Utopie und Monument I

Über die Gültigkeit von Kunst zwischen Privatisierung und Öffentlichkeit

Exhibition, Public space


Platz der Freiwilligen Schützen (Bad zur Sonne)

Grazer Stadtgebiet

Production specifics
Auftragswerk steirischer herbst

Projektsponsor Think!

Utopias and monuments: both have come up for tough, critical analysis in recent years, challenging or even fighting against their validity. Contemporary artists working in and with the public space have increasingly replaced their works with objects of communication and action, thus developing a kind of public practice that sets out to annul the contradiction between art and the public sphere, at least to some extent.

But that which we call the public space has itself changed drastically over the past twenty years, becoming the plaything of various, above all economic, interests. With the effect that all contradictions that really condition the public sphere and that are negotiated in it (or driven out of it) now need to be reformulated – along with the possibilities of manipulation available to art.

So what is the validity of art – is it still a relevant field of social debate at all? Can the public sphere still be recovered as a space for debates of equal validity, for talk, opinions and interests, given that it is above all commercially governed? “Utopia and Monument” – conceived as a two-year project at steirischer herbst – picks up the question of the validity of systems of value, provocatively negotiating two concepts that have largely vanished from the debate on the public sphere: utopia as a space of possibility and the monument as a space of memory. For both are gateways to possible other forms of organisation of the public sphere that allow us to ask, again and again, who really owns the public sphere.

The project is dedicated to the memory of Hartmut Skerbisch (1945 – 2009).

Kuratorin / Kurator: Sabine Breitwieser
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Lara Almarcegui
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Nairy Baghramia
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Ayse Erkmen
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: David Maljkovic
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Heather Morison
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Ivan Morison
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Nils Norman
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Andreas Siekmann
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Michael Zinganel
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Dolores Zinny
Künstlerin / Künstler / Gruppe: Juan Maidagan