steirischer herbst ’19: Grand Hotel Abyss

Opening days: 19.–22.9.19
Various venues in Graz and Styria, Austria

The title of the core program of steirischer herbst ’19 is Grand Hotel Abyss—a striking metaphor used by philosopher Georg Lukács to describe the European intellectual and cultural scene as it faced the approach of fascism. “The Grand Hotel Abyss has been thoughtfully decorated for every taste and every direction,” he wrote in an eponymous text, dated 1933 and published in German after his death. “Both intellectual intoxication and asceticism or self-flagellation are not only permitted in all their forms; there are brilliantly stocked bars for one purpose and amazingly manufactured exercise equipment and torture chambers for the other. Not only solitude but sociality too is on offer. . . . The danse macabre of worldviews plays out every day and every evening in this hotel. It becomes a jazz band both pleasant and thrilling, providing the guests with some rest after their exhausting daily regimen at the spa.”

Grand Hotel Abyss curatorial concept

Director and Chief Curator
Ekaterina Degot

Ekaterina Degot and David Riff

Curatorial Team
Mirela Baciak, Ekaterina Degot,
Henriette Gallus, Dominik Müller,
Christoph Platz, and David Riff

Participating Artists


Visitor and Press Center
Kaiser-Josef-Platz 4, 8010 Graz

Befreiungsdenkmal, Burggarten der Grazer Burg
8010 Graz

Congress Graz
Sparkassenplatz 1, 8010 Graz

Forum Stadtpark
Stadtpark 1, 8010 Graz

Girardigasse 8
8010 Graz

Grand Hotel Wiesler
Grieskai 4-8, 8020 Graz

Grazer Kunstverein
Burggasse 4, 8010 Graz

Ecke Griesplatz/Griesgasse, 8020 Graz

Großer Minoritensaal
Mariahilferplatz 3, 8020 Graz

Gsellmann Weltmaschine in Kaag bei Feldbach
Kaag 12, 8332 Edelsbach

Helmut List Halle
Waagner-Biro-Straße 98a, 8020 Graz

Historic Hotels in Graz

Köflach, Kloepfer-Denkmal
Hans-Kloepfer-Platz, 8580 Köflach

Kunsthaus Graz
Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz

Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst und Medien
Burgring 2, 8010 Graz

Grazer Landhaus, Herrengasse 16, 8010 Graz

Literaturhaus Graz
Elisabethstraße 30, 8010 Graz

Maria Verkündigungskirche
Kroisbach, Am Rehgrund 2, 8043 Graz

Markthalle Eggenberg
Hofbauerplatz Ecke Krausgasse, 8020 Graz

Museum für Geschichte
Prunkraum 207
Sackstraße 16, 8010 Graz

Orpheumgasse 8, 8020 Graz

Palais Attems
Sackstrasse 17, 8010 Graz

Puch bei Weiz
8182 Puch bei Weiz

Schloss Eggenberg
Eggenberger Allee 90, 8020 Graz

Schloßberg, Kloepfer-Büste
8010 Graz

8010 Graz

Stadtpark, Jahn-Denkmal
Europaratweg, Stadtpark Graz, 8010 Graz

steirischer herbst ’19 Venues


Eva Illouz
The Happiness Imperative

20.9., 16:00

Hasso Spode
Tourism as an Index Fossil of Modernity—Continuity and Change
25.9., 19:00

Michał Murawski
The Political Aesthetics of the Architectural Gift

26.9., 18:00

Stephan Lessenich
Next to Us, the Deluge—The Society of Externalization and Its Costs
1.10., 19.00

Weltmaschine : Österreich
A festival of Literaturhaus Graz and steirischer herbst ’19


Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle
Here Come the Ecosexuals!

6.10., 18:00

Evan Calder Williams
Combined and Uneven Apocalypse Revisited
10.10., 18:00

Aaron Schuster
Absolute Lust—The History of Pleasure
12.10., 16:00

On the Dialectics of Pleasure and Ideology
Discussion and Finissage

13.10., 16:00

Office of Open Questions

The Office of Open Questions opens its doors once again! Anyone interested in exploring steirischer herbst ’19 through questions and dialogue is invited to take part in our program. We look forward to your visit!

We provide three different formats of guided tours for visitors who would like to engage with this year’s edition, Grand Hotel Abyss. The first tour, Im Fokus (In Focus), devotes an hour examining the work of one single artist in detail and investigate this position in conversation with experts. Allianzen (Alliances) explores multiple sites along the exhibition itinerary, often in discussion with artists or members of the curatorial team. Anyone who loves striking panoramic views is welcome to take part in Landschaften (Landscapes), an eight-hour day that offers an overview of the entire exhibition, including joint meals and breaks.

For school groups that would like to take a look at selected artworks in a playful manner, we recommend our escape tour through downtown Graz, Spy and Escape—Rein ins Hotel und Raus aus der Bubble (Spy and Escape—Into the Hotel and Out of the Bubble). For schools located outside of Graz, there are two special programs. All of the region’s Dieselkino cinemas are participating in the popular series Festivalfilme auf Steiermarktour (Festival Films Touring Styria). The installation Schulausflug, initially developed by Michael Hieslmair and Michael Zinganel for the last edition of the festival, has now been expanded for steirischer herbst ’19 and can be booked as a traveling exhibition with an accompanying workshop.

Office of Open Questions