Stravaganza, the Italian word for extravagance, inspired the English and American theater tradition of the extravaganza: an assortment of flamboyant spectacles, forms, and dramaturgies, ranging from variety revues to drag and dance, often with a strong satirical tone. For the opening we have assembled a diverse roster of artists who present their newest works in a one-evening exhibition of performances and performative installations. It transforms the whole foyer of Congress Graz and then moves into the splendid Stefaniensaal for two more special performances.

The artistic projects shown here circle around the notion of pleasure, critically appropriating elements of the service sector and providing for lots of surprises. One of the curatorial inspirations for this opening evening was the phenomenon of the masked ball, which, as William M. Johnston points out, in early 20th-century Austria played a role similar to that of the operetta by enacting the unity of classes. The balls cultivated conviviality through shared taste of aestheticism, creating a social and political consensus around pleasure and hedonism where “arts sustained politics in a way that Wagner could only dream.” 1

William M. Johnston, The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848–1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 131–32.

19.9.19, 19:00–01:00


Congress Graz
Albrechtgasse 1
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

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Performances, installations, and surprise appearances by Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Alexander Brener and Barbara Schurz, Das Planetenparty Prinzip, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jule Flierl, Jakob Lena Knebl and Markus Pires Mata, and Manuel Pelmuş  

Congress Graz, entire building
Albrechtgasse 1, 8010 Graz

Free admission with Festival Pass
No single tickets, exit and reentry anytime 

Gernot Wieland 
Erna Ómarsdottir & Valdimar Jóhannsson
Special Performances

Congress Graz, Stefaniensaal

Free admission with Festival Pass
No single tickets, no reservations, no late admission

Fatima Spar & The Freedom Fries

Congress Graz, Kammermusiksaal

Free admission with Festival Pass
No single tickets

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