Throughout 2020 Grazer Kunstverein is conducting a feasibility study aimed at speculatively re-locating the institution. This performative public program unfolds alongside a continuous exhibition program, as a companion series of ephemeral events in test sites across the seventeen districts of the city of Graz.
Conceived together with Edward Clydesdale Thomson and an expanded team (Kate Strain, Tanja Gurke, Margareth Otti, Christina Simmerer, and Ahmad Darkhabani) in collaboration with Graz Kulturjahr 2020, we are set to embark on a year-long research project, with the end goal of finding a new home for the institution.
The idea of moving presents us with an opportunity to rethink the role and function of the Kunstverein. What do we do and for whom do we do it? How would moving change or impact our current modes of production? What freedoms and challenges might we encounter with the simple gesture of leaving our four walls in the Innere Stadt? How might relocation enable us to actively question and critically reflect on the role of culture and the necessity of art in the city?
What would it mean to learn as an institution? Could we reimagine the Kunstverein as a library for omitted histories with Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński in Gries? Could it occupy the dressing rooms of the football stadium in Liebenau for feminist science fiction readings by Tai Shani? Could we plant roots in the old growth forests of Mariatrost with Alma Heikkilä, or create a permanent outdoor classroom with Markus Jeschaunig in cooperation with Breathe Earth Collective?
How can we imagine things other than the way they are? Should the Kunstverein become a public bath house with sculptures by Anna Paul in Waltendorf? Or a mobile venue touring Andritz with a performance by Dennis McNulty? Could we stage the undoing of art history with Emma Wolf Haugh in a bar in Lend? What might we discover from a lecture in St. Leonhard on what is not there by Irina Gheorghe?
Where does culture happen and to whom does it belong? Can it be shared over food with Fiona Hallinan in Ries? Or whispered in prose by Fiston Mwanza Mujila from an abandoned lift shaft in Gösting? Could it flourish in a private garden in St. Peter in the hands of Lukas Meßner? Or find a broader platform alongside screenings by Bianca Baldi in Wetzelsdorf and Damir Očko in Straßgang?
Could we practice care and cultivation akin to Geidorf's Botanical Gardens? How might we alter economies operating from a market stall in Eggenberg? Should we disappear physically to float through the air on community radio waves around Jakomini? What if we start fresh and rebuild entirely on a derelict plot in Puntigam?
Findings from seasonal workshops, performances, events and gatherings converge at a central Depot at the Grazer Kunstverein. This Depot, designed by Edward Clydesdale Thomson, acts as a meeting place, gathering point, incubation hub and evolving project archive, presenting newly commissioned creative documentation by Clara Wildberger, Bettina Landl, Nava Ebrahimi, Christoph Szalay, and The Schubidu Quartet. The Depot provides a permanent working site and touchstone for a kaleidoscope of exploratory events across the city throughout the year.
Grazer Kunstverein is moving! is supported by Graz Kulturjahr 2020 with additional support from the Mondriaan Fund. Individual public program dates are listed online quarterly throughout the year.