Stephen Craig
Festivalzentrum im Künstlerhaus

herbstbar / Festival Center, Opening, Architectural intervention



If you wander as far as steirischer herbst festival, you need a centre, a home - that's a wise old cowboy and call-girl insight. The heart of the festival beats in the Künstlerhaus, specially redesigned by Stephen Craig, in the middle of the Stadtpark in Graz. The chains of light-bulbs, the "pink stripes", shining out afar, point the way: formally, Craig's design is set on the surprisingly safe edge between simple clarity and a child's longing for the funfair.

The desire to connect the interior with the exterior, to bring autonomous building and applied design very close together, to unite functionality and art, are characteristics of this artist from Northern Ireland. And just as his pavilion at the documenta X was pure sculpture and usable space at once, so the steirischer herbst festival centre, too, is functionally and unmistakably a Craig: a powerfully coloured and yet unassuming interior that morphs into an ironic, critical over-affirmation of event culture and glitter consumerism on the outside.

The steirischer herbst festival centre is all of this and much more: bar, coffee-house, herbstbar, chatroom, club and lounge, information and ticket office, academy, lecture hall, concert hall, internet café and exhibition room. This is where the documentary video images of the "Praxiskop" flicker on screen, where the artistic presentations of "open_gates" take place, where the musicians of the "Double Feature" series perform, where the participants in the international workshops hold their discussions, where theorists from around the globe give lectures, where artists, journalists and the public come together, where there are parties, talks, wine and whatever else may arise.

Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Stephen Craig