Since time immemorial, fests have challenged people to engage in activist experiments or to make artistic statements. Sometimes even a glass of champagne or a forbidden costume, an immersive party sound or a festive production can trigger surprises and even provocations. 
Upper Exhibition Hall
The fest as an ephemeral event has repeatedly prompted designers from the fields of art, architecture, design, and music, to translate design traditions and art discourse into the excesses of a wild night or into the celebration of a worthy occasion. Conversely, these transient freedoms have stimulated and tested new formats and content. Fests document social urgencies and, in the process, changes—both large and small. The MAK exhibition THE FEST: Between Representation and Revolt brings cultural and social history to life and addresses the significance of design strategies for everyday culture.
Thematically, there are hardly any limits to what can be celebrated: Celebrations are held for religious and political reasons, (wild) artists’ and other festivities sometimes transgress taboos, private celebrations reflect social contexts. Temporally, the exhibition spans an arc from the beginning of the Enlightenment to new festive calendars of a forming working class at the time of industrialization to current festive formats. Whether bold rococo masked balls, festivals of avant-garde from the interwar and post-war periods or forbidden raves: All of them are recalled, discussed, and celebrated with their subversive power in THE FEST.

every Saturday, 4.30 pm
every Sunday, 2.30 pm
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication THE FEST: Between Representation and Revolt, edited by Lilli Hollein, Brigitte Felderer, Anne-Katrin Rossberg, with contributions by Chiara Baldini, Bogomir Doringer; Brigitte Felderer, Rainald Franz, Sebastian Hackenschmidt, Lilli Hollein, Werner Oechslin, Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel, Anne-Katrin Rossberg, Peter Sandbichler, Lara Steinhäußer, Bärbel Vischer, Mio Wakita-Elis, Marlies Wirth. German/English, ca. 432 pages with numerous illustrations. MAK, Vienna/Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2023. Available as of December 2022 at the MAK Design Shop and online at for € 49.
At you can find free audios on highlights of the exhibition.
Astro Polygon, Petra Bacher, Bogomir Doringer mit Rafael Kozdron, eSeL, Cerith Wyn Evans, Marcus Geiger, Gelatin, Sampo Hänninen, Thomas Hörl, Elke Krystufek, Helmut Lang, Kris Lemsalu, Markus and His Flowers, Haruko Maeda, Michèle Pagel, Patrick Pulsinger, Philipp Quehenberger, Patrick Rampelotto, George Rei, Liddy Scheffknecht, Christian Schwarzwald, Yinka Shonibare, Nicole Six und Paul Petritsch, Crazus Synapsus, Philip Topolovac, Anna Vasof, Herwig Weiser, Wiener Times, Anna Wukounig, Maria Ziegelböck, Siegfried Zaworka, Heimo Zobernig, Matthias Zykan

Guest Curator: Brigitte Felderer
Co-Curator: Olga Wukounig
MAK Curator: Anne-Katrin Rossberg, Curator, MAK Metal Collection and Wiener Werkstätte Archive, with the collaboration of all MAK Curators
Peter Sandbichler

Fests will be celebrated to accompany the exhibition THE FEST. You are invited to a carnival party and an artists’ ball. We will host a ball dress exchange, will dance at the (young) MAK Rave. We organize mask and costume workshops, talk about revolt, celebrate moments together, and recycle from the remains of the party. You can find out more about the extensive accompanying program with workshops for families, schoolchildren, and adults, as well as discussions in the context of the new Conversation Pieces series in the calendar below.

Cooperation Partner