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Grazer Kunstverein moves to an in-between space
Edward Clydesdale Thomson
8.–10.7.2020
(Puntigam)




“The shack is always conditional (…).The disposition of things is an economy in time(…). Like any etymological construction, each shack is a 3D modification of belief”. Lisa Robertson: Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture, Toronto: Coach House Books, 2011

In this workshop, devised by Edward Clydesdale Thomson and Ahmad Darkhabani, students and participants come together in a virtual space in order to test concepts for the term “shelter” and the construction of a shack against the backdrop of increasing social distance and isolation. From a wind barrier to a safe space of asylum, each shelter is different and each shelter is conditional, but can a shelter also be a meeting point? In a workshop lasting three days, the group will, together in virtual space, construct one hybrid shelter out of their collective experience.

What form might an online shelter take? How would the idiosyncrasies of its vernacular be articulated? What are you sheltering from and with whom do you seek refuge? From our locked down apartments, we sensed an opportunity to open up access to the project. Rather than being only accessible if you could be in Graz, performing the project in a virtual space would allow people to participate from anywhere with an internet connection. In doing so our question shifted from what a shelter represents for us individually to what a shelter could mean as a way of coming together.

Inspired by Constant Nieuwenhuys’ anti-capitalist speculative city New Babylon, imagined as a series of linked transformable structures perched in the sky leaving the bourgeois metropolis below, the Grazer Kunstverein temporarily transforms itself into a research experiment that connects art, architecture, social distance and community within the construction of a socially-specific temporary virtual structure.

Edward Clydesdale Thomson and Ahmad Darkhabani will run this project as a 3-day workshop for participants. We will be working virtually within a specific technical platforms. The platform can be experienced like a game which participants can explore. Additions, ideas and experiences brought by the participants will be continually added to the virtual space over the course of the workshop. During the three days of the workshop participants will work in small groups together with Edward and Ahmad in the virtual platform, making and discussing.

It is possible for up to 20 people to participate in the project. Those interested should email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out more.

Edward Clydesdale Thomson (b. 1982) is a Scottish/Danish artist based in Rotterdam. He is head of Fine Art at BEAR, ArtEZ Arnhem. He has exhibited at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Malmo Konstmuseum, Malmo. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and the BArch program at the Glasgow school of Art. He was resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2011–12). In 2011 he was awarded the Lecturis Award and nominated for the Prix de Rome. Notable solo shows include “causa finalis” (2012), Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, “wild care, tame neglect” Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam and “Nothin Shakin but the Leaves on the Trees” Marabouparken konsthall, Stockholm.