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Summer at Grazer Kunstverein
14 June – 1 August 2019

My Summer is your Winter

Summer Party Performances:
Julius Pristauz, Chris Evans and Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Marta Navaridas and Monique Fessl

Summer Season Exhibiting Artists:
Fahim Amir, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Laurie Charles, Chris Evans, Dora García, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Veronika Hauer, Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey, Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey, Performances for Pets
Photo: Erich Malter. Image courtesy of and the artists.

This summer Grazer Kunstverein is delighted to present a season of performances with artworks, moving image, sound, text, and workshops that explore the idea of fiction as a method or tool for understanding what it is like to be another (human or nonhuman, real or imaginary). Together with artists we think about thresholds between fiction and reality, about how fiction makes space for agency, empathy and insight, and about how we can work with forms of fiction to imagine forms of consciousness.

The exhibition is dedicated to Elizabeth Costello, a fictional character who appears in publications by the writer J.M. Coetzee. Costello firmly believes in the philosophical value of actively pursuing insight into the conscious experience of animals. The exhibition celebrates the power of fictional voices, acknowledging that listening closely for new voices in the realm of the imagination, can enable us to hear more clearly the most compelling and urgent voices in reality.

Biographies of participating artists:

Fahim Amir is a philosopher and cultural scientist, working at the intersections of nature, cultures and colonial historicities, transcultural agency and urbanism. Amir was curator of Live Art Festival 2013 Zoo3ooo: Occupy Species (Kampnagel, Hamburg) and Salon Klimbim: Feeding Vegetarian Tigers – Entertaining Utopian Sensibilities (Secession Vienna, 2014). Amir co-edited Transcultural Modernisms (Sternberg Press, 2013) and recently provided the afterword to the German translation of Donna Haraway’s Companion Species Manifesto (Merve, 2016). His most recent publication Schwein und Zeit. Tiere, Politik, Revolte, was first published in 2018. It won the Karl Marx Prize 2018.

Simnikiwe Buhlungu was born in 1995, one year after apartheid ended in South Africa. Buhlungu is a Johannesburg-based artist, having obtained her BA (Fine Art) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Through print and text based mediums and often taking installation based forms, Buhlungu’s interest in navigating personal and socio-historical narratives presents itself as a complex web of [re]imagined engagements which are surrounding, but not exclusive to, experiences embedded within the complexity of knowledge production(s) – which are [un]written, [un]spoken, [sun]performed, made [in]visible. Through this, her practice begins to develop into conversation between posing questions and attempting to provide answers to these ideas. Her work has also existed through a number of exhibitions, projects and spaces in Johannesburg at Wits Art Museum, Fourthwall Books, Sosesame Gallery, No End Contemporary Gallery, Assemblage, The Point of Order, NGO (Nothing Gets Organised), Stevenson Gallery, Room Gallery & Projects, Keleketla! Library and the Centre for the Less Good Idea. She has also participated in the WIELS Residency Programme, Brussels and the 10th Berlin Biennale.

Laurie Charles lives and works in Brussels. Charles graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Bordeaux. As a filmmaker she creates moving image works in which she interweaves folklores, humanities and histories with narrative and speculative fiction. Charles writes and paints, fictions on canvases and speculative narratives. Among other venues, her work has been exhibited at CIAP Kunstverein, Hasselt, 1646 – project space for contemporary art, the Hague, Nanjing International Art Festival, Beursschouwburg, Brussels, Komplot, Brussels, and Le Commissariat, Paris. Charles is a guest teacher for the master of editorial practice program, Royal Academy of Art ArBA EsA, Brussels.

Chris Evans is a Brussels-based artist whose work often evolves through conversation with people from diverse walks of life, selected in relation to their public life or symbolic role. Sculptures, letters, drawings, film scripts and unwieldy social situations created as a result of this, are indexes of a larger structure through which Evans deliberately confuses the roles of artist and patron, author and muse. Evans has exhibited internationally since 2000 with solo exhibitions at institutions that include C.A.N. Centre d’Art Neuchatel (2018), Praxis, Berlin (2015), Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2014), Marres, Maastricht (2010), Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2010), the British School in Rome (2008) and Art Pace, San Antonio (2007). Evans participated in the 6th British Art Show in 2005 and the following year in East International and since then has exhibited in several art Biennials: Athens Biennial in 2007, Taipei Biennial in 2010 and Liverpool Biennial in 2014. In 2016 he was the recipient of a Bryan Robertson Trust Award.

