Series: open house


open house has a special place in the history of steirischer herbst: it was the first series that the festival implemented itself after becoming an event management company in 1975. Before this, the program of steirischer herbst had been determined by the partner institutions—including event series such as the Forum Stadtpark, the Styrian regional studio of the Austrian broadcaster ORF, the Neue Galerie Graz, the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, and the Vereinigte Bühnen Graz (United Theaters of Graz). open house marked the beginning of a process of centralization that ultimately resulted in the dissolution of traditional festival series.

open house was also special because it offered a unique program for children and young people, with formats that were no longer part of steirischer herbst afterward, including chansons, pantomime, small theater, and a circus. It would comprise an important part of the program for seven years. The series was conceived by Ilse Maria Vollmost, who, with Paul Kaufmann and the later artistic director Peter Vujica, was responsible for the supervision of the event management company known as Steirische Herbst Veranstaltungsgesellschaft mbH.

At the beginning, open house had a clear focus on entertainment and strove to expand the audience for contemporary art. It gradually developed into an education program that addressed relevant contemporary topics with readings and workshops. The series, with its diverse formats—besides those already mentioned, also jazz, film, electronic opera, laser shows, and video—thus anticipated the diversity that would become characteristic of the festival as a whole in the years that followed.

In the first two years, open house took place during the entire duration of the festival; it was later compressed into one week. Held at the Haus der Jugend (now known as Orpheum) open house offered a point of contact for trying out a “playful understanding of culture,” with free admission each day between three in the afternoon and midnight.1 In 1975, Bernhard Paul and André Heller presented the Circus Roncalli to the public for the first time as part of open house. In addition to a talk by Alfred Schmeller, the director of the Museum of the 20th Century (now the Belvedere 21) in Vienna, there were jazz concerts, laser shows, and an exhibition with video works by Nam June Paik. In 1976, “new dance” was added to steirischer herbst as a separate event. Further highlights of open house included performances by Klaus Rinke and the Trisha Brown Dance Company, a workshop for children by Pierre Favre, theater by Kaspar Fischer, and a concert by Friedrich Gulda and Ursula Anders.

The final edition, in 1982, dealt with youth and cultural centers in Europe and examined the Rote Fabrik in Zurich, the Kukuck in Berlin, and the Arena (occupied by squatters since 1976) in Vienna. The central concerns were education and raising awareness; the program of activities had completely disappeared. The importance and attractiveness of open house for steirischer herbst, however, had already waned by this point.

With Peter Vujica as artistic director, elements of open house were channeled into herbstpark (1983) and the program item falso loco (1984), both of which were unique in the festival program. As of 1984, the program for children and young people took place predominantly outside of Graz, for example, the Deutschlandsberg Youth Music Festival and, starting in 1990, the literature workshop for children in St. Lorenzen am Wechsel.

Paul Kaufmann (ed.), 10 Jahre steirischer herbst: Eine Bilanz (Vienna: Mundus, 1977), p. 177. Starting in 1980, a contribution fee of 10 schillings (73 euro cents) was charged.

Filed under “open house”

open house 1982
steirischer herbst ’82

open house 1981
steirischer herbst ’81

open house 1980
steirischer herbst ’80

open house 1979
steirischer herbst ’79

open house 1978
steirischer herbst ’78

open house 1977
steirischer herbst ’77

open house 1976
steirischer herbst ’76

open house 1975
steirischer herbst ’75

mp Konzert 10.10.1975 I / Im Rahmen des open house

mp Konzert 10.10.1975 III / Im Rahmen des open house

Conversation about a breathed opera

The radio play as a poetic experiment

Ein Raum aus Licht

Literature and Music

Readings of Latin American plays