Kunsthaus Graz

Kunsthaus Graz 2017

Key theme for the year: “Provisional Studies (work in progress)”

01 Jan - 31 Dec 2017

Testphase Prototyp
Foto: Anna Lena von Helldorff, 2016
Foto: Anna Lena von Helldorff, 2016
Photo: Studio Erwin Wurm
VIP ́s Union, Artforum Berlin 2001, Foto: Studio Haegue Yang
Bernhard Hafner, City in Space (CiS), Originalmodell, Ausstellung Architekturalternativen I, Struktureller Städtebau in der Neue Galerie Graz 1966
Barbara Steiner, Katrin Bucher-Trantow
Key theme for the year: “Provisional Studies (work in progress)”
1 January - 31 December 2017

Since July 1st 2016, the Kunsthaus has had a new director. The overall concept for 2017 is based on the existing programme and also makes the title of Koki Tanaka’s exhibition, Provisional Studies (on-going) into the key theme for the year. The overall programme takes as its starting-point existing projects and programme sections that were already planned, Peter Cook and Colin Fournier’s architecture, the institution’s everyday routines, together with the visual identity of the Universalmuseum Joanneum, to which the Kunsthaus Graz belongs.

Prototypes and Processes

Next year a special emphasis will lie on the Kunsthaus foyer. Artists, designers and architects – including Superflex, Oliver Hangl, Tristan Schulze, Topotek 1, Niels Jonkhans, Gerhard Eder, Anna Lena von Helldorff and Oliver Klimpel, who are also participating in other parts of the programme – test out various forms of communication and use, connecting the focus on artistic content of the Kunsthaus with the functional and economic requirements for a contemporary exhibition venue.

The idea is that the Kunsthaus foyer should be more than just a place for information and buying admission tickets, publications and souvenirs. It should be a place for activities, aimed at everyone who enjoys art or is curious about the Kunsthaus – without having to spend money.

Usually projects are only made public when their concept has been fully thought out and implemented. Kunsthaus Graz, however, is making the redesign process itself into a theme: variants, prototypes and options for use will be developed, while adjustments will be “exhibited” and discussed openly.

The method described here using the example of the foyer – accompanying what already exists, commentary and interpretation, according to the requirements of function, content and aesthetics – is also reflected in the concept of the programme for this year. The previously planned exhibitions Dizziness. Navigating the Unknown and Erwin Wurm are joined by Haegue Yang’s The VIP’s Union, and Koki Tanaka’s Provisional Studies (on-going) – so deepening and expanding, as it were, the existing programme.

A concern with exploring how processes work is the link between these different sections of the programme. In this way, a focus is created that revolves around everyday experience (being over- or under-challenged, the sense of loss), banality and routines, but also the disruption of routine. In dizziness, the phenomenon and effects of physical, neuronal or emotional burden and overload are examined as a source of creativity. This project is a collaboration between artists and scientists.

In Erwin Wurm’s work, vivid descriptions and fantasies produce sculptures; a breadroll filled with sausage even becomes part of one sculpture. In Koki Tanaka’s work, nine hairdressers cut one person’s hair at once, while five potters make a bowl simultaneously – what at first seems absurd and impossible coalesces into joint action. Haegue Yang asks familiar or famous figures in Graz and Styria to lend a chair or table of their choice. Together, these pieces of furniture produce a portrait of the country and city and at the same time give an insight into notions of representation, taste and lifestyles. In addition to this, the assembled arrangement reflects the existing and envisaged social connections of the Kunsthaus, which invited Styrian VIPs together with the artist.


In autumn 2017, the focus will fall on the Kunsthaus as a building. The exhibition Up into the Unknown takes a look at the Kunsthaus’s architectural design, realised between 2001 and 2003. The exhibition traces the creation of the Kunsthaus, exploring the relationship between visionary ideas and their implementation. Alongside contributions from Cook and Fournier together with works that influenced their ideas for the Kunsthaus, a show entitled Rationalists, Aesthetes, Gut Instinct Architects, Democrats, Mediacrats will display objects and drawings by leading figures of the Styrian and Graz architectural scenes, including Eilfried Huth/Günther Domenig, Konrad Frey, Bernhard Hafner, Szyszkowitz-Kowalski, Manfred Wolff-Plottegg and Volker Giencke.

Within the context of the two exhibitions, contemporary artists Isa Rosenberger, Arthur Zalewski, Anna Meyer, Škart and Julia Gaisbacher are invited to explore changes from before to now. What became of certain ideas and the approaches related to them? How have the demands of society shifted? What remains? With the distance of time and using a range of artistic means, the artists provide, in the sense of “rethinking”, a commentary on changes in architecture and society.

The 2017 Kunsthaus programme is a subtle approach to examining planned changes: additions, duplications, parallel processes and revisions open up a process of institutional “thinking and rethinking”. For this, impulses from outside are essential.

Alongside the theme of complementing and interweaving content, a group of young people between the ages of 15 and 25 together with curators, marketing teams and museum educators will throughout the year be investigating communications in, and with, the museum. Museum as Toolbox is part of a two-year EU networking project that concludes in September 2017.

The concern with impulses from outside continues with the setting-up of an “advisory panel” nominated by local initiatives from the City of Graz.

Initiated in 2016 with a view to opening up the Kunsthaus in various artistic and social directions, the “Open House” series will be transformed into the “Local” project, starting with an intervention by Manfred Stocker on the premises of the Kunsthaus Café.

The redesign of the foyer began on 2.1.2017 and will finish on 31.8.2018.

Tags: Peter Cook, Anna Meyer, Isa Rosenberger, Superflex, Koki Tanaka, Erwin Wurm, Haegue Yang, Arthur Zalewski