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20 Sep 2012

steirischer herbst festival – Truth is concrete: Adaptation

steirischer herbst festival


By and with
Babi Badalov (AZ), Zbyněk Baladrán (CZ), Ondrej Buddeus (CZ), Loulou Chérinet (S), Hafiz (ID), Vít Havránek (CZ), Shady El Noshokaty (ET), Lia Perjovschi (RO), Ruti Sela (IL) & Xu Tan (RC)
Opening I: Fri, 21/09/2012, 2 pm
as part of the 'Truth is concrete' marathon camp
Opening II: Sat, 29/09/2012, 6 pm 21/09 - 13/10/2012


0043 316 81 60 70

Camp: Exhibition space
Opernring 5-7
8010 Graz

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herbst exhibition

Rapid changes around the world – the revolutions in many Arab countries, the Occupy movements, the upheavals and financial disasters in Europe – are also profoundly questioning the role of art. For the multidisziplinary arts festival steirischer herbst, this is an occasion to look for the concrete in art, for direct action, concrete change and knowledge. 'Truth is concrete', a quote from Bertolt Brecht (quoting Lenin quoting Hegel quoting Augustine), serves as the leitmotif and working hypothesis for the numerous productions of the festival. At the top of the bill is an extraordinary project in an extraordinary format: a 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art.

Embedded in the setting of the camp is this year's herbst exhibition: 'Adaptation'. The Prague-based exhibition-makers Zbyněk Baladrán and Vit Havránek address the question as to the relationship between art and politics to the institution itself and its curatorial practice. They see themselves more as inviters in this project: in a communal process, they not only develop the form, but also the main topic of 'Adaptation' together with the artists – a laboratory for new paradigms, structures, hierarchies and forms of collaboration rather than an exhibition, a collective process that begins long before the opening and that will continue long after it has ended. Impressions and dynamics of the marathon camp will impact the exhibition to a large extent, so there will be a second opening during the exhibition tour of the festival exhibitions on 29/09.

Alternative models of society and collaboration are the thematic bookends, which will also be put to the test. A collection of material put together by everyone will be constantly adapted, with groups arranging and rearranging themselves, anew creating joint and separate output. 'Adaptation' creates an open space within the institutional art system, both for the artists and curators taking part and for visitors, who become co-authors. For the freedom of adaptation is the self-empowering instrument for the unsatisfied reader, recipient and spectator, to generate his or her own usable, useful meanings and connections. Like the famous 'Merzbau' housing installations, the exhibition will always remain a suggestion, a snapshot, a changing art space and habitat in which utopian rules are adapted for the specific situation, time and place. And in which the art works remain independent, while at the same time forming part of a joint effort.

Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Enabled by special support from the Culture department of the Province of Styria

steirischer herbst festival 2012 – exhibition programme: