March 26, 2013 - Kunsthalle Wien - WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do
March 26, 2013

WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (WWTBD), 2013. © Barbara Kruger.

WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do
Talks, discussions, lectures, films, performances, concerts, parties

May 17–26, 2013
Daily 2pm–2am

Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Wien, Austria

As a prelude to its repositioning, the Kunsthalle Wien organizes a ten-day festival dedicated to key issues of today’s society. WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do takes up the tradition of Thomas Bernhard’s critical and recalcitrant thinking, transfers it into the present, and breaks it down into various disciplines in the sense of a concise analysis of the present.

Deliberately posed without a punctuation mark, the question What Would Thomas Bernhard Do does not raise expectations of a singular answer. It rather makes room for a wide range of statements, discussions, as well as the construction of both stable and fragile investigative and intellectual edifices. What Would Thomas Bernhard Do does not only work in a scientifically logic or poetical way, but also musically, visually, and, above all, in the togetherness and confusion of a marathon without a traced-out finishing line.

About one hundred protagonists from the fields of fine art, music, literature, art theory, sociology, philosophy, and economics will participate in the performance of a spectacular and innovative play. Six to twelve acts a day will be modulated in different tempi and tonalities so that they work as singular elements, but also become part of the overall tableau developed by WWTBD in the course of its ten-day duration. The invited protagonists being confronted with each other in the choreographed sequence and in different formats and the visitors are productively involved in what happens, offering leeway for interpretation along the fault lines of society.

Lectures will be followed by performances, discussion rounds by readings, vocal numbers, or musical performances, conversations, and DJ and party events. The stage set by the US artist Barbara Kruger and an intervention by the Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst provide the two constant factors for WWTBD.

Participants include Saâdane Afif, Joonas Ahonen, Esmée Liliane Amuat, Danai Anesiadou, Barnabás Bencsik, Clemens Berger, Roger Bundschuh, Stefanie Carp, Alessio delli Castelli, Zita Cobb, Beatriz Colomina, Curt Cuisine, George van Dam, Clémentine Deliss, Ann Demeester, Julius Deutschbauer, Sepp Dreissinger, Heinrich Dunst, Yilmaz Dziewior, Thomas Feuerstein, Bernhard Fetz, Krista Fleischmann, Maria Fusco, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, Piero Golia, David Gross, Krist Gruijthuijsen, Gert Hecher, Helene Hegemann, Jan Hoet, Karl Holmqvist, Carsten Höller, Katja Huber, Martin Huber, Tim Jackson, Marien Jongewaard, Schorsch Kamerun, Dorottya Karsay, Sung Hwan Kim, Kaspar König, Martin Kratochwil, Barbara Kruger, Herbert Lachmayer, Erik Leidal, Erik van Lieshout, Geert Lovink, Marco Lulic, Barbara Marković, Tom McCarthy, Thomas Meinecke, Robert Menasse, Michele di Menna, Mián Mián, Thomas Mießgang, Manfred Mittermayer, Matthias Mühling, Rainer Münz, Didi Neidhart, Gerald Nestler, Merab Ninidze, Markus Oberndorfer, Boris Ondreička, Doron Rabinovici, Juliane Rebentisch, Simon Rees, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Willem de Rooij, Station Rose, Anda Rottenberg, Saskia Sassen, Tomáš Sedláček, Peter Sloterdijk, Biljana Srbljanović, Gerald Straub, Vitus Weh, Peter Weibel, Erwin Wurm, Jean Philipp Oliver Viol, and Erich Zawinul, among others.

#KunsthalleWien / #WWTBD / #ThomasBernhard / #Festival / #Vienna

Curators: Nicolaus Schafhausen, Cathérine Hug and Lucas Gehrmann 
Curatorial Assistents: Andrea Hubin and Vivien Trommer
Dramaturgy: Vanessa Joan Müller

External Partners: Wiener Festwochen; Thomas Bernhard Archive (Gmunden) and Private Foundation (Vienna); Ministry of Life (Vienna); Polish Cultural Institute (Vienna), Czech Institute (Vienna), Embassy of the United States of America (Vienna); British Council (Vienna)

Festival programme and booking of tickets:

Press contact: Katharina Murschetz, T +43 1 52189 1221, presse [​at​]


WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do at Kunsthalle Wien
Kunsthalle Wien
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