Science Fiction(s)

If There Were a Tomorrow

30 March 2023 to 9 January 2024
With the highlight exhibition Science Fiction(s), the Weltmuseum Wien presents speculative narratives for the future. With installations, paintings and films, the show looks at various ideas of the future.


Find out everything you need to know about your visit.

About the Exhibition

About the Exhibition

How do we shape a future worth living with and for all? Science Fiction(s) presents voices that are often excluded from Hollywood's narratives about the future. Works by around twenty contemporary artists highlight different strategies for using science fiction as a tool for critiquing the present, creating alternative futures, healing and decolonisation. The science fiction film architects KAWA (current film: Rubikon) have created an exciting architectural environment in which the paintings, installations, museum objects, films, and games present the visions of artists and activists and invite visitors to immerse themselves in these different worlds.

Against the backdrop of the looming climate catastrophe and global upheavals, the exhibition asks how the future can be shaped. The exhibition places a special focus on indigenous voices from whose perspective alien conquest and apocalypse are already a thing of the past. The exhibition's narrative is divided into six rooms in the Weltmuseum Wien and is complemented by an installation in the Theseus Temple.

A first room is dedicated to a retrospective of science fiction as a narrative of conquest. With works by indigenous artists from the USA and Canada, the exhibition looks at cultural appropriation in science fiction and how indigenous artists use the movie Star Wars to tell the story of their own conquest.

With videos and collages, a second room explores science fiction as creative resistance. Indigenous artists from Brazil show that their lives do not belong to the past, but that their struggle against land grabbing and the destruction of their cultural identity has a future. Fictional space projects that tell the story of the journey into the unknown not as a conquest of space but as a social experiment are the focus of the third room, in which the first Syrian cosmonaut, who now lives as a refugee in Istanbul, continues his journey to Mars.

Current discussions about the rights of non-human beings and the disappearance of humanity are the theme of the fourth and fifth rooms of the exhibition, where, among other things, an installation with an algae tank tells of the climate crisis and a post-apocalyptic world from the perspective of the water plant.

At the end of the exhibition, possibilities for determining a better future are presented. Indigenous cosmologies are the leitmotif for the thesis that a better future is only possible if it is thought together with and for all beings on this planet.

For more information to get a first impression of the exhibition, please fell free to visit our specially created website at


For more information and to get a first impression of the exhibition, please feel free to visit our website set up especially for the exhibition.
Here you will find everything you need to know about the exhibition, an overview of the artists as well as an insight into the artworks.

Daily (except Monday)
10 am to 6 pm
10 am to 9 pm

Weltmuseum Wien

Neue Hofburg, Heldenplatz
1010 Vienna, Austria

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Leeroy New at the Hall of Columns

Leeroy New at the Hall of Columns

A crab-like creature hangs in the Hall of Columns, watching the humans below like a curious alien. Alimasag (the Filipino word for crab) is a sculpture by Leeroy New. It consists of fish traps arranged to look like the creatures that the baskets are designed to catch.

New has been passionate about science fiction since he was a child, and his experience as a production designer for theater and film allowed him to create his own brand of Filipino futurism.

His work is inspired by various myths, including Tambanokano, a giant crab from Eastern Mindanao that controls the waves and tides, and Dã Tràng, a hunter from Vietnamese folklore who transformed himself into a sand crab in search of a magical pearl that would allow him to talk to animals.

Through his own unique sci-fi language, New invites viewers to think about alternative realities and question their worldview.

Learn more about Leeroy New

SpaceMosque at Theseus Temple


Saks Afridi

In connection with the exhibition Science Fiction(s) – If There Were a Tomorrow, Weltmuseum Wien presents the work SpaceMosque by Pakistani-American artist Saks Afridi in the Theseus Temple in the Volksgarten. As a spaceship minaret, SpaceMosque floats inthe midst of the Theseus Temple and recounts the following narrative:

In the recent past, just before the Internet age, a spaceship appeared above the Earth thatfulfilled one prayer per day for each person. The ship appeared in countless forms, depending on peopleʹs expectations and inclinations: as a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or ray of light.

To the first people who saw it, the ship appeared as a mosque-like structure, which is whythe media named it ‘space mosque’. The fulfilled prayers competed with each other and upset the world so much that the spaceship exploded.

Using these remaining artefacts, Saks Afridi has reconstructed events of which we now have no memory. An LED tape announces, ‘Your prayers have been received and will be answered’. Prints show instruments that converted prayers into algorithms. The centrepiece of Afridi’s installation is a spaceship minaret, created as a 3D print in collaboration with the Vienna-based company Object Fabrication GmbH.

Behind the fusion of Islamic art and spaceship design lies the question of where we direct our desires. In the clash between generosity and greed, in which prayers become a global currency, we are confronted by the question of whether the world really would be better if our prayers were fulfilled? Would morality or selfishness prevail?


Saks Afridi was born in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1975. He lives and works as an artist and designer in New York. Afridi makes art objects in various media, drawing inspiration from Sufi poetry, Afrofuturism, South Asian folklore, Islamic mythology, science fiction, architecture, and calligraphy. Afridi describes his work, in which he merges storytelling with Islamic mysticism, as "sci-fi Sufism".

Opening hours
Theseus Temple

 20 April to 8 October 2023

Open daily from 11 am to 6 pm


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