Q21 provides workspace for around 50 initiatives, organizations, agencies and editorial offices working in the cultural sector. This creative space is spread across over 7,000 sqm within the MuseumsQuartier Wien. In this way, Q21 brings the “creative” aspect into one of the world’s largest complexes for art and culture. Q21 tenants work across a wide variety of fields. Be it an international film or dance festival, indie game development, art book publishing or a fashion boutique, with their themes and forms of production, these initiatives complement the traditional museums and event spaces at the MuseumsQuartier Wien.
Q21 tenants operate autonomously. Some run small exhibition spaces (showrooms) or occupy offices in the publicly accessible indoor area on the ground floor of the baroque Fischer von Erlach Wing, open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Others curate the artistic passageways that connect the MQ’s various courtyards. These passages are to be regarded as outdoor micro-museums and offer a changing program, including accompanying publications on sound art, comic art, street art, matter, typography, literature, sculpture and photography. A variety of Q21 tenants are housed on the upper floors of the baroque wing. Guided tours provide visitors with an insight into their offices and working practices (bookings: Q21tours@mqw.at).
While respecting the individual autonomy of its tenants, the Q21 sees itself as umbrella brand, promoter and communicator alike. As well as supporting external communications, Q21 provides an attractive location within the MQ at a reasonable rent.
A further promotional tool and a key factor in establishing Q21 as a creative space is the Artist-in-Residence program, which was initiated along with the founding of Q21, in 2002. International guest artists are invited to Vienna by Q21’s resident initiatives to realize projects on location. Q21 provides live-in studio accommodation inside the MQ, as well as a grant of EUR 1,050 per month, and helps promote the artists’ work. More than 900 international artists have already been guests of the MuseumsQuartier since the program began.
Several of the Artists-in-Residence are represented with their works in the Q21 exhibition space. The frei_raum Q21 exhibition space, located at ground level near the entrance to MuseumsQuartier U2 subway station, brings together all facets that comprise its name. The exhibition space is easily accessible and admission is free, featuring works and concepts by Q21 artists (Artists-in-Residence) in an international context. The venue hosts a program of group exhibitions curated by international curators, with a focus, since 2012, on socio-political themes and social criticism.