UMJ Newsletter Aussendung.

SHOWING STYRIA 2023 can be visited in the Herberstein Animal World until November 5, featuring the House of Biodiversity, the Path of Variety and the Mobile Pavilion



Titled Diversity of Life, SHOWING STYRIA 2023 addresses the fascination and importance of, and threats to, biodiversity as well as climate change. The formats and locations for this are a new House of Biodiversity and new nature locations found on the Path of Variety in the Herberstein Animal World. The opening weekend offered for the first time the chance to discover SHOWING STYRIA in all its different facets. Additionally, up until November 5, visitors are invited to participate in and co-design the show.

Gerhard Mitterberger (Architect Mobile Pavilion), Marko Mele (Scientific Director UMJ), Josef Schrammel (Managing Director UMJ), Alexia Getzinger (interim Managing Director of the Herberstein Animal World), Alexander Kada (Idea and Conception Mobile Pavilion), State Governor Christopher Drexler, Wolfgang Paill (Conception House of Biodiversity), Deputy State Governor Anton Lang, Astrid Kury (Curation Mobile Pavilion), Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

The second edition of SHOWING STYRIA shines light on an urgently topical subject that concerns us all: the importance of biodiversity and the attendant need to preserve it, taking the example of Styria.

’15 years ago, with the end of the provincial exhibitions, a gap arose that we filled two years ago with the first edition of SHOWING STYRIA. Just as the first version was already a declaration of love for our wonderful state, so, too, is the second: a declaration of love for Styria and its incredible diversity. The theme, ‘Diversity of Life’, could not be more in keeping with the times, and with this SHOWING STYRIA we ask some pressing questions of today: what needs protecting? What are the great challenges currently? For climate protection, and with it the preservation of habitats both for humans and animals, is the profoundest challenge of our era. But we also shift the diversity out beyond our state, even to beyond the planet. Through the medium of the mobile pavilion, we investigate the question of whether we are alone in the universe or whether there is diversity of this kind elsewhere, too. The pavilion has meanwhile become a trademark of SHOWING STYRIA, and the great success of the pavilion in Vienna – within 10 days, more than 20,000 visitors saw the mobile pavilion on Heldenplatz – offers an early taste of how SHOWING STYRIA 2023 will function,’ according to State Governor Christopher Drexler, responsible for the Office of Culture.


Deputy State Governor Anton Lang: ‘As speaker for animal protection, I feel almost like the Herberstein Animal World is a home fixture for me. There is no better place for this SHOWING STYRIA than the Animal World and the adjoining European protected territory. As a regional government we see it as our mission to leave behind the most intact environment possible for the generations to follow – and sadly we see the effects of climate change, for every day species become extinct. It is literally five to midnight. What is important is to convey this message far beyond the borders of our state, and that is exactly what is happening with this year’s SHOWING STYRIA.’

Responsibility for the show lies with the Universalmuseum Joanneum, to which the Herberstein Animal World has also belonged since 2022. The Animal World has shown itself to be an ideal location: ‘With the second SHOWING STYRIA we have been able to tackle one of the most urgent problems of our time and render it comprehensible to all: the loss of biodiversity. Since the Herberstein Animal World has been incorporated into the Universalmuseum Joanneum, we now also have the use of the optimal venue for an exhibition such as this. For there, too, in the Tierwelt, the diversity of life in all its splendour can be shown, to the wonder of visitors both young and old,’ according to Marko Mele, Scientific Director of the Universalmuseum Joanneum. Similarly pleased is Alexia Getzinger, interim Managing Director of the Herberstein Animal World: ‘As an institution for the protection of animals, nature and species, we campaign for the preservation of species and participate in over 20 domestic and international conservation breeding programmes and projects for the protection of species. I see in SHOWING STYRIA a good opportunity to expand our educational mission. The more people – above all, children and teenagers – who visit the Herberstein Animal World and the House of Biodiversity, the greater our chances of successfully raising awareness for flora and fauna, and for individual species.’

The House of Biodiversity invites visitors to explore, to marvel at and to experience nature. Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum/J.J. Kucek

Five main themes in the new House of Biodiversity invite visitors to interact and co-design
The threshing floor, more than 400 years old and a protected-heritage location, in which previously parts of the Gironcoli Museum were housed, now accommodates the new House of Biodiversity. Important issues such as ‘What is biodiversity? What is its importance for us, and is it under threat?’ are addressed here, in a playful, interactive way. The concept is envisioned to run over a longer period, far beyond 2023. The plan is to maintain constant, sustained observation of local biodiversity.

