Programme notes 2020

From painting to sculpture, from sound to body to trace, from image to movement in space and back

In 2020, the Kunsthaus Graz programme is heterogeneous in many ways, with two group and two large solo exhibitions, several performative and interventionist projects, taking place over shorter or longer periods of time. There's also a wide range of media on show.



We start the year with a dance installation by Marta Navaridas, ONÍRICA, which explores the world of dreams. This project is part of the ongoing series Performance Now and will take place during the first major exhibition installation phase. Since last year the series has made use of the phases between exhibitions—themselves phases of transition and change.

Mid-March sees the opening of Primal Energies, an exhibition in which American artist Bill Fontana presents an immersive audible and visible experience of renewable exhibitions with multidimensional soundscapes and montages in Space01. Parallel to this, his famous 1988 sound piece Sonic Projectionscan be heard once again in Graz in an urban space with acoustic and media interventions. Opening concurrently is Where Art Might Happen. The Early Years of CalArts, an exhibition about the legendary Californian art school that offers a multi-perspective view of its ground-breaking concepts. The show brings together trends from Concept Art, feminism and Fluxus as well as shedding light upon the radical educational theories at CalArts.

In late March Jennifer Mattes' installation Atlantis Bars will be shown in collaboration with the Diagonale´20 filmfestival.Mattes' works are conceived at the interface between various different (film) genres—from documentary and essay film to Hollywood movies through to YouTube clips. David Reumüller continues at the end of April with his interactive installation, Parasite.

In early summer, the Kunsthaus presents Ultra Hybrid, a solo show dedicated to Austrian painter Herbert Brandl, bringing together for the first time his most important groups of works in an exhibition and placing them in dialogue with objects from his own collections and those of the Universalmuseum Joanneum. At the end of the year, an extensive group exhibition Body and Territory can be seen: occupying two floors, Body and Territory explores notions of body and identity in Austrian art from the 1960s through to the present day. This exhibition is compiled primarily by Jasna Jakšić and Radmila Iva Janković, as guest curators from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. They offer an external view of developments in Austrian art and employ artistic positions in order to scrutinise territorial ascriptions of art.


Despite their heterogeneity, the positions mentioned here all share an approach that involves media analysis and reflection, whether this is achieved through sound or images. In his work, Fontana uses extremely precise acoustic recordings and distorted images to construct multidimensional compositions in space, in which live recordings from the local environment also play a direct part—and will be doing this in Graz too. Mattes' films are made up of found, filmed, heard, spoken and written sequences and images. Apart from the material/technical possibilities, the artists are interested in the history of the media they use, together with the expectations we have of those media and the associated critical discourses. The boundaries of media are repeatedly examined: Marta Navaridas merges drawing, music and body movement (dance), while Bill Fontana employs sound in a very sculptural way. Brandl investigates the transferability of painting to various other material bases, expanding the traditional medium into three dimensions; David Reumüller intentionally creates collisions between different media.


Beyond this, our 2020 artists use the body itself as a medium of expression or seek an almost physical approach to classical media: Marta Navaridas employs reduced means to create a physically intense and visually powerful game between three performers whose emotional and physical states become live drawings. The audience are driven in close spatial and physical proximity to the performance since the area where ONÍRICAis staged is kept deliberately small, creating a compactness of space and scene.


Fontana records sounds in situ; these are later edited on a computer and incorporated into large-scale installations, immersing the visitor in an intense visual, acoustic and thus extremely physical experience. David Reumüller's installation, which works mainly with light and shadows, creates a link between the physical presence in the here and now and the virtuality of projection. During the founding years of CalArts, the artists there—essentially from the areas of Fluxus, performance and dance—focused on movement, body awareness and experience, exploring both the connection between body and space and the social nature of (artistic) expressions. In Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro's Womanhouse, the position of a woman's body in society was the basis of artistic investigations.


Herbert Brandl's sculptures and paintings present a challenge due to their format, size and style, pushing the artist himself to his physical limits. For their part, the viewers are made to assume a physical relationship with the exhibits, sometimes finding themselves cornered and threatened by the pictures and sculptures. In Body and Territory, the body becomes explicitly the leitmotif of a multifaceted analysis. The artworks place the body in relation to society and to the political and technological developments that shape and format it.


In 2020 the Cat-Tree for the Arts continues to feature as a central display sculpture in the foyer. It allows exhibitions and displays to be staged in the entrance area of the Kunsthaus: a vertical space inhabited by changing artefacts, works of arts, stories and installations. The works on show support, expand and add to the exhibitions in Space01 und Space02.


Within the context of their 'Five-year plan', artists' group SUPERFLEX continue with their fourth project: Lost Money. Euro coins are scattered over the floor of the foyer and forecourt and fixed with screws. SUPERFLEX's projects for the Kunsthaus Graz explore the fetishisation of money, the rules of economic societies, and power structures.

Kunsthaus Graz

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


Opening Hours
24. December 2020 to 08. February 2021 closed.
09. February 2021 to 09. April 2021 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm
10. April 2021 to 31. October 2021 Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm
01. November 2021 to 31. December 2021 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Guided Tours
Sun and public holidays 11am (ger)
Times may vary. For specific dates, please visit our calendar.
Guided tours also on advance notice

Mon-Thurs 9am-11pm
Fri-Sat 9am-1am
Sun 9am-8pm
T: +43-316/714 957



5th April 2021
24th May 2021
1st November 2021

16th February 2021
24th/25th December 2021