Where are we now?

In 2017 steirische herbst, one of the oldest multidisciplinary contemporary art festivals in Europe, will take place for the 50th time. Since its founding in 1968, the festival for performance art, theatre, visual arts, music, architecture, dance, literature, film and theory has been a platform for the lively debate concerning the complex social, political and economic conditions of the present.

With this goal still very much at the fore, the anniversary year will be one not of reflecting on the past, but one that focuses on critical analysis and the artistic translation of current conditions. “Where Are We Now?” is the question 50 artists and theoreticians – whose works have helped define the festival for the past decade – reflect upon in this publication. Frustrated and inspired by new strains of nationalism, growing social inequality, advancing digitalisation, migratory movements and new areas of knowledge, the participants position themselves in the here and now with entirely different perspectives, resulting in the juxtaposition of biographical localisation, political analyses and the demands on their own practice in art and criticism. In their totality, the images series, essays, photos, drawings, collages and narrations give rise to a stimulating cartography of the present.

With contributions from Jörg Albrecht, Lola Arias, Aleida Assmann, Yael Bartana, Leah Borromeo, Ulla von Brandenburg, Ann Cotten, Black Cracker, Roberto Dainotto, Charles Esche, Tim Etchells, feld72, Peter Friedl, Philipp Gehmacher, Beatrice Gibson, Georg Friedrich Haas, Heidrun Holzfeind, Iconoclasistas, Lois Keidan, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, Alexander Kluge, Federico León, Frie Leysen, Alanna Lockward, Florian Malzacher, Evgeny Morozov, Rabih Mroué, Fiston Mwanza Mugila, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Olga Neuwirth, Molly Nilsson, Dan Perjovschi, Peter Piller, Tobias Putrih, Walid Raad, raumlabor berlin, Rimini Protokoll, Monika Rinck, Ivana Sajko, Salma Shaleh, Andreas Spechtl, Marcus Steinweg, Gisèle Vienne, Joseph Vogl, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Eyal Weizmann and Joanna Wozny among others.

Edited by Christiane Kühl, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, Andreas R. Peternell and Wilma Renfordt.

The steirische herbst takes place from 22/09 until 15/10/2017.