Dora García lives and works in Barcelona and Oslo. She teaches currently at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and HEAD Genève, and she is co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris. She has represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and was present again in the Venice Biennale 2013 (collateral events). She took part in the 56th Venice International Art Exhibition, dOCUMENTA(13) and other international events such as Münster Sculpture Projects in 2007, Sydney Biennale 2008 and Sao Paulo Biennale 2010. Her work is largely performative and deals with issues related to community and individuality in contemporary society, exploring the political potential of marginal positions, paying homage to eccentric characters and antiheroes. These eccentric characters have often been the center of her film projects, such as The Deviant Majority (2010) and The Joycean Society (2013).

Marta Navaridas and Monique Fessl collaborate musically. Navaridas was born in San Sebastián and studied Translation at Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, ​​Choreography at ArtEZ University Arnhem and Mime at HKA Amsterdam. Based in Graz, she collaborates regularly with Alex Deutinger developing text-based performance works together since 2008. Fessl is working as a musician, djane and producer in the area of electronic music for almost 20 years. Her consecutive activities lead to European and international cooperations, releases and high rotation airplays on radio stations. Following several long stays in Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover, Monique Fessl currently works from her Graz home base in Austria.

Morten Norbye Halvorsen is an artist and composer based in Berlin and Stavanger. Halvorsen's work has been included in group and solo exhibitions including 9th Norwegian Sculpture Biennial, Vigeland-museet, Oslo (2017), Wave Table Concert, Kunsthall Stavanger (2016), Gain Vapor Rise, Gaudel de Stampa, Paris (2016), All the Instruments Agree, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015), The Companion,& Liverpool Biennial, (2014), Pan Exciter, NoPlace, Oslo, Alluvium, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerpen; oO, The Lithuanian/Cyprus Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale (2013), Run, comrade, the old world is behind you, Kunsthall Oslo (2011), Repetition Island, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010) and Paper Exhibition, Artist Space, New York (2009).

Veronika Hauer lives and works in Graz. She studied at Goldsmiths College London, the University of Applied Arts Vienna and École supérieure d 'Arts graphiques, Paris. Hauer is co-founder and editor of the online magazine on contemporary art Nowiswere. She is working as a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Department of Art and Communication Practice). Her work has been presented at the ICA London, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Glasgow International Festival, and widely in Vienna and Graz, most recently at Forum Stadtpark and Kunsthaus Graz.

Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey are artists and performers based in Vienna. Juurak works through performances, presentations, texts, workshops and mood shifts, to challenge fixed definitions of choreography and performance. She graduated in dance and choreography from ArtEZ, Arnhem in 2003 and obtained an MA in Fine Arts from Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. Bailey also obtained an MFA at the Sandberg Institute. Together with Juurak they conceived the project Performances for Pets in 2014, which they have performed for over 100 pets in cities and homes across Europe in both visual arts & dance festivals. He is the author of the practice Humourology, a study into humour related cosmic to comic communications. Both Performances for Pets and Humourology are represented by Galerie International, an immaterial gallery dealing exclusively with immaterial artworks run by Adriano Wilfert Jensen and Simon Asencio. As well as Performances for Pets, recent collaborations between Juurak and Bailey include Animal Jokes (for Animals) performed at Secession, Vienna, Xing, Bologna and Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht, Animal Show performed at WUK Performing Arts, Vienna, and Codomestication which was performed at Tanz Quartier Wien in collaboration with Juurak and Bailey’s young son, Albert.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila, born in 1981 in Lubumbashi and living in Graz, is a French-language Congolese writer. In 2009 he received an award for a literature contribution on the occasion of the Francophone Games in Lebanon. His debut novel Tram 83 was on the longlist of the Man Booker International Prize in 2015 and received the Etisalat Prize for Literature as well as the International Literature Prize of the House of Cultures of the World in 2017. In 2018 it was adapted for the stage and premiered at Schauspielhaus Graz as part of steirischer herbst festival 2018. Poetry collections such as Le Fleuve dans la Ventre / Der Fluß im Bauch have also been presented in a performance-oriented setting, such as at Grazer Kunstverein as part of the Summer Season programme in 2017. Since 2009 Mwanza Mujila has lived in Graz and teaches African literature at the University of Graz.

Julius Pristauz currently lives and works in Vienna. He was born and raised in Graz. After moving to Vienna in 2016 he started studying Transmedia Art in the class of Brigitte Kowanz in 2017. He is one half of the artist duo GANICA STAUZ alongside Amar Priganica. Since last year Pristauz is part of EXILE gallery which recently relocated from Berlin to Vienna. Being involved in the creative industry from an early age, Pristauz freelances as a curator, editor and journalist for contemporary culture alongside his independent artistic practice.

Morten Norbye Halvorsen’s project received support from the Office for Contemporary Art Norway. Special thanks to legero united – the shoemakers | Initiator of for supporting the commissioning of new works by Belgian based artists Laurie Charles and Chris Evans.