Program Directorate


In 1974, the Program Advisory Board was reduced in size and renamed the Program Directorate, which consisted of those responsible for the individual program series. Otto Breicha, director of the Kulturhaus of the City of Graz; Emil Breisach, artistic director of the regional studio for Styria of ORF, the Austrian broadcaster; Horst Gerhard Haberl, an art historian and curator, who since 1969 had been advertising manager at Humanic and was a cofounder of pool Graz/Vienna; Paul Kaufmann, executive secretary; Carl Nemeth, an honorary professor and artistic director of the Vereinigte Bühnen Graz (United Theaters Graz); and Wilfried Skreiner (director of the Neue Galerie Graz), all stayed on as members of the directorate. Alfred Kolleritsch, a writer and philosopher who was a founding member and director of the Forum Stadtpark, and Peter Vujica, a music critic, culture editor, composer, and author, joined the directorate as new members.

Based on an agreement between the State of Styria and the City of Graz, a new Presidium II was constituted on December 10, 1974, in which Kurt Jungwirth took office as president in 1976, as the successor of Hanns Koren. He held this post until the end of 2006.

The distinction between the main program and the accompanying program, which was introduced in 1973, was initially retained, but starting in 1976 a differentiation was made between the preliminary information program (later called steirischer vorherbst), which began at a somewhat earlier point in time, and the main program, which extended beyond the preprogram—a situation that did not necessarily make the program booklet easier to understand.

In the area of visual art, Horst Gerhard Haberl’s role as curator became apparent. While all the other exhibitions in the program booklet name just an organizer (generally the institution or gallery), Haberl is the only person who is mentioned explicitly as the curator of the exhibitions that he organized within the context of the pool group of art producers: for Körpersprache—Bodylanguage in 1973 and for Kunst als Lebensritual (Art as a Life Ritual) in 1974. Both events focused on the most up-to-date tendencies in contemporary art on a high international level and beyond the three countries involved in the trigon biennial. The particular focus was on interdisciplinary and intermedial techniques, sociopolitical and feminist approaches, happenings and processes, and on closing the gap between art and life, which, according to Peter Bürger, is essential for the artistic avant-garde. Both exhibitions also took place in institutionally independent spaces: Körpersprache—Bodylanguage in a tent in the Volksgarten, Kunst als Lebensritual in the poolerie, a performance and exhibition space in a vaulted cellar in the city center that had recently been established by the pool group.

With the establishment of the Steirischer Herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft mbH in 1975, an additional side program with its own events was initiated. The GmbH’s first series of events in the main program was called open house; its intention was “expanding the audience for contemporary art” and it also initially included an extensive program for children and young people, with chansons, pantomime, cabaret, and a circus.1 With its broad variety of formats, open house stood out in a noticeable way from the official steirischer herbst program, which was avant-garde and pugnacious but nowhere near always popular. After the first two years, when open house lasted for the entire duration of the festival, it was compressed into one week. Accommodated in the Haus der Jugend (now known as Orpheum), it developed into an open education program that addressed current topics with readings and workshops.

Paul Kaufmann (ed.), 10 Jahre steirischer herbst (Graz: Styria, 1977), p. 158.


steirischer herbst Presidium II (1974–2006)

President (1974–76)
Hanns Koren (1906–1985)
1957–70 State Cultural Advisor (Austrian People’s Party, or ÖVP)
1970–83 President of the Styrian Landtag (state parliament)

President (1976–2006)
Kurt Jungwirth (1929–)
1970–85 State Cultural Adviser (ÖVP)
1985–91 Deputy Head of the Provincial Government
1976–2006 President of steirischer herbst
Founder of Styriarte

First Vice-President (1974-1984)
Heinz Pammer (1921–1986)
1963–85 City Councillor (ÖVP)

First Vice-President (1985-2006)
Helmut Strobl (1943–2019)
1985–2001 City Councillor (ÖVP)

Second Vice-President

Günther Beck (?–1986)
1984–86 President of Verein der Freunde des steirischen herbst

Friedrich Fall (1940–2000)
ab 1986 President of Verein der Freunde des steirischen herbst

Hans Georg Fuchs (1932–2020)
1976–1984 President of Verein der Freunde des steirischen herbst

Alexander Götz (1928–2018), member until 1983
1973–74 Mayor of the City of Graz (Freedom Party of Austria, or FPÖ)

Hans Gross (1930–1992)
1974–80 Second President of the Landtag (state parliament; Social Democratic Party of Austria, or SPÖ)
1980–90 Deputy Head of the Provincial Government

Kurt Jungwirth (1929–), member until 1976
1970–85 State Cultural Adviser (ÖVP)
1985–91 Deputy Head of the Provincial Government
1976–2006 President of steirischer herbst
Founder of Styriarte

Christoph Klauser (1924–2009)
1973–91 State Financial Adviser (Social Democratic Party of Austria, or SPÖ)

Hans Mayer-Rieckh (1910–1994), member until 1976
1969–74 President of Verein der Freunde des steirischen herbst
Founder Humanic AG

Bernd Schilcher (1940–2015)
1976–93 Member of the Landtag (ÖVP)

Alfred Stingl (1939–)
1973–74 City Councillor (SPÖ)
1985–2003 Mayor of the City of Graz

Margit Uray-Frick (1947–)
2000–03 City Councillor (FPÖ)

Executive Secretary
Paul Kaufmann (1925–2015)
ÖVP politician
1968–90 Executive Secretary of steirischer herbst

Program Directorate 1974–1982

Otto Breicha (1932–2003)
1966–97 Cofounder and Editor of the literary magazine Protokolle
1969–74 Coeditor of the literary and art magazine Ver Sacrum
1972–80 Director Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz

Emil Breisach (1923–2015)
1958–67 President of Forum Stadtpark
1967–88 Artistic Director of the ORF Regional Studio in Styria
Cofounder of steirischer herbst and musikprotokoll

Horst Gerhard Haberl (1941–)
1967–73 Collaborator and Curator at Neue Galerie Graz
1969–84 Art Director Humanic AG
1970–76 Founding President of the artists’ group pool, Graz/Vienna
1973–84 Founder and Director of galerie H, Graz
1989–95 Director of steirischer herbst

Paul Kaufmann (1925–2015)
ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party) politician
1968–90 Executive Secretary of steirischer herbst

Alfred Kolleritsch (1931–2020)
1959–95 Cofounder and from 1968 President of Forum Stadtpark
1960–2020 Founder and Coeditor of the literary magazine manuskripte

Carl Nemeth (1926–2002)
1972–90 Director of Vereinigte Bühnen Graz (United Theaters Graz)
Manager of Graz Philharmonic Orchestra

Wilfried Skreiner (1927–1994)
1966–92 Director of Neue Galerie Graz
Initiator of Internationale Malerwochen der Neuen Galerie

Peter Vujica (1937–2013)
Cofounder of musikprotokoll
1982–89 Director of steirischer herbst

In 1983 the directorate members Emil Breisach, Carl Nemeth, Alfred Kolleritsch, and Wilfried Skreiner became consultants to the festival.

Festival editions