May 25, 2020 - Grazer Kunstverein - Tai Shani: Tragodía
May 25, 2020

Grazer Kunstverein

 Tai Shani, Tragodía, Grazer Kunstverein, Spring/Summer 2020. Photo: Christine Winkler.  

Tai Shani
May 27–September 4, 2020

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

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Tentatively, sensitively, with fresh eyes and renewed vision, we are pleased to announce the reopening of Grazer Kunstverein on May 27, 2020.  Like most cultural institutions around the world, our program has been interrupted by a situation that is far beyond our control. While the impact of this interruption remains with us, we believe that in reopening we offer a space for hope and a sanctuary for artists' ideas, inviting new material encounters in a world to be reshaped by our daily actions.

Tai Shani
Continuing from May 27–September 4, 2020 

In Tragodía death holds everything together. In the form of a virtual reality play accompanied by an exquisite sculptural installation, Tai Shani creates a speculative portal, lingering in the unknown space between life and death, where kinship, intimacy, love and the wholeness of being can be contemplated in extreme close-up.

The play tells the story of the tragic death of an only-child. In passing they are leaving behind their close-knit kin: grandmother, aunt, mother, and Oedipuss the cat, all of whom are shaken with the violence of grief and love. Through the narrative device of virtual reality, we experience the play from the inner perspective of the dying child, floating in a dream realm somewhere between our own physical body, their post-human entity, and the metaphysical beyond.

Simultaneously, as breathing bodies in the material world, we are surrounded by a sacred lilac landscape of artefacts in the gallery; death masks, amulets, relics, talismans, bones, hair, and crystals. This circuit board of connections, or ancient archaeological ruin becomes a burial site for the deceased child and their loved ones, striving to hold together in tangible concrete reality, all possible futures and all possible pasts. 

Tai Shani is an artist, a world-maker, and a seer of alternate realities. Her vision of a post-patriarchial, feminist future makes space for new subjectivities, and shines light with urgency and hope in the direction of a possible tomorrow.  

Co-produced with Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin and Jindřich Chalupecký Society, Czech Republic, Tragodía by Turner Prize-winning artist Tai Shani, opened (silently) at Grazer Kunstverein on March 13 and continues from May 27 until September 4 2020.

Alongside the exhibition our public program and speculative feasibility study—Grazer Kunstverein is moving!continues with events (both digital and physical) throughout the city as part of Graz Kulturjahr 2020. Upcoming events include reimagining the Kunstverein as multiple private bathrooms in a sculptural installation by Anna Paul in Mariatrost, a remote picnic and reading group on death and food led by Fiona Hallinan at a buschenschank in Ries, a virtual shelter building workshop with Edward Clydesdale Thomson in an in-between space inspired by Puntigam, and a live performance outside an abandoned lift-shaft by Fiston Mwanza Mujila in Gösting.

Grazer Kunstverein will be initially open to members and visitors from Wednesdays to Fridays, 11am–6pm. In the future these opening times will be extended to include weekends and occasional evenings. For now, the galleries will be accessed by a maximum of two people at a time. Precautions and hygiene measures based on government guidelines will be practiced to ensure the safety and protection of visitors and staff. Please keep an eye on our website for updated information on opening hours.  

Grazer Kunstverein is structurally supported by the city of Graz, the province of Styria, the federal Ministry of art, culture, public Service and Sport, legero united - the shoemakers |, and its members. Grazer Kunstverein is moving! is supported by Graz Kulturjahr 2020 with additional support from the Mondriaan Fund.

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