steirischer herbst ’92
America Nowhere

Horst Gerhard Haberl

Festival dates

Curatorial team
Advisory Board: Werner Krause, Cathrin Pichler, Peter Strasser

“‘Simply the fact that I know more about America than about any other country leads me to seriously doubt whether America exists at all.’”
—Peter Strasser

"‘America nowhere’, fiction and utopia, Franz Kafka’s poetic metaphor of America as the ‘nearly boundless’ global theater, forms the core of steirischer herbst ’92. With the years-long, beastly assassination of peoples and cultures in former Yugoslavia taking place far too close for comfort, the conception of freedom emerges at once as an illusion: The game is over. But art goes on; its purpose is to create new survival strategies.
With its programmatic theme, ‘Nomadology of the Nineties’, steirischer herbst follows the development of a culture of mobility: mobility not in linear path, but rather as an opening which makes possible a boundary-crossing way of thinking and acting. And since its foundation in 1968, steirischer herbst has been both a cultural workshop of the future and a refuge for spiritual resistance.”
—Horst Gerhard Haberl (original booklet translations)

America Nowhere: in celebration of the quincentenary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America in 1492, steirischer herbst was dedicated to the phantom of America and the introduction of the potato—which was also the poster motif—as a fiction and a utopia. Franz Kafka’s poetic metaphor of America as an “almost limitless theater of the world” formed the hub for the nomadic program of steirischer herbst ’92. As explained in the program booklet, “This ‘America’ revealed and concealed itself at will, produced impossible utopias on the assembly line, but whose greatest utopia is itself. ‘America nowhere,’ the central theme of steirischer herbst ’92, is a preliminary investigation of an existence based solely on deception, illusion, and simulation.”

The “transmedial official speech” in the foyer of the opera house was given by the American avant-garde performer Jana Haimsohn, while, next to the Opernhaus, Hartmut Skerbisch erected the monumental scaffolding sculpture Lichtschwert (Light Sword). Reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty, it holds a shining sword up in the air instead of a torch—as in Kafka’s unfinished novel Amerika—and still occupies the same position today. At the Opernhaus, a new version of Roman Haubenstock-Ramati’s opera Amerika (after Kafka) premiered under the musical direction of Beat Furrer, and musikprotokoll presented ten events in memory of John Cage, who died in 1992, titled America Now Here. The Schubert cinema organized a festival on Black American cinema.

After Wilfried Skreiner retired in 1992, his successor, Peter Weibel, organized two further trigon biennials in 1993 and 1995; they had little to do with the original format. The project Identität : Differenz. Eine Topographie der Moderne 1940–1990 (Identity : Difference: A Topography of Modernity, 1940–1990) had already been planned as the “trigon platform” prior to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The project Kunst Heimat Kunst (Art Homeland Art) carried out a topographic expansion to locations outside of Graz (Antwerp, Berlin, Corsica, Moscow, and Urdorf/Zurich) with “mental geography,” and the special project The Immigrant Song presented a Mexican secondhand market as a three-day festival of folk music in a Styrian beer tent on Karmeliterplatz.


Opera / theatre



Fine Art / Architecture

gallery day


Film / Video

Out of Graz

Festival opening

2.10., 5 pm
Opera Graz
Opening by the president of steirischer herbst Kurt Jungwirth, speech by Rudolf Scholten, transmedia speech: Jana Haimsohn America nowhere


Alte Galerie

Alte Technik


Brüderlein Fein, Heinrichstraße 139

Burg Ehrenhausen, Kapelle Hohenegg, Kirche Sveti Duh

CCW, Cultur Centrum Wolkenstein, Stainach

Cultur Centrum Wolkenstein

Forum Stadtpark

Forum Stadtpark, Schubertkino

Galerie & Edition Artelier, Eisengasse 3

Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Bürgergasse 4

Galerie CC, Schmiedgasse 2

Galerie DIDA, Albrechtgasse 3

Galerie Eugen Lendl, Gleisdorfergasse 4

Galerie Freiberger, Mürzzuschlag

Galerie Glacis

Galerie Griss, Tummelplatz

Galerie H.+W. Lang, Salzamtsgasse 4

Galerie K (Kindberg)

Galerie Leonhard, Leonhardstraße 3

Galerie und Buchhandlung Droschl

Gasthof Edlacherhof, Mürzzuschlag

Grazer Kunstverein

Hotel Post (Kindberg)

Hotel Post (Kindberg), Kunsthaus Mürzzuschlag

Hotel Stegerhof

Kabelwerk, Breitenfeld

Kammermusiksaal (Grazer Kongress)

Karmeliterplatz (Puntigamer-Zelt)

Kirche St. Jakob, Krieglach

Kulturhaus Graz

Kunsthaus Mürzzuschlag




Musikschule Deutschlandsberg

Neue Galerie

Neue Galerie Graz, Künstlerhaus, stadtmuseumgraz


ORF-Landesstudio, Opernhaus-Foyer

Oper Graz



Palais Attems

Palais Meran

Saal Steiermark (Grazer Congress)

Schauspielhaus Graz

Stefaniensaal (Grazer Kongress)



Volkshaus Lagergasse

Volksschule Donnersbachwald

Volksschule Hohentauern

Werkstadt Graz, Sporgasse 16


Program booklet of steirischer herbst 1992: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsges.m.b.H., steirischer herbst ’92 (America nowhere) (Graz: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsges.m.b.H., 1992)

→  Available here

Horst G. Haberl, Werner Krause and Peter Strasser, herbstschrift 1/92. Eine Nomadologie der Neunziger (Graz: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.bH., 1992)

Horst G. Haberl, Werner Krause and Peter Strasser, herbstschrift 1+2/92. Eine Nomadologie der Neunziger (Graz: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.bH., 1992)

→  Available here

Horst G. Haberl, Werner Krause and Peter Strasser, herbstschrift 3/92. Eine Nomadologie der Neunziger (Graz: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.bH., 1992)

Horst G. Haberl, Werner Krause and Peter Strasser, herbstschrift 3/92. Eine Nomadologie der Neunziger (Graz: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft m.bH., 1992)

Heimo Zobernig, Amerikaner (Graz: Forum Stadtpark, 1992)

Horst Gerhard Haberl, Werner Krause and Peter Strasser, America nowhere. Eine Nomadologie der Neunziger (herbstbuch drei) (Graz: Verlag Droschl, 1992)

Peter Weibel, Christa Steinle, Identität : Differenz. Tribüne Trigon 1940–1990. Eine Topografie der Moderne (Vienna - Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 1992) 

Movie department Forum Stadtpark, Black American Cinema. Filme im steirischen herbst ’92 (Graz: Movie department Forum Stadtpark, 1992)

Otto Breicha and Hubert Klocker, Miteinander. Zueinander. Gegeneinander (Klagenfurt: Ritter Verlag, 1992)

→  Available here

Hans Nevidal, The Book of the Shrine (Vienna: minimal Verlag, 1992) 

Grazer Kunstverein, steirischer herbst ’92, Plakate, Texte, Abbildungen (Graz.: Grazer Kunstverein, 1992)