The Vision Exhibition Award

We created the Vision Exhibition Award as a way to give art institutions the freedom they need to produce innovative exhibitions whose focus is, first and foremost, on art. Every year we invite museums, art galleries, independent curators and other exhibition spaces to realize a visionary exhibition idea that is based on visual art and has contemporary relevance.
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What is the most visionary exhibition in current time? We want to see that question elucidated – and to see actual, concrete answers. A jury of experts from relevant professional fields will assess all submissions while maintaining full confidentiality throughout. As it endeavours to select the best ideas, the jury focuses on aspects such as excellent presentation, groundbreaking formats and visionary subject matters.

Three ideas will be selected for a second round in which each participant receives DKK 40,000 to further develop and elaborate on their ideas.  In the qualification round, the jury also assesses realistic budgeting and the Bikubenfonden offers both meeting facilities and financial advice if it is needed for the development work. After the qualification round, the jury gives feedback to each of the three participants and appoints the final recipient of the award.

Ideas for both large and small exhibitions can receive the Vision Exhibition Award. Up to DKK 5 million is given for the idea to be realized in Denmark. The recipient is also offered a workshop course that uncovers the concept for communicating the exhibition idea towards the realization of the exhibition.

The Vision Exhibition Award

With the Vision Exhibition Award, we want to look ahead and support a visionary proposal, so that we create space for new thinking of exhibitions with art as the center.

In 2020, we launched an evaluation of the Vision Exhibition Award. The purpose was to investigate whether the award stimulates new exhibition formats. The evaluation was performed by the consultancy White Cloud.

(in Danish only)

The films below describe three previous recipients and how their ideas altered our conception of what an exhibition looks like, as well as how the recipients themselves changed their own way of working with art and exhibitions as a result of their participation in the competition (in Danish only).
Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for the Vision Exhibition Award?

Museums, art venues, curators and other independent entities working with exhibitions can apply. We are looking for visionary ideas for exhibitions that focus on the visual arts and address a current topic.

What does the Vision Exhibition Award entail?

The recipient of the award receives up to DKK 5 million to realize the exhibition idea, depending on the size of the exhibition. In addition, the recipient is offered a workshop course that uncovers the concept for communicating the winning idea towards the realization of the exhibition.

When can I apply?

You can apply for the Vision Exhibition Award once a year. The next application deadline appears below.

How do I apply?

Upload a presentation of your exhibition idea using our online application module.

Presentations should be in PDF format, no longer than two pages and contain the following information:

  • A description of the idea as well as general information about how the project is organised, as well as its potential partners, budget and schedule (including expected opening date)
  • Name of the project manager and contact information
  • Name of other contact people and contact information
  • Pictures, links to video and sound recordings that convey the idea can be added to the application. Recordings may not be longer than three minutes

A budget should be included as an appendix to the application.

Will my exhibition idea solely be realized with the funds I receive as the recipient of the Vision Exhibition Award?

No, the recipient of the Vision Exhibition Award is supported with up to DKK 5 million. DKK for the realization of the idea, but can easily have a budget that is larger and requires additional funding from others.

When will I know if I’ve made it through to the second round?

If you are selected for the second round, you will typically be notified by the end of February. You will then have eight weeks to develop a more detailed description of the exhibition’s concept, budget, schedule etc. Those who are not selected for advancement receive notification.

When is the recipient announced?

The recipient is usually announced in the summer

The application round for the 2024 Vision Exhibition Award is open from February 12 - 26.

