Under the directorship of founder Patrick Schabus, the Mandelkern Project organizes exhibitions, lectures and discussions.
The Mandelkern Project commissions artistic projects that deal directly or indirectly with topics like fear, anxiety, angst, paranoia or hatred. It is also showcasing and promoting works exploring notions of subjectivity and cultural representations. Artists can emphasize issues like private/public, Domus/Polis, citizen/state, to form dialectic works that challenge established sociological narratives and frameworks. The shows are proposed experiments to explore the various conditions that lead to societal and personal fears. The project also aims to create a fragmented encyclopedia of critical aesthetics which artists and activists use to deconstruct and criticize common notions of the underlying foundations of problematic developments inside classical progressive topics like conservative transsexualism, racist feminism, national anarchism, anti-ecological veganism or hegemonial Marxism.
There are multiple points of artistic contact with the project, sometimes a work will be initiated and sustained through personal exchanges between the artist and the curator, sometimes there will be on open call for submissions and sometimes the projects might be adapted for the exhibition space of the Mandelkern Project. While the project tries to attain a quota of at least 70% commissioned works, old works that fit in the theoretical backbone of the project can also be shown.
Originally conceived to be both a private and public art experience, the exhibition space is currently located in the Brigittenau district in Vienna, Austria.