Halle für Kunst Steiermark: A new institution in Graz opens to the public

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Halle für Kunst Steiermark: A new institution in Graz opens to the public
Artistic Director, Sandro Droschl exhibition view, 'Europe: Ancient Future' at Halle für Kunst Steiermark until 15.08.21. Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com.

GRAZ.- The newly designed Halle für Kunst Steiermark opened its doors today with Europe: Ancient Future, an international group exhibition curated by the institution's artistic director, Sandro Droschl.

Under the direction of Sandro Droschl, the institution launches with an increased international focus on contemporary art and multidisciplinary practices. Complementing its existing reputation for outstanding regional productions, this new direction will open up further visual and conceptually exciting spaces to showcase HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark’s strong and progressive cultural commitment. The institute aims to radiate beyond the boundaries of the field of contemporary art, reflect the diversity in our society and contribute critical and exciting perspectives on the ever-changing present times. As a dynamic platform that supports both international and outstanding local artists, the HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is committed to making contemporary art accessible to all members of society. This is expressed through free admission to the various exhibitions and a lively mediation program reaching out to all generations and groups in society.

The institution has appointed Cathrin Mayer as its new curator, who will share responsibility for the exhibition program with the artistic director, Sandro Droschl. Mayer studied art history in Vienna and was (most recently) a curator at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Through her international focus, interest in experimental formats, and knowledge of the local scene, she will form an open and unconventional program, which seeks to mirror the complexity and multiplicity of perspectives today. In the course of the institutional redesign the graphic design office FONDAZIONE Europa, which works with organizations such as Frieze, Hatje Cantz and is designing the catalog for the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022, has designed a completely new image and is pleased to present a new website as well as social media channels, which will carry the exhibitions and other content to the outside world in digital form.

Program 2021

The HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark will launch with an extensive thematic group exhibition curated by Sandro Droschl, titled, Europe: Ancient Future (April 22 – August 15, 2021). The exhibition will present a wealth of artistic ideas about a common Europe and go beyond the usual practical constraints. The project including artists like Jimmy Durham, Haris Epaminonda, Renée Green, Barbara Kapusta, and Shahryar Nashat, represents a Europe without the restraints of the nation-state and populism, and searches for a new response to an “ancient” and yet astonishingly topical past that could define our future notions of modernity.

Through the lens of experimental filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson (*1965 Mansfield, lives in Charlottesville) and sculptor, Doreen Garner (*1986 Philadelphia, lives in New York) the fall program will widen this focus, inviting two African-American artists, who in their practices negotiate the lives of black Americans in the immediate present and recent past.

Starting in December the large scale group exhibition Domestic Drama including a.o. artistic positions such Mona Hatoum, Nicola L., Olu Ogunnaike and Bruno Zhu, will complete the 2021 program with a focus on the interior, i.e. the architecture of the home and the objects that often exist in passing within it, and create a specific narrative about the home that in the ongoing global crisis, triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic is put to a test.

Occupying the periods between exhibitions the newly conceived performance format Give Rise To invites Billy J. Bultheel, Armin Lorenz Gerold, and Colin Self to produce new pieces on site. In 2021 as well as at the beginning of the following year, the newly commissioned performances will present queer perspectives on the history, resources, diverse population groups, and surroundings of Graz.

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