May 16, 2018 - Steirischer Herbst - 2018 edition artist list and program preview
May 16, 2018

Steirischer Herbst

Image: GrupaEe.

2018 edition artist list and program preview
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Various locations, Graz, Austria
September 20–October 14, 2018
Opening days: September 20–22, 2018

steirischer herbst, a major interdisciplinary festival of contemporary arts in Graz, Austria, is pleased to announce the artists participating in its 51st edition, curated by Ekaterina Degot with a curatorial collective.

The title of this year’s festival is Volksfronten, in German and in plural. It references very different historical contexts—the antifascist coalitions of the 1930s, an ultra-rightwing nationalist group in the US, the ironic name given to representative facades in the GDR—thus addressing the heated ideological battles and collapsing political dichotomies of the present. The program includes installative, performative, as well as discursive formats and is conceived as a single parcours spread out over multiple locations.

The festival opens on Thursday, September 20, with a parade by Bread & Puppet Theater, the legendary American theater group, followed by a performance staged by renowned Slovenian theater director Dragan Živadinov engaging with the dark history of National Socialism. The evening culminates with a new stage production by Laibach, revisiting and repoliticizing The Sound of Music, the famed Broadway version of Austrian history. 

The opening weekend continues with a staged conference on the divisive question of “Allah vs. Coca Cola” by Warsaw-based Russian playwright and theater director Ivan Vyrypaev, and a large-scale happening on a revolution of plants by Igor & Ivan Buharov on Friday, September 21. On Saturday, September 22, the opening weekend concludes with a cinematic-performative-musical evening with artist Roee Rosen and an evocative performance by choreographer Michiel Vandevelde based on one of the greatest forgotten classics of the last century, Human Landscapes from My Country by the Turkish dissident poet Nazim Hikmet.

Further performative works include intriguing taxi tours by Theater im Bahnhof and a new performance by Nicoline van Harskamp addressing how personal names travel across national boundaries.

Many new works explore the uncanny notion of belonging to a nation, looking both directly at Graz and further afield. A new film by Viennese artist duo kozek hörlonski in collaboration with Alexander Martinz sees Styria and Graz as a perfect set for horror movies. Moscow-based artist Irina Korina looks at the notion of the “Motherland” as expressed through plants and trees in a special installation open for the first ten days of the festival only.

An installation by Milica Tomić revisits a dramatically neglected site of a forced labor camp near Graz, while artist-researcher Michael Zinganel take us to the involuntary monuments to modernization in Styria. Vienna-based artist Yoshinori Niwa collects unwanted memories of the fascist era in a public project, while Henrike Naumann projects an alternative history of 20th century Austria.

On September 28–29 in Orpheum, the international symposium Our Little Fascisms hosts in-depth conversations with Tobias Ginsburg, Ewa Majewska, G. M. Tamás, Tiago Saraiva, Oxana Timofeeva, and others. 

The third weekend features a symposium on The Ugliness of Images coproduced with Camera Austria, and a newly commissioned, monumental orchestral suite by German composer and filmmaker Christian von Borries.

steirischer herbst also features musikprotokoll, a festival inside a festival, and numerous projects by partner institutions in Graz.

The Volksfronten parcours includes works by the following artists (new commissions marked by an asterisk):

Martin Behr & Martin Osterider / Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak* / Christian von Borries* / Bread & Puppet Theater* / Igor & Ivan Buharov* / Lars Cuzner* / Department of Ultimology* / Ines Doujak* / Nicoline van Harskamp* Irina Korina* / kozek hörlonski & Alexander Martinz* / Laibach* / Victoria Lomasko* / Mazzaj Rap Band / Ekaterina Muromtseva / Henrike Naumann* / Yoshinori Niwa* / Funda Gül Özcan* / Michael Portnoy* / Roee Rosen*/ Christoph Szalay / Theater im Bahnhof * / Milica Tomić* / Michiel Vandevelde* / Ivan Vyrypaev / Oliver Zahn / Michael Zinganel* / ZIP* / Dragan Živadinov*

steirischer herbst 2018 is curated by Ekaterina Degot with a curatorial collective composed of Henriette Gallus, Christoph Platz, Övül Durmusoglu, Katalin Erdödi, Dominik Müller, David Riff, and Jill Winder, as well as Birgit Pelzmann and Johanna Rainer, and advised by Georg Schöllhammer.

A complete list of artists, full information about the artists’ projects of Volksfronten, as well as on the partner program of steirischer herbst, will be available in mid-July at Online accreditation for press and professionals also opens mid-July. Further information and press contact: presse [​at​]

Steirischer Herbst
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