steirischer herbst ’89

Peter Vujica

Festival dates

“To devote an art festival to chaos—is that permitted? In art, everything is permitted, except writing boring prefaces.
Therefore, for once, instead of profundity searching for meaning: the truth.
It is time to start to look at art in this way as well. Each work of art is no more than a random series in an open system. Liberated from a Darwinist dominant, fashionable models. Artists as players with a material which they do not comprehend themselves, the work of art no more than a patterned disorder, a letter from the front written during the battle which restless life keeps up for as long as possible against death as the ultimate measure of all things.”
—Peter Vujica (original booklet translation)

The motto of the final edition of the festival under Peter Vujica’s artistic direction was Chaos. Some aspects of the “chaos of events involving art, science, and magic” (quote from magazine), which were presented in the form of exhibitions, concerts, talks, and symposia, were probability theory, chaos research, and the new digital world. In place of the handy program booklet, a magazine was published in the European DIN A3 format, with interviews with Vilém Flusser and György Ligeti as well as numerous (semi-)scholarly essays.

One central program item was Virtuelle Architekturen (Virtual Architectures), an exhibition conceived by Peter Weibel that was dedicated to the interface between architecture and media and to the systems theory of complex behavior. The exhibition was accompanied by a five-day symposium on chaos and order. A high point of the performance series Chaos & Co, according to the critic Wolfgang Kralicek, was the production Ça Va (It’s Fine) by the Flemish group Needcompany. Bruno Degazio contributed a Fraktale Komposition (Fractal Composition), and Anti Kamera Oper (Anti-Camera Opera) by Sabeth Buchmann and Stephan Geene’s Cologne-based Minimal Club was performed. Creative Computing Chaos organized the computer lab Touchtech in the exhibition hall.

Various projects also continued to promote the cultural exchange that had existed since the 1980s between Graz and other cities such as Madrid, Munich, and Cologne in particular. Christian Nagel curated the exhibition Perspektivismus (Perspectivism) at the Galerie Bleich-Rossi (where Michael Krebber simultaneously had a solo exhibition). Martin Kippenberger, in cooperation with Jörg Schlick, conceived La Sonrisa de Brian de Palma (The Smile of Brian De Palma) with Spanish artists at the Forum Stadtpark, and parallel to it Popocatepetl with nine Austrian artists at the Galería Juana de Aizpuru in Madrid, in conjunction with the publication of Diedrich Diederichsen’s book Popocatepetl: 10 Jahre Schallplatten (Popocatepetl: Ten Years of Records). At the Graz trade and congress center, artists from Munich living in Graz were presented as a response to the presentation of artists from Graz at the Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringer Straße in Munich the previous year.

Glenn Branca’s Symphony No. 7, the composer’s first work for a large orchestra, was commissioned by steirischer herbst. Besides Chaos und Ordnung (Chaos and Order), one of the all-time musical highlights of steirischer herbst was the celebration honoring Giacinto Scelsi, who died in 1988, that was organized by musikprotokoll.


Chaos & Order

Chaos & Co.

Theatre / film



Styrian Autumn in the province

Festival opening

14.10., 11 am
Grazer Messe
Opening of "steirischer herbst ´89" by vice-govenor Kurt Jungwirth
György Ligeti (A): Désordre, Etudes pour piano, Nr. 6, 1985
Peter Weibel, Director of the Institute for New Media, Frankfurt am Main (A): The exhibition "Virtuelle Architektur"
György Ligeti: Galamb Borong, Etudes pour piano, Nr. 7, 1988/89


Aula des BORG, Kindberg

Aula des Bundesschulzentrums, Deutschlandsberg

Böhler Gmbh. Mürzzuschlag

Forum Stadtpark

Freilichtgalerie beim ORF-Landesstudio

Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Barquillo 44

Galerie & Edition Artelier

Galerie 4

Galerie BF

Galerie Bleich-Rossi

Galerie CC

Galerie Dida

Galerie Freiberger, Mürzzuschlag

Galerie Griss

Galerie H. + W. Lang

Galerie K

Gasthof Zum weißen Rößl, Mürzzuschlag

Grazer Congress / Stefaniensaal

Grazer Messe, Halle 12

Heimatsaal im Volkskundemuseum

Hotel Kohlbacher, Langenwang

Hotel Post, Kindberg

Kinderfreundeheim, Mürzzuschlag

Kulturhaus Graz


Messehalle Graz

Neue Galerie Graz, Künstlerhaus

Neue Galerie/Studio Graz

Palais Meran

Refektorium des Münsters

Römerhof, St. Lorenzen am Wechsel

Römisch-katholische Pfarrkirche, Krieglach

Saal Steiermark (Grazer Congress)

Saal der Handelskammer Mürzzuschlag

Schloss Pichl, Mitterdorf

Schloss Trautenfels

Stefaniensaal (Grazer Kongress)

Theater im Palais

Volkshaus Liezen



Programmbuch des steirischen herbst 1989: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsges.m.b.H., steirischer herbst ’89 (Chaos) (Graz: 1989)

Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München, Helmut Friedel. Wirklichkeit im Bild aufheben (Graz: Neue Galerie, 1989)

→  Available here

Neue Galerie Graz, trigon 89. "aktuelle" KUNST (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt Graz, 1989)