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Autumn at Grazer Kunstverein
19 September – 22 November 2019


steirischer herbst ’19 – Grand Hotel Abyss
Riccardo Giacconi

Image courtesy of Riccardo Giacconi

Options is an exhibition and performance event by Riccardo Giacconi for steirischer herbst ’19 – Grand Hotel Abyss and Grazer Kunstverein’s Autumn Season.

Riccardo Giacconi’s new work looks at an abysmally familiar set of alternatives: the one between fascism and fascism. In the 1940s, the people of South Tyrol were given the option of either emigrating to neighboring Nazi Austria (and other Third Reich territories) or remaining in fascist Italy (and being forcibly integrated into mainstream Italian culture). Giacconi explores the resonances between the era of this so-called Option Agreement and the contemporary political climate in Europe today through an installation in the galleries of the Grazer Kunstverein and a performance in the streets of Graz during the opening days of the festival steirischer herbst ’19. Giacconi’s installation draws upon folk culture, political propaganda, and eyewitness accounts, using shadow plays, posters, film, and audio to question ideas of citizenship, nativism, and migration. Playing with fiction, abstraction, and the historical present, he creates a constellation between two points in time, examining the contemporary situation through the lens of a past event.

Riccardo Giacconi (1985, San Severino Marche, Italy) is an artist whose work explores complex narratives through historical research, the close study of documents, and collaboration with a diverse range of practitioners (from graphic designers and anthropologists to scientists and puppet makers). Working across moving image, performance, sound, sculpture and installation, Giacconi investigates the dislocations and shifting borders of 20th-century history and its resonance with the contemporary moment. Giacconi studied fine arts at the University IUAV of Venezia, and he is currently undertaking a PhD at the PhDArts program of Leiden University. His work has been exhibited in various institutions, such as ar/ge Kunst (Bozen/Bolzano), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (Reims), MAC (Belfast), WUK Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna), MAMbo (Bologna), and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin). He was artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (Innsbruck), Centre international d’art et du paysage (Vassivière), lugar a dudas (Cali), MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome and La Box (Bourges). Giacconi presented his films at several festivals, including the Mostra del Cinema di Venezia, the New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Visions du Réel and the FID Marseille International Film Festival, where he won the Grand Prix of the international competition in 2015. In 2007 he co-founded the collective Blauer Hase, with which he curates the periodical publication ‘Paesaggio’ and the ‘Helicotrema’ festival. Giacconi lives in Milan.

Co-commissioned and co-produced by Grazer Kunstverein and steirischer herbst ’19.

The Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities supports the participation of Riccardo Giacconi at the steirischer herbst Festival ’19 in the context of the Italian Council 2019 Program.