A two-part exhibition held in the framework of VCT STATEMENT during viennacontemporary at Messe Wien and the following week at Salzburger Kulturverein looks at how energy colors our past, present, and future.

Anchored in the idea that energy’s primary colors are geopolitics, technology, and people, The Color of Energy seeks to reflect on the often-overlooked energy flows essential for comprehending the dynamics of today’s world. The exhibition explores our entanglements with sun and wind as much as with oil, coal, gas, and metals, and highlights how the varying intensities of energy connect politics and cultures.

„The focus of this exhibition is on sensory exploration of the narratives and debates surrounding energy through colors. In the context of the show, each color becomes a narrative. Black tells stories of fossil fuels, oil, and pollution—echoing the sometimes dark origins of our energy consumption. Red is the color of blood, the life force that flows through our veins, but also the sign of caution, signaling the urgency of rising global temperatures, reminiscent of the stark finality in Ed Hawkins’ climate stripes. Blue flows with the promise of hydro energy, harnessing the sustainable power of rivers and oceans. Yellow, the color of the sun, offers a paradoxical narrative: it’s the source of sustainable energy, yet it also speaks to geoengineering endeavors to dim the sun’s radiance as a means to cool the earth. Silver-white radiates the promise of innovation—metallic tones reflecting the dual-edged sword of progress, offering solutions while posing critical questions. Green being the color of sustainability in general, in the exhibition represents the noble competition among nations to lead the charge in environmental stewardship. Within this chromatic dialogue, we might find speculative hues like purple—the color observed in the iridescent spill of oil.

— Mirela Baciak


The showcase will feature Sophie Jung’s new performance rooted in the theme of climate anxiety, Shubigi Rao’s video installation and various objects, which draw upon her critical stance on environmental exploitation, Liv Bugge’s installation that invites viewers to contemplate the visibility and invisibility of oil, mirroring its omnipresence in the Norwegian context.

The full artist list will be published here later this year.



Mirela Baciak (1987, Warsaw) is a curator in the field of visual arts whose practice is guided by the notion of hospitality as a process that captures one’s ethical relation to the unknown and the strange. Since July 2023 she has been the director at Salzburger Kunstverein, where she just revealed her first exhibition program under the title Chronic Contradictions. Between 2019 and June 2023 she served as curator at steirischer herbst festival and worked at Public Art Munich 2018. She has held residencies and fellowships worldwide, contributing to exhibitions and research projects. Baciak earned an MA in Critical Studies from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and co-founded the AAC | Austrian Association of Curators in 2023.


Image: Shubigi Rao