created with

Veronica Kaup-Hasler


Write lists: that's what you do when you've lost track. When, possibly under pressure, you want to sort out possible courses of action or get some order into a chaos that you seem to have lost control of.

Avoid misfortune; save the world. Ridiculous, artful, pragmatic, naive, convinced. One's eye on the overall situation and on the little private details and semi-public aspects: The search for "Strategies for avoiding misfortune" (the theme of this year's steirischer herbst) also generated a list. The array of one hundred concepts ranges from switching off to liberating, from criticising to blowing up from recycling to switching off. It is the nature of lists that they sometimes appear paradoxical.

At first glance, this list also appears to be taken from a private context, scribbled on a beer mat on the spur of the moment - but in fact it can be applied to other spheres of existence. It was the inspiration and starting point for numerous conversations with artists and colleagues who, through their questions and additions, changed the list, setting their own priorities and thus generating new systems of order.


Strategies for avoiding misfortune

But what is order? In contrast to "the authoritarian list imposed on us as a passive enumeration of the relation of forces", according to François Jullien we still have the option of an "imaginative list that amuses itself freely with the order of things".

Handling this amusement in a subversive and productive manner: a challenge for the sense of possibility. "Strategies for avoiding misfortune" stands for a sceptical belief in the possibilities of action. Action between image and deed, post-ironic but not un-ironic, active but not activist.

Pathos as an everyday reality: It is still about doing something, moving something, changing something. But how can we escape the paralysis of thought and action in view of the claim that the age of (often abused) utopias and grand social visions is a thing of the past? Does our power of discernment not hone itself precisely in the little, manageable areas of life?


Melancholy and explosion

Like our list, the programme also brings together approaches, interventions and creative options large and small: from the opening installation that forces the audience to act, to the commissioned pieces on the subject of "saving the world", to a temporary hospital at Joanneum, to exhibitions, film series, and to the theory programme; there will be opportunities throughout to reflect on aspects of action or to be an actor yourself.

The festival centre, conceived for the vacant Joanneum by the artist-architects from raumlaborberlin, also picks up the idea of disasters in the form of a walk-in architectural explosion. steirischer herbst rounds off with the opera "Melancholia" by Graz-based composer Georg Friedrich Haas, that plunges into a world of pathological depression and manic work.

We invite you once again to what promises to be a rich, many-voiced and venturesome steirischer herbst - and we look forward to a time of encounters!

Please install the Flash Player 9 to start the Program-Remixer.
You can download it for free at: