text – Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture Magazine (Routledge, London) and the Cultural Critique Journal (The University of Minnesota Press), Minneapolis. She has been called upon as a juror on several boards.

She has curated and contributed to Art Fairs and Biennials and participated in talks in various places and venues internationally as well as in Turkey. She has published wide range of numerous articles in peer reviewed journals and magazines besides edited fifteen books.

Dr Richard Appignanesi

Consulting advisory board

Richard Appignanesi graduated with a doctorate in classical art history. He was a co-founder and art editorial director of two publishing companies in the UK, Writers & Readers Publishing Cooperative and Icon Books. He is currently editor of the art and culture journal Third Text and reviews editor of the policy and future studies journal Futures. He is also script editor of the Manga Shakespeare series and at work on the graphic novel adaptation of Freud’s Wolf Man case history. He has written and lectured on art and is the author of the fiction trilogy Italia Perversa (Stalin’s Orphans, The Mosque and Destroying America) and the novel Mishima’s Report to the Emperor. He was co-curator of Pretext: Heteronyms, a Rear Window art exhibition of 21 artists, Clink Street Studios, London, 5 November – 10 December 1995. Co-curator of Heteronymous, a transfer of Pretext: Heteronyms to the Palazzo San Michele a Ripa, Rome, in collaboration with Achille Bonito Oliva and Anna Maria Nassisi, May 1997, and author and co-curator of Fernando Pessoa: the Portuguese Faust, staged in collaboration with Marcello Sambati, director of Dark Camera, at the Palazzo San Michele, 17 May 1997; curator and programme organiser of the Writing Europe conference for the British Council in Kyiv, Ukraine, 29 June – 2 July 2005, and editor of the Writing Europe conference papers in Third Text, no 88, volume 21, issue 5, September 2007.

Sezgin Boynik

Consulting advisory board

Sezgin Boynik lives in Prizren and Istanbul. Teaches Sociology in Prishtina University, Department of Turkology. Finished his master thesis on ‘Aesthetical Political Strategies of Situationist International’ in 2003 in Mimar Sinan University Institute of Social Research. Edited isuues of art-ist contemporary art magazine, on Situationists (2004), Finnish Radcal Art (2005). Participated in many conferences like Punk Kongress, Kassel; Serious Pop, Vienna; Klartext, Berlin and contributed to many journals and publications on radical political movements, on nationalism and on punk.

Recently co-edited book “Nationalism and Contemporary Art – critical reader” (by MM publication, Prishtina), ‘Ters Takla : Punk and Underground in Turkey 1980’s and 90’s” (forthcoming from BAS publication, Istanbul) and “ Public Turn in Contemporary Art” (forthcoming Santral, Bilgi University, Istanbul).

Süreyyya Evren

Consulting advisory board

S¸reyyya Evren writes on contemporary art, literature and radical politics. He has published several books in Turkish and several articles in English, German, French and Czech. He is the editor-in-chief and founder of the post-anarchist magazineSiyahi.

Albert Heta

Consulting advisory board

Albert Heta is part of the youngest generation of artists in Kosova, that surfaced on the scene immediately after the war in 1999. Heta’s work is characterized by simple and refined formal qualities, and daring, straight-forward political messages, devoid of any kind of ‘political correctness’. His concerns are often local and national. However, rather than being mere political propaganda, Heta’s work, through the particular social concerns, reveals the hypocrisy, the collective lies, and the ironies of the contemporary world.

Lana Zdravković

Consulting advisory board

Lana Zdravković is researcher (Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies), publicist, political activist, producer (performer and co-founder of KITCH  – Institute of Art Production and Research) currently based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Fields of academic interest: nation-state, national identity, nationalism, sovereignty, citizenship, ideology, migrations, social inequality, political engagement, emancipator social praxes.  Fields of artistic interest: neoliberalization and economization of the art, political performance, pornography and art kitsch and trash art.

Dörte Eliass

Translation, managing editor

Dörte Eliass, born in Hannover, lives and works as translator and editor in Vienna. She is specialised on the translation of art- and cultural scientific texts and has been awarded several translation prizes by the BMUKK.


Design & programmming

Reinhard Lang, Robert Schwieger and Alexander Stern are tresdelinquentes, a creative lab with studios in Vienna & Hamburg.

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