steirischer herbst 2007
40 years of steirischer herbst

Forty years – that is remarkable for an interdisciplinary festival of contemporary art and by no means a given. A particularly remarkable fact is that the public has accepted and continues to accept the herbst festival, for all its unwieldiness, agitation and challenge, as a key factor of cultural identification.

At the same time, herbst is too young for wistful reflection, formal speeches and memorial exhibitions. Instead, we are seizing this occasion for more general considerations: Some of the works on show examine our stance towards earlier avant-garde positions.
At well over forty, the Norwegian Baktruppen, among the most original European theatre ensembles, decided to devote themselves to dance – and to a piece by Merce Cunningham, to boot. In “tempo 76”, Mathilde Monnier, one of the greatest choreographers of our time, looks into the possibilities of unison, synchronised movement, a form of expression usually shunned in contemporary dance. And in “feminine delight”, Frans Poelstra, Robert Steijn and Martin Siewert set out on the tracks of Martha Graham and Trisha Brown, following the paths of the work and life of those women who helped to establish modern dance.

In the forty years of its existence, the question of the relationship between art and the public sphere has always been of key importance to steirischer herbst: In the special herbst exhibition “Reading Back And Forth” at stadtmuseumgraz, seven artists look into these questions and develop specific interpretations of the history and present situation of the festival. The GPS-controlled audio tour by artist duo plan b follows the traces that the festival has left in the minds of visitors and collaborators. In “Fortysomething”, forty individuals talk about memories of events, happenings, performances, concerts and art works created in the public space in Graz in the course of the festival.
20/09 - 14/10/2007
steirischer herbst
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