The leading role in the conception of both the House of Biodiversity and the Path of Variety has been played by the Natural History Department at the Universalmuseum Joanneum headed up by Wolfgang Paill. ‘Natural History museums have always concerned themselves with the diversity of lived nature. Precisely on account of the on-going loss of this invaluable heritage, I am delighted to be able to make so-important a subject accessible to a wider public as part of SHOWING STYRIA,’ in the words of Wolfgang Paill.

The path of diversity opens up new views of the Feistritzklamm European nature reserve and the entire surrounding area, Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum / J.J. Kucek

Five main themes that engender fascination and enthusiasm
A central element in the House of Biodiversity is a stylised oak tree that stretches across the room, pointing out the importance of old oaks in the European nature reserve of Feistritzklamm/Herberstein. Structured around five main themes, the exhibition invites visitors to discover contents that encourage interactive and designing participation: the first area ‘Discover the diversity’ is an invitation extended to all that introduces the theme. What makes biodiversity ‘naturally precious’ is answered in another area. The role of the human being within ecosystems and how he/she influences them is conveyed in the area ‘You are part of the greater whole’. ‘We set the course’ makes it clear that we humans design the landscape and thus either create – or destroy – habitats. In the fifth and final area of the exhibition, an interactive globe greets visitors: ‘My future, my planet’ – the one is connected indispensably with the other.


Numerous locations of nature on the Path of Variety
The interplay between diverse species and their respective functions in the ecosystem also play a key role in the Path of Variety. This links the House of Biodiversity with its immediate surroundings, the Herberstein Animal World and the adjoining protected area of Feistritzklamm/Herberstein. Along the Path of Variety, several natural locations are staged, architecturally integrated into the landscape: the Herberstein Relief at the main entrance represents an abstract, walk-in relief of the Feistritzklamm with the main features highlighted. 33 wooden steles serve as information points for the natural location ‘Network Forest’ and the ‘Arena of Habitats’ presents the most important large-scale domestic habitats, inviting the visitor to take break here. The ‘Research Mobile Station’ – embedded in fantastic natural scenery at the foot of the Herberstein Castle Rock, between Feistritz and the neighbouring pristine woods – is run as a mobile research facility and accommodates various simple instruments for investigating and observing biological diversity. The highlight is the Panorama Feistritzklamm, a six-metre-high viewing terrace built high above the Feistritzklamm, which offers fascinating views of both the natural and cultural landscape.

The Mobile Pavilion invites visitors to an interstellar adventure at the gates of the Herberstein Animal World, Photo: Universalmuseum Joanneum / J.J. Kucek

The mobile pavilion opens up interstellar adventure
As already the case in 2021, the mobile pavilion plays a central role in this year’s SHOWING STYRIA, too. Conceived by Alexander Kada and curated by Astrid Kury, the pavilion can likewise be visited in front of the gates to Herberstein Animal World up until the beginning of November.
‘The mobile pavilion is a kind of research station in which possible exhibition formats of the future are tried out and presented.  The exhibition in the mobile pavilion opens up the importance of climate change from a far-off perspective and is devoted at the same time to connecting elements: as a collaboration that transcends borders, above all between art and science, between the visual arts and contemporary composition, and as Styria on the international stage,’ according to Alexander Kada and Astrid Kury.


With a surface area of 700 m² and a 30-metre-long screen, it accompanies the show as an open-air museum, approaching the subject from both the artistic and scientific viewpoints. The specially developed projection room houses a filmic exhibition whose scope ranges from the regional to extrasolar worlds. A total of 10 art video contributions by 17 artists from 9 countries and 11 researchers’ statements by 22 scientists from 12 countries are presented covering atmospheres on earth and on other planets. A tailor-made programme for youngsters between the ages of 3 and 13 is also on offer.


SHOWING STYRIA additionally offers a comprehensive accompanying programme for school groups and for the whole family: on May 30 the Day of Species Diversity takes place; moreover, the International Day of Biodiversity is celebrated, for example, and guided hikes through the Feistritzklamm are also held – all this and much more besides can be experienced in the Herberstein Animal World up to November 5.





Diversity of Life
House of Biodiversity, Path of Variety, Mobile Pavilion
Opening weekend: Sat., 29.04., till Mon., 01.05.2023
Duration: April 29 to November 5, 2023
Herberstein Animal World
Buchberg 50
8223 Stubenberg am See


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With warm regards,



Daniela Teuschler
+43/664/8017 9214,

Stephanie Liebmann

Alexandra Reischl