The exhibition Body and Territory: Art and Borders in Today's Austria departsfrom two dominant tendencies that mark contemporary art in Austria. It focuses on the tradition of radical performance and feminist legacy while giving a voice to those who are silenced—women, queer individuals, immigrants, refugees and migrants. Thirty artists and art collectives in more than seventy works demonstrate how the vulnerability, that emerged in Austrian art as a dominant topic in the early 20th century. by the late 1960s, became the main medium of radical forms of political resistance.
The part of the historical works are inter alia related to the former tri-country (Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia) Trigon Biennial, which took place in Graz until the 1990s. Alongside topics such as urban interventions, video art, the artistic process and gender roles, the Trigon exhibitions also contributed to the broadening and exchange of new artistic practices, which found the function of art beyond the formal idiom or folklore that is commonly associated with cultural diplomacies. One of the last editions, which took place at the onset of the Yugoslav wars in 1992, was dedicated to differences and identity.
After political changes in 1989, Austria became a bridge towards the rediscovered central and eastern Europe, the visible and invisible fluxes and networks of people, commodities and capital. That which has principally marked Austrian art in recent decades is its international spirit, which implies the rights of citizenry in the art world’s fluid territory, and which is built—as boldly as in the revolutionary 1960s and 1970s—on the fragile poetics of Otherness.
Curated by Jasna Jakšić and Radmila Iva Janković
Main partner: Austrian Cultural Forum Zagreb, Kunsthaus Graz
Supported by: Ministry of Culture and Media, City of Zagreb, Austrian cultural forum Zagreb, Erste banka