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07 Apr 2009

The Third Place at Grazer Kunstverein

Évariste Richer: Le Rayon vert, 2005.
Collection Frac Lorraine, exhibition view: „Uchronies et autres fictions', Frac Lorraine, Metz, 2006.
Photo: Rémi Villaggi © Droits réservés.

Le Troisième Lieu - Der Dritte Ort / The Third Place


Tuesday, April 7 at 7 pm
The Hoard (premise for a media library) by Chloé Maillet & Louise Hervé

Duration of the exhibition:
April 8 until June 6, 2009

+43 316 83 41 41
+43 316 83 41 42

Im Palais Thinnfeld
Mariahilferstraße 2
8020 Graz Austria

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In his writings about dramaturgy, the french theorist Jacques Schérer names 'Third Place' the whole places which are not visible on the stage but still fundamental for the understanding of the play. They are hidden places from where the characters may sometimes speak, as well as places mentioned by them in their dialogues. Hence, these invisible places play a great part in the structure of the play and ask the viewer to use his imagination. From the hidden third place, the characters dare to unveil political uncorrect genuine truth.

The 'Third Place' is also related to the cultural studies and the concept of cultural translation. Subverting any essentialistic view of culture and impliying a permanent criticism of multiculturalism and of national(istic) and postcolonial ideologies, cultural translation is a form of cultural hybridation. According to Homi K. Bhabha, theorist of postcolonialism, the 'Third Place' is the space in-between, which arises in translation processes and which constitutes the very space of culture – as a space of permanent negociation and play, far beyond a bare linguistic level.

The invited artists work from an imaginary and invisible 'Third Place'. They observe language and other codes which produce meaning, habits and hierarchies and thereby generate aesthetical and social forms. Hybridity, fragility and transience characterise the works. Their apparent facility, naivety or idiocy serves as a humorous masquerade for their radical denial of any programmatic precision. With strategies of displacement and staging they sketch out cognitive or social structures, rather than creating artefacts. Whilst the project is interested in analysing how cultural norms are constituted through language and attitudes, its primary intention is to further investigate the potential of concepts such as variation and difference.