On the Dialectics of Pleasure and Ideology

Styria’s Weinstraße between the Nazis and Putin
Discussion and Finissage

The final discussion of Grand Hotel Abyss addresses what is probably the most historically tainted of Styria’s pleasure regions. The area between Spielfeld and Eibiswald is more than a wine-growing district branded as the South Styrian Weinstraße after World War II. The area’s rolling hills were a favorite destination for Styrian Nazi functionaries. After the war the region was rife with spies as part of a local variety of the Cold War with neighboring Yugoslavia, and more recently it has made headlines with the refugee crisis and the Austrian Federal Foreign Minister’s wedding that was attended by Vladimir Putin in 2018. What does it mean that so many artists and writers have their second homes here? The final discussion illuminates these questions and many others over the course of an afternoon with wine and music.


Herwig G. Höller (1974, Rottenmann, Austria) is a journalist, art critic, and slavicist. He teaches at Graz University and has been working as a correspondent for the Austria Press Agency in Russia and Ukraine since 2014. He lives in Moscow.

Sarah Wiener (1962, Halle, Germany) is an entrepreneur, TV cook, writer, and politician. In 2019 she was elected as a candidate for the Austrian Green Party to the European Parliament. She lives in the Uckermark, Vienna, and Brussels.

13.10.19, 16:00

Conceived and moderated by Herwig G. Höller 

With Daniela Ebenbauer and Michael Zinganel
Special guest: Sarah Wiener
Music: Lothar Lässer

Duration: 150 min.

Schlossberghotel–Das Kunsthotel
Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Kai 30
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

Google Maps

In German 

Free admission
Reservations: tickets [​at​] steirischerherbst.at