Events / People

The Eagle Has Landed!? – Schafhausen’s First Act At Kunsthalle Vienna

“Incomprehensible!”, “Fantastic!”, “Boring!” Some were a bit confused, some amused, most people were curious about how the Kunsthalle’s director Schafhausen would start the new era of this institution with the festival What Would Thomas Bernhard Do (WWTBD) in Vienna’s Museumsquartier. See who was there and what happened at the opening…

Talks, discussions, films, readings, lectures, performances, concerts, parties – 100 events in the next ten days. The festival is Nicolas Schafhausen’s first big coup as director of Kunsthalle Wien. In preparation for the festival the Kunsthalle was altered into an open performance room. The evening started with an panel discussion supported by the renowned Austrian newspaper Der Standard featuring: Barbara Marković, writer; Manfred Mittermayer, director literary archive Salzburg; Vanessa Joan Müller, dramaturgist Kunsthalle Wien; Doron Rabinovici, writer and historian; moderated by Stefan Gmünder, Der Standard. (All photos by Alexander Schwarzinger)

Later there was a performance titledAuch im Suhrcamp wollen wir auf Sex nicht verzichten. Suhr- statt Dschungelcamp – Lungen- statt Surbraten.” with Julius Deutschbauer, artist. Sepp Schellhorn – gourmet chef, scholar of Bernhard-related literature, and organizer of the Goldegg im Pongau Thomas Bernhard Festival – fed the guests in the “camp” diced lung and mixed offal on a long table. The dishes were served by Roman Glowacki and four homeless people wearing white gloves.

WWTBD is open everyday from two in the afternoon until two in the morning; a marathon – one without a pre-determined finish line – unfolds. This program is framed by a set by American artist Barbara Kruger, an installation by Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst, and the sound piece TONSPUR 53 – related to and inspired by both John Cage and Thomas Bernhard’s novel Concrete – by Austrian artist Robert Schwarz. Everyday there will be six to twelve acts with different tempos and tonalities. Although they are autonomous, they also form part of a unified overall program, which unfolds over the course of the ten-day run of WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do. Both the performers – who come together in choreographed sequences and various formats – and the audience members are productively involved in the action. Together, they will open room for interpretation along the fault lines of society. Performances, lectures, and discussion rounds are complemented with readings, concerts, talks, and sets by famous DJs.

The full program of the What Would Thomas Bernhard Do festival can be found on the Kunsthalle Wien website:

Participants include: Saâdane Afif, artist (Berlin); Joonas Ahonen, pianist (Vienna); Danai Anesiadou, artist (Brussels); Barnabás Bencsik, curator (Budapest); Clemens Berger, writer (Vienna); Daniel Buchholz, gallerist (Cologne/Berlin); Roger Bundschuh, architect (Berlin); Stefanie Carp, dramaturge Wiener Festwochen (Vienna); Alessio delli Castelli, artist (Berlin); Zita Cobb, Shorefast Foundation (Ottawa); Beatriz Colomina, architecture historian (Princeton); Curt Cuisine, music critic (Vienna); Michael Dallinger, cellist (Vienna); George van Dam, composer and musician (Brussels); Clémentine Deliss, director Weltkulturen Museum (Frankfurt a. M.); Ann Demeester, director De Appel (Amsterdam); Julius Deutschbauer, artist (Vienna); Sepp Dreissinger, photographer (Vienna); Heinrich Dunst, artist (Vienna); Yilmaz Dziewior, director Kunsthaus Bregenz (Bregenz); Tav Falco, musician (Vienna); Harun Farocki, filmmaker (Berlin); Thomas Feuerstein, artist (Vienna); Bernhard Fetz, director Literary Archives of the National Library (Vienna); Krista Fleischmann, journalist (Straß); Gunnar Fras, timpanist (Vienna); Maria Fusco, artist (London); Isa Genzken, artist (Berlin); Liam Gillick, artist (New York); Stefan Gmünder, journalist (Vienna); Piero Golia, artist (Los Angeles); David Gross, composer (New York); Krist Gruijthuijsen, director Grazer Kunstverein (Graz); Francesca Habsburg, chairman TBA21 (Vienna); Byung-Chul Han, philosopher (Berlin); Gert Hecher, pianist (Vienna); Helene Hegemann, writer (Berlin); Jan Hoet, curator (Ghent); Lisa Hofer, actress (Vienna); Karl Holmqvist, artist (Berlin); Alfred Höller, taxidermist (Pinsdorf); Carsten Höller, artist (Stockholm); Katja Huber, journalist (Munich); Martin Huber, archive of Thomas Bernhard (Gmunden); Tim Jackson, economist (Surrey); Marien Jongewaard, actor (Amsterdam); Schorsch Kamerun, singer (Hamburg); Dorottya Karsay, activist (Budapest); Sung Hwan Kim, artist (New York); Alexander Kluge, filmmaker (Munich); Kasper König, curator (Cologne); Martin Kratochwil, musician (Vienna); Barbara Kruger, artist (Los Angeles); Herbert Lachmayer, philosopher (Vienna); Erik Leidal, singer (Vienna); Erik van Lieshout, artist (Rotterdam); Geert Lovink, media theorist (Amsterdam); Marko Lulic, artist (Vienna); Martin Markeli, artist (Vienna); Barbara Marković, writer (Vienna); Tom McCarthy, writer (London); Thomas Meinecke, writer (Munich); Robert Menasse, writer (Vienna); Michele di Menna, artist (Berlin); Mián Mián, writer (Shanghai); Thomas Mießgang, journalist (Vienna); Manfred Mittermayer, literary scientist (Salzburg); Matthias Mühling, curator Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich); Rainer Münz, Erste Group (Vienna); Didi Neidhart, music critic (Vienna); Gerald Nestler, artist (Vienna); Merab Ninidze, actor (Berlin/Vienna); Markus Oberndorfer, artist (Vienna); Marcel Odenbach, artist (Cologne); Boris Ondreička, artist and curator (Bratislava); Wolfgang Pauser, philosopher (Vienna); Robert Pfaller, philosopher (Vienna); Patrick Pulsinger, producer and DJ (Vienna); Doron Rabinovici, writer and historian (Vienna); Juliane Rebentisch, philosopher (Offenbach a. M.); Simon Rees, curator (Vienna); Gerwald Rockenschaub, artist (Berlin/Vienna); Willem de Rooij, artist (Berlin); Station Rose, artist (Vienna); Elisabeth von Samsonow, philosopher and artist (Vienna); Sepp Schellhorn, gourmet chef (Goldegg); Markus Schinwald, artist (Vienna); Urs Schnell