Martin Krenn’s artistic, theoretical and curatorial work follows activist and actionist art practices of the classical as well as the neo-Avant-garde. He works with various types of media, especially text, photography and video. Most of his work in public space is based on the concept of the Social Sculpture. His key area of interest lies in the strained relationships between art and society.
In the past 20 years he has built up a reputation as one of the key artists whose practice led to the re-politicization of art in the 1990s and in the 2000s. Several of his projects are based on collaborations with politically engaged artists such as Oliver Ressler (Vienna), Lisl Ponger (Vienna), Gregory Sholette (NYC), Susanne Bosch (Belfast), Wolfram Kastner (Munich), as well as activist groups such as Maiz (Linz), The Voice (Berlin), Universal Embassy (Brussels), Plattform Bleiberecht (Innsbruck) or the Get to attack / Wahlpartie (Vienna). By consistently expanding the field of art he tries to initiate discussions about socio-political topics and to challenge conventional thinking. His main interest is to explore truth through his art practice in order to anticipate actual change.
Since 2011 Krenn works as a PhD researcher at the University of Ulster, Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment in Belfast. In 2011, he was awarded for his outstanding track record for the period of three years full-time study (until summer 2014) with the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship in UK.
Krenn has had numerous international exhibitions, including solo shows in Graz (Neue Galerie), Vienna (Kunsthalle Exnergasse and Passagegalerie Künstlerhaus), Salzburg (Salzburger Kunstverein and Galerie 5020), Brest (Centre d’art Passerelle), Lüneburg (Kunstraum Lüneburg), München (Kunstraum München), Ljubljana (Mala galerija Cankarjev Dom), Celje (Center for Contemporary Art) and Bucharest (Centre for Visual Introspection). He participated in group shows e.g. in Paris (Apegac/Espace Donguy), Antwerpen (NICC), Amsterdam (W139), Kobe (Videoart Center Tokyo), Berlin (NGBK), Helsingborg (Dunkers Kulturhus), Hong Kong (Hong Kong Art Center), Leipzig (Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst), Toronto (Toronto Free Gallery), Vancouver (Artspeak Gallery), Holon (The Israely Center of Digital Art), Thun (Kunstmuseum Thun), Pori (Pori Art Museum) and Sibiu (The National Brukenthal Museum).
In 2009 Krenn conceived and organised the symposium Normality in [the] Crisis for the Festival of Regions 09 and the Subversive Fair in Linz. Invited Speakers were Alejandra Aravena, Marina Gržinić, Ruth Noack, Gerald Raunig, Dmitry Vilensky and Stephen Wright.
born 1970 in Vienna
1991-1997 University of Applied Arts, Vienna
1992-1996 University of Music (electronic Music), Vienna
2002 - 2006 teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
2006 – 2009 president of IG Bildende Kunst (artists association of Austria)
since 2006 teaching at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna