steirischer herbst ’15
Back to the Future—Remains, Traces and Other Testimonies

Veronica Kaup-Hasler

Festival dates

Curatorial team
Chief Dramaturge & Curator: Kira Kirsch

Chief Dramaturge & Curator: Martin Baasch

Dramaturge: Flori Gugger

Music Dramaturge: Gerda Strobl

Production Dramaturge: Petra Pölzl

Curator Visual Art: Luigi Fassi

Artistic Assistance & Cooperations Visual Arts: Johanna Rainer

Conference Programming: Christiane Kühl

Curator Soundtracks: Normal Palm

“‘Back to the Future’: steirischer herbst 2015 takes a hard look both back and forward. The fact that the future can prove dangerous without a profound analysis of the present and the past, is made evident by a whole array of science-fiction and time-travel films such as ‘Metropolis’, ‘Terminator’ and ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy. Their futuristic and utopian film aesthetic cuts to the core of our modern reality of life with terrifying precision. However our cars aren’t lifting off the ground just yet, as US director Robert Zemeckis predicted in 1985. Instead, former visions of a menacing future have become part and parcel of our everyday lives.”
“Steirischer herbst playfully picks up on this idea, focusing in many different ways on the notion of ‘inheritance’—our present is yesterdays future. This not only involves reaching far back into the retro worlds of pop culture. Rather, current discussions concerning common cultural heritage—based on whatever definition—have long since become part of a discourse on the traditional values of western society in its dialogue with communities that work differently. What do er inherit and how do we handle this inheritance? What do we archive and what do we pass on to future generations? What must we say goodbye to? What criteria do we apply to the priorities of the future? What will today’s generation will be able to leave to their children? All of these questions crop up in different forms at steirischer herbst, reflected in a wide variety of forms within the programme.”
—Veronica Kaup-Hasler (original booklet translation)

steirischer herbst ’15 opened with the installation-based concert performance Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen (Specter of the Gardenia or the Day Will Come) by Johannes Maria Staud and Josef Winkler at the Helmut List Halle. Under the leitmotif Back to the Future: Relikte, Spuren und andere Hinterlassenschaften (Back to the Future: Remains, Traces, and Other Testimonies), the festival took up the notion of heritage and inheritance with a playful allusion to the science fiction classic of the same name: “Our present is the yesterday’s future.”

The festival center was staged by the Italian architecture collective orrizontale as a retro-futuristic space station in the interior courtyard of the Graz Museum. The herbst exhibition, Hall of Half-Life (curated by Tessa Giblin), sketched an “archeology of the future” in the festival center with installations by artists such as Lara Almarcegui, Geoffrey Farmer, and Peter Galison. Joachim Hainzl’s private collection Recycled History and Gerard Byrne’s film Bright Sign, a commissioned work, were also presented there.

In addition, steirischer herbst also further developed its presence outside of Graz: the Austrian artist collective Fourdummies drove the herbst vehicle around the countryside and collected visions of the future from residents and festival visitors in Graz, Leoben, and Vordernberg.

The premieres and first performances in Graz included 7 Pleasures by Mette Ingvartsen, Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, Band 1 & 2 (Adolf Hitler: My Struggle, Volumes 1 & 2) by Rimini Protokoll (Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel), Black Moonshineby Theater im Bahnhof, Episodes 7, 8, and 9 of Life and Times by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Golden Hours (As You Like It).



Festival Centre

Theatre / Performance / Dance

Visual Arts

Theory / Discourse




Festival opening

25.09., 19:30
Helmut List Halle
Johannes Maria Staud / Josef Winkler (AT) - Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen


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Barbarasäle Vordernberg

Camera Austria

Dom im Berg


Festivalzentrum im GrazMuseum

Festivalzentrum im GrazMuseum, Barbarasäle Vordernberg, Porubsky Halle Leoben

Festivalzentrum, ORF 2

Forum Stadtpark


Grazer Kunstverein

HDA - Haus der Architektur Graz

Hauptplatz Vordernberg

Heimatsaal im Volkskundemuseum, Porubsky Halle Leoben, Montanuniversität Leoben



Kulturhalle Hart bei Graz

Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten

Kunsthalle Graz

Kunsthaus Graz

Kunsthaus Graz / Space 04

Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien

Lesliehof im Joanneumsviertel, Murinsel


Murinsel, Lesliehof im Joanneumsviertel



Orpheum Extra

Palais Attems

Porubsky Halle Leoben

Radwerk III Vordernberg

Raithaus Vordernberg

ReSoWi-Zentrum der Universität Graz, Heimatsaal im Volkskundemuseum

Schaumbad-Freies Atelierhaus Graz

Schauspielhaus Graz


esc medien kunst labor


the smallest gallery - collaboration space


Program booklet of steirischer herbst 2015: steirischer herbst festival gmbh, steirischer HERBST (Graz: 2015)

steirischer herbst festival gmbh, herbst. Theorie zur Praxis (Graz: 2015)

→  Available here

Tessa Giblin (ed.), Hall of Half-Life (London: Dent-de-Leone, 2015)​​

→  Available here

Sabine Schaschl, Luigi Fassi, Museum Haus Konstruktiv and steirischer herbst, Tobias Putrih (Ljubljana: gurgur editions, 2015)

→  Available here