Between the Cinematic and Theatralic


Curated by: Adam Budak, Peter Pakesch

Spread conceptually and stylistically from Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet and Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty through the Brechtian epic theater and Verfremdungseffect to Lars von Trier’s Dogville and Robert Lepage’s Geometry of Miracles, this exhibition traces the archaeology of a back stage and a location set in a thorough investigation of poetics and politics of artificiality and illusion. Merging dreaming (a field of projection) and staging (a space of self-training), this exhibition aims at analysing the subjectivity under construction, in a process, during the rehearsal, while mastering before the final performance occurs.


It is a study of a mechanism of illusion and imagined realities with a focus on the notions of the theatrical, the performative and the mise-en-scène. How the convention is being negotiated? How the artificiality is played out in a drama of genuine gestures and intentions? How the belief is born and spelled out on the crossway of a direct and mediated behaviour, between the real and virtual environments?


Appropriating Mieke Bal’s treatment of theatricality as a form, medium, or practice, in which the object of cultural analysis performs a meeting between (aesthetic) art(ifice) and (social) reality, the exhibition reconsiders the mise-en-scène as a collective reception, a mediation between a play and the multiple public. It aims at pointing out the connections between the mise-en-scène and subjectivity as it is revealed in the reality of dreams: after Bal, it asks what dreams can tell us about staging; what staging can tell us about dreams; what dreaming occurs on, or through the stage in the examples of mise-en-scène.


Imaginary and oneiric are intertwined with unreal and conventionary, as in the post-studio site-specific Dogville where Freudian uncanny field of critical imagination combines dream space and Brechtian strategies of sabotaging the reality effect.


Theatre and theatricality as well as cinema and cinematicity are regarded as both the subject matter and a particular stylistic. As such the exhibition aims at investigating the condition of a (moving) image in its fluent oscillation between the theatrical stillness, suspended movement of the dia projection and the cinematic flux; through the insight into the production of a spectacle it examins the intensity of attentiveness and the status of contemporary spectatorship. Referring to Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and Alain Resnais’ L’anée dernière à Marienbad, Videodreams: Between the Cinematic and Theatrical focuses on the recent video environments and video multi-screen installations. As such, the exhibition itself becomes in a way a strongly site-specific event in the new building of the Kunsthaus Graz designed by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. Kunsthaus’ unusual biomorphic architecture foregrounds the aspects of the performative space with an advanced theatricality. Searching for new contexts for the viewing conditions of the video-based works and trying to reach new audiences, the exhibition also aims at expanding its performative space through staging video works behind the Kunsthaus’ own territory – in such environments like Schauspielhaus, Schubert Cinema and Grazer Mausoleum.


Exhibition Catalouge




May 15-June 6, 2004
Artur Zmijewski: Singing Lesson 
Video presentation Grazer Mausoleum, entrance Burggasse, Daily 10:30am - 12:30pm, 1:30 - 4:00pm


May 15-July 15, 2004
Barbara Bloom: The Diamond Lane 
Video presentation in the section of film trailers, Schubertkino


June 6, 2004 
Sharon Lockhart: Teatro Amazonas, Goshogaoka 
Video presentation, Schauspielhaus Graz



Supported by 
A1, Zumtobel Staff, 
Mit Loidl oder Co. Graz

Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9200


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Architecture Tour 
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