steirischer herbst ’05
polis on display

Peter Oswald

Festival dates

Curatorial team
Assistant to Director, literature: Sabine Achleitner

Chief Dramaturge: Wolfgang Hofer

“It is about the persistent attempt to critically conceive aesthetic and political aspects together. For steirischer herbst 2005, this implies, among other things, exploring radical urban transformation processes with all their overall political consequences that have impacted on the city since the 1980s. With the intensified instruments of aesthetic stocktaking, artistic reflection and artistic intervention. Among other things with regard to the idea of Graz as cultural capital of Europe 2003 guiding concrete continuity, steirischer hebst 2005 focuses particularly on the transformation of the European city. Due to the pressure of globalization, the location terror of a raging economy, many traditional laws of our social order have long been invalidated. Along with a world of politics that has become totally unhinged from established rules and that has delegated key issues and tasks to other political, economic authorities.
The aim is to radically reconsider all these fundamentally changed—and still changing—constellations in all trends. The focus is on comprehensive virtualization, the extreme acceleration of changes in conditions of space and time. Combined with the fragmentation and splitting of experience as a result of the total mediatisation of communication.”
—Peter Oswald (original booklet translation)

The final edition of steirischer herbst under the artistic direction of Peter Oswald was presented with the title polis on display and was dedicated to cities as economic, political, cultural, and social “nodes of the current world order.” Oswald wrote in the foreword to the program booklet, “It is about a sustained attempt to think about aesthetic and political matters together from the perspective of the city. For steirischer herbst 2005, this means, among other things, examining the radical urban processes of transformation that cities have undergone since the 1980s, including their overall political consequences.”

The performance series Bodies—Cities—Subjects, curated by Gabriele Klein, reacted to the making of the “theatricality of the postindustrial city” into an event and allowed the “boundaries between public and theatrical space, artists and non-artists, protagonists and observers” to become permeable over two weeks at various locations in Graz (program booklet). Peter Ablinger transformed Graz into a city of opera in seven acts, titled Opera/Werke (Opera/Works), held at the ESC im labor, the Helmut List Halle, the Opernhaus, and other locations, while the Theater im Bahnhof presented Nicht einmal Hundescheiße—Eine minimalistische Bürgerchoreographie (Not Even Dog Shit—A Minimalistic Choreography for Citizens), “a performance in public space in which the audience has to conceal itself in order to be present” (program booklet).

The Kunsthaus Graz presented M Stadt—Europäische Stadtlandschaften (M City—European Cityscapes; with Maurizio Cattelan, Dan Graham, Deborah Ligorio, and Marjetica Potrč, and others), Ilya and Emilia Kabakov presented Unrealized Projects—Utopische Architekturen at the Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, and BLANK—Urbane Zwischenräume (Blank—Urban Interstices) was shown at the Kunstverein Medienturm. musikprotokoll presented “how a younger generation of Austrian composers in particular found a connection to the international avant-garde with a brilliant phalanx of premieres” (program booklet). The satellite locations of steirischer herbst outside of Graz (Kulm, Pavelhaus, Mureck, Mürzzuschlag, Bruck an der Mur) focused on projects in the thematic areas of urbanism and architecture, some of them included for the last time as series in the festival.


Scenic Art

Visual Art






Festival opening

29.9., 19:30
Helmut List Halle
Opening with Kathrin Röggla (Opening Speech)
Music: Ernesto Molinari, Messin’around
Exhibition Opening: Irene Dapunt Lost in the funhouse


Atelier Expositur

Basilika Seckau

Camera Austria, Kunsthaus Graz

Dom im Berg


Filmzentrum im Rechbauerkino


Galerie & Edition Artelier

Galerie Bleich-Rossi

Galerie CC

Galerie Centrum

Galerie Kunsthaus muerz, Mürzzuschlag

Galerie Lendl

Galerie Malwerkstatt Graz

Galerie Schafschetzy

Grazer Kunstverein

Grazer Stadtgebiet


Jakoministraße 9, Grazer Stadtgebiet

Kastner & Öhler


Kulturstock 3, Pischelsdorf

Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten

Kunsthaus Graz

Kunsthaus Mürzzuschlag

Kunstmagazin Hell

Kunstverein Medienturm

Künstlerhaus, Neue Galerie Graz

Literaturhaus Graz



Minoriten-Galerien im Priesterseminar

Neue Galerie Graz

Neue Galerie/Studio Graz

Oper Graz

Palais Meran

Palais Thienfeld

Pavelhaus / Pavlova hisa

Saal Steiermark (Grazer Congress)

Scher-Halle der Böhler Bleche GmbH

Shoppingcity Seiersberg

Sorger-Park, Citytower

Stadtmuseum Mureck

Technische Universität

Werkstadt Graz

Workshop Graz


tazl. klassische moderne & aktuelle kunst


Program booklet of steirischer herbst 2005: steirischer herbst Veranstaltungs GmbH, steirisc[:her:]bst (Graz: 2005)

→  Available here

steirischer herbst, Im spiegel. das herbstbuch der bilder 2000 bis 2005 (Graz: Leykam Buchverlag, 2005)

→  Available here

Thomas Kussin, Andreas R. Peternell, Annette Sonnewend, Brüllen (Vienna: Sonderzahl, 2005)

→  Available here