Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler, born in 1970 in Austria, lives and works in Vienna. He studied arts at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna (1989 – 1995). Ressler produces theme-specific exhibitions, projects in the public space and videos on issues such as global capitalism, forms of resistance, social alternatives, racism and global warming, which often blur the boundaries between art and activism.

The ongoing project Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies was shown at 21 different venues, including solo-exhibitions at Galerija Skuc, Ljubljana, 2003; Kunstraum Lueneburg, Germany, 2004; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, MediaLabMadrid, Madrid, 2004; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, 2005 and the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, 2005. “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies” was recently chosen from the Canadian magazine The Mark News as one of the ten best artworks of the last decade.

His recent installation What Is Democracy? was presented as an 8-channel video installation in Biennale de Lyon 2009, and in solo-exhibitions at Siz Gallery, Rijeka, 2009; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt and Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, 2010.

Many of Ressler’s works have been realized in collaborations: Boom! focuses on the central contradictions of globalized capitalism (with David Thorne), “European Corrections Corporation” on the phenomenon of prison privatization (with Martin Krenn), and “What Would It Mean To Win?” on the protests against the G8-summit in Heiligendamm in Germany (with Zanny Begg). Together with Dario Azzellini, Ressler produced three films on the political processes in Venezuela.

Ressler participated in more than 200 exhibitions, including the MASS MoCA – Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, USA; Itaucultural Institute, Sao Paulo; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, NL; and in the biennials in Prague, 2005; Seville, 2006; Moscow, 2007; Taipei, 2008; Lyon, 2009 and the 4th Young Artists' Biennial in Bucharest, 2010.

For the Taipei Biennial 2008 Ressler curated an exhibition on the counter-globalization movement, A World Where Many Worlds Fit, which was shown at Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Canada in 2010 as well.

In 2002, Ressler’s video “This is what democracy looks like!” won the 1st prize of the International Media Art Award of the ZKM.


Venezuela from Below

2004, 67:00 minutes, Spanish with Eng Sub


2002, 54:00 minutes, colour, Italian w Eng Sub

This is what democracy looks like!

2002, 38:00 minutes, colour, German w Eng. sub

Border Crossing Services

2001, 51:00 minutes, colour, German & English

Rote Zora

2000, 28:00 minutes, colour, German w Eng. sub