The Museum of Contemporary Art in Graz (Kunsthaus Graz) opened its doors for the first time twenty years ago with the Wall of the famous artist Sol LeWitt, which is being reactivated this year, in celebration of the jubilee, in order to try to see the future while considering the past.
The exhibition center, which has been attracting world-famous artists to our vicinity since the very beginning of its operation, while remaining connected to the Slovenian space at the end of September, is preparing a four-day celebratory program (from September 27 to October 1), which, among other things, brings a new performance by an internationally established artists Jasmine Cibicsaid new layout The wall Sola LeWitta group exhibition that deals with the question of the Other, and the utopian protocols of artists, who represent an important link in the development of the Kunsthaus, will also take place under the dome of the Kunsthaus.
The jubilee is celebrated by looking back at one’s own past, which is not driven by a nostalgic review of past achievements, but rather by finding the necessary starting point for the possibility of thinking about the question that most eludes us today – imagining a potential future.
The starting point for preparing the program is according to the words Andrej Hribernik, who took over the management of the Kunsthaus this year, thinking about the fact that the company or Today, it is difficult for an individual to think about the future, because it seems to have been hijacked by capital or technovisions with their dystopian and utopian futures. “We have a hard time thinking about what we could possibly be thinking about.” says the director and adds: “Society must reappropriate the concept of the future, of what it could be.”
This thinking therefore lies at the core of the red thread of the jubilee program, which has a title Re-Imagine the Future, in which they connect the past with the future. The question of what this could be is ultimately related to the experimental, futuristic architecture of the Kunsthaus of the building’s architects. Colin Fournier and Peter Cookwhich are under the title Let’s venture into the unknown (Auf ins Ungewisse) even then invited people to test the limits of their own imagination and raised the question of thinking about utopias and alternative ideas.
Others as building blocks of possible futuresThe central exhibitions, which are opened on the first day of the celebration, September 27 at 7:00 p.m., deal with all of this in their own way. Group exhibition The Other. Re-imagine the Future deals with themes such as belonging, exclusion, identity and history through the question of the Other. The concept of the Other is approached from both of its paradoxical positions – both a disturbing element that is tied to distinction and separation, and a building block and opportunity for establishing the future. On the one hand, it is therefore a matter of constant separation from that which does not belong, which is the permanent attitude of the West towards the East, and hence the emerging need to remove difference and difference. On the one hand, this manifests itself in the process of global unification, which is negotiated by the wheels of capital, and on the other, in the ever-emerging tendencies to remove what is perceived as a disturbance, which, despite constant warnings about the necessity of non-repeatability, has manifested itself in the worst forms of ethnic cleansing .
With the exhibition, they therefore want to open a different view of the Other, namely as a concept of opportunity, which on the one hand points to unjust social structures and their consequences, and at the same time establishes it as an indispensable building block of possible future scenarios. They present the Slovenian moment at the exhibition Nika Author, Jasnina Cibic and Irwinand in addition to them, they also contribute to thinking about the Other KIader Attia, Rossella Biscotti, Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Lana Čmajčanin, Olafur Eliasson, Bouchra Khalili, Kapwani Kiwanga, Marina Naprushkina, Driton Selmani, Société Réaliste, Jonas Staal, Helene Thümmel and Hannes Zebedin. According to Andreja Hribernik, it is a rich set of authors who come from different contexts, and all of them offer alternative scenarios to the existing reality.
The Space01 exhibition space will be dedicated to the second central project of the festive days, the aforementioned revival of the monumental artwork Wall (Wal) by renowned conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. Basically, they are starting with an empty space, which they will then performatively fill, as they establish LeWitt’s project as a process in the new chapter. The wall will not be standing at the time of its opening, but it will only begin to be built according to the plans that the artist submitted to the museum.
The wall is also an opportunity to reflect on the role of the museumProject Wall is a 70-meter-long and four-meter-high wall, which was on display in 2004 as the first independent presentation in the new building at the time. decades later, the reflection on the wall and limitations is supplemented by new issues. However, the new installation of the wall is not simply a response to the situation 20 years later, but an opportunity to reconsider the work of art in a broader sense. It is therefore about opening up perhaps overlooked or unexposed aspects of past projects, which are recontextualized in the moment of today, while the Kunsthaus does not forget to reflect on its own role. When LeWitt gave the work to the Kunsthaus Graz that same year for a possible revival at a later date, he set the key design for a collection of ideas and experiences. By reflecting on the artwork itself, the institution also questions its position as nurturer, co-creator and supervisor of art production.
Although the Kunsthaus was established as an exhibition institution 20 years ago, they describe themselves as a museum, says Hribernik. This perception is close to her, as it is related to the preservation of values and the cultivation of those artistic practices oriented towards contents that shake up society.
In nine months, LeWitt’s installation will be performed by artists including Jasmina Cibic, Franz Vana, Superflex and Renate Krammer, placed in new historical, linguistic-analytical and conceptual dialogues. A project will be developed where the creators follow the instructions and protocols outlined by the artist 20 years ago with his idea, and create a work of art that is a collective undertaking.
A mix of music and poetryOn the opening day, at 8:30 p.m., there will also be a performance: Protocol for Utopia, a participatory choral performance by the conductor and composer Franz Jochum, where you can hear the utopian protocols of artists who were important in the history of the Kunsthaus. The protocols will be sung by female singers, as well as museum employees and the audience. The evening after, a song and listening event will take place under the dome of the Kunsthaus – a poetically performative evening co-curated by a renowned writer and poet Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin.
Protocol for UtopiaJasnima Cibic will also present herself at the Kunsthaus, namely with a project Protocol for Utopia: A Dream to Call Our Own. The performance, which will be performed on September 29 and 30, is based on the artist’s research on the exchange of cultural creators in the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, which took place in Titograd in October 1985. The key segment of the performance will be music, which she will perform with eight singers and in collaboration with composer Barbara Kinga Majewski.
Stop in LjubljanaThe project was developed by the internationally renowned artist at the invitation of the Kunsthaus and the annual Styrian Autumn Festival (steirischer herbst). With this, the Graz Museum of Contemporary Art joins forces with the festival, which has maintained an important position in the cultural landscape of the region since 1968, when it began as a distinctly avant-garde event. The festival, which will take place between September 21 and October 15, also maintains a connection with the Slovenian space and creators. This year, he is presenting himself in a public space with a choreographic intervention Mateja Bučar (September 23), with two installations in the city park Vadim Fishkinbut they also connected with the INDIGO festival in Ljubljana, during which, among other things, on October 6, a conversation with Peter Sloterdijk and Slavoj Žižko. Jasmina Cibic will also lead a workshop in conjunction with her performance on October 2.