Previous recipients of the Vision Exhibition Award

2023 – The curators Katarina Stenbeck and Carla Zaccagnini for their exhibition idea 'roda – soft water on hard stone'

The curators Katarina Stenbeck and Carla Zaccagnini receive The Vision Exhibition Award 2023 for their exhibition idea roda – soft water on hard stone. With a focus on knowledge building and worldmaking roda charts a new course for art exhibition and production by proposing a collaborative process extended over three oceanic journeys that reverse the colonial triangular route between Africa, South America and Europe. 

roda is a two-year process that will include three sea journeys, nine art commissions and an extensive event programme in three continents. The three trips - in the opposite direction of the colonial triangular trade route - will provide the setting for conversations between artists and other thinkers about what it means to know and inhabit a world, which will materialise in new works, presentations, workshops and other activities in Nigeria, Brazil, and Denmark.

With a firm belief in the potential of art to generate new insights, the two curators, Katarina Stenbeck and Carla Zaccagnini, address the interlacing of human and more-than-human crises with roots in the colonial history of Denmark and Europe, and the related issues facing the world today.

“We believe it is necessary to challenge the Eurocentric worldview rooted in colonialism and capitalism if we are to reassess the Western way of understanding and inhabiting the world. With roda, we wish to acknowledge and listen to wisdom and forms of knowledge that can guide us towards other ways of living, learning, making, and believing,” say Katarina Stenbeck and Carla Zaccagnini.

2022 – The Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology for the exhibition idea 'Hosting Lands. Between the Ruin, the Field and the Forest'

Hosting Lands. Between the Ruin, the Field and the Forest

The exhibition idea Hosting Lands encompasses knowledge about activism, grassroots movements, and radical ways of restructuring life amidst the ruins of capitalism. The movement will be creating publicly shared terrains, forest gardens and other communal spaces. They will be interacting closely with local communities, schools, kindergartens, fishermen, farmers, cultural centers, associations and residents.

At different locations – in Jutland and on Zealand, Funen and Møn – during the exhibition, from 2023-2025 – plots of land will be leased or acquired and converted into publicly owned common property. The invited Danish and international artists will unfold their respective practices at the hosting sites – together with communities of local residents and the wider public.

The idea receives the exhibition prize because it is inventively rethinking an exhibition model that becomes something more than a spectacular one-off event, while presenting collective and hyperlocal ways of living, along with new approaches to being in the World - in the cross-section between the local and the global.

2021 – Copenhagen Contemporary for the exhibition 'Yet, it Moves!'

Yet, it Moves!

Yet, it Moves! er en visionær totalinstallation, der i et samspil mellem billedkunsten og videnskaben undersøger temaet bevægelse gennem video, performance og kunstinstallationer. Udstillingen udfolder sig gennem værkerne og gør os bevidste om de komplekse mønstre af bevægelse, vi alle er en del af.

Udstillingens inviterede internationale kunstnere vil undersøge bevægelse som allesteds-nærværende fænomen sammen med førende forskere fra Niels Bohr Instituttet, CERN - Det Europæiske Center for Højenergifysik og The UC Davis Digital Humanities Laboratory på University of California.

2020 – Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm for the exhibition 'Soil. Sickness. Society.'


Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm vinder med udstillingsideen Soil. Sickness. Society. Udstillingsprisen Vision 2020, idet udstillingen ifølge juryen rækker ud over en klassisk udstilling med et højaktuelt emne og en aktivistisk tilgang til at gøre kunsten til katalysator for sundhed og fællesskaber. Udstillingen vil på tværs af lokaliteter omkring Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm udforske ubalancer i forholdet mellem jord, menneske og samfund og vil med kunsten ikke blot dokumentere, men på aktivistisk vis støtte op om at helbrede psykisk mistrivsel og sygdom gennem kunsten. Udstillingsidéen har været undervejs længe, men temaerne synes i lyset af Corona-krisen mere relevante end nogensinde.

2019 – Kunsthal Aarhus for the exhibition 'Go Extreme'


Med ideen til udstillingen Go Extreme vinder kurator Peter Ole Pedersen og Kunsthal Aarhus Udstillingsprisen Vision 2019. Ekstremsport er et vildt og vidtfavnende univers, som både byder på dyb spiritualitet og dedikeret indlevelse, men også kamp og total udmattelse. Det handler om krop og sind, og hvad den menneskelige fysik er i stand til under ekstreme forhold og radikale udfordringer. Udstillingen Go Extreme tager afsæt, der hvor billedkunst og ekstremsport mødes, og ud over kunsthallen inddrages Aarhus’ byrum til publikums møder med blandt andet BASE jumping og Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

2018 – KUNSTEN Museum of Modern art in Aalborg for the exhibition 'Work it out!'


What potential does art and museums have in an era where all individuals are constantly faced by demands for self-optimisation, agility and robustness? This question forms the hub of the exhibition project Work it out!, which focuses on modern working life. As part of this project, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art will invite local workplaces to enter the museum, becoming active parts of the exhibition, and will also move museum activities out into workplaces in Aalborg. The exhibition is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2020.

2017 – Esbjerg Art Museum for the exhibition concept 'Wunderkammer'


In most art exhibitions, visitors will find art arranged in accordance with various established principles from the field of art history – such as chronology or genre. But what happens to the visitors’ art experience when the art is arranged according to different principles? When they are organised based on the outlook of physicists, artists or biologist, forming part of a ‘wunderkammer’ in which works of art are just one part of a teeming wealth of objects and artefacts that usually belong to settings outside of art museums? Esbjerg Art Museum explores this issue with three Wunderkammer exhibitions, all of them based on visual arts from the 20th and 21st centuries. Extending across three years, the intention is to create three individual exhibitions that will eventually form the basis of a new format for displaying the museum’s own collection. The first exhibition in the series will open in the autumn of 2018.

2016 – Artist group Sisters Hope and Den Frie Udstillingsbygning for the exhibition 'Sisters Academy – The Boarding School'


The exhibition Sisters Academy – The Boarding School invited audiences to attend a boarding school where the school system’s conventional, knowledge-based approach to learning had been replaced by one focusing on aesthetics, poetry and sensuousness. Art installations, sound design and lighting design transformed Den Frie Udstillingsbygning into an alternative, immersive exhibition (and school) experience in which 20 performers made up the teaching staff. Visitors could only enter the school by enrolling as students for 24 hours at a time. Thus, their visit involved at least one overnight stay, sleeping in the school dormitory. The exhibition period was 19 September to 18 October 2017.

2015 – The Medical Museion for the exhibition project 'Mind the Gut'


Mind the Gut combines art, cultural heritage and the most recent biomedical research on how intestinal bacteria interact with the human brain. The exhibition places cutting-edge research and the most recent scientific discoveries within a wider cultural, historical and aesthetic context, thereby inviting critical reflection on how it all shapes and affects how we see ourselves as human beings. Opening on 6 October 2017, Mind the Gut is now part of the permanent display at the Medical Museion.

The jury

The Vision Exhibition Award jury assesses all entries and decides who will be invited to submit a more detailed application in the second round. The jury then makes its final decision and selects the year’s recipient.
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Gitte Ørskou – Director, Moderna Museet
Hannah Heilmann – Artist, art historian and associate professor, Det Kgl. Danske Kunstakademi
Dina Vester Feilberg – Director of Arts, Bikubenfonden
Sigrid Bennike – Set designer and director of the design agency Torden & Lynild
Jonas Snedevind Nielsen – Architect and co-founder of the design studio Perspektiv
Pernille Albrethsen – Copenhagen editor of the Scandinavian magazine Kunstkritikk and critic at Weekendavisen

Klaus Ib Jørgensen
+45 31 47 64 95
Klaus Ib Jørgensen
Klaus is involved with “Dialogue:Concept:Development”, the Task Force development track and arts partnerships. He is also responsible for the Vision Exhibition Award.
Art Salon VISION

Interested in innovative artistic practice and the significance of art for society? Take part in the Bikuben Foundation’s Art Salon VISION events. Salon events focus on current topics in the performing and visual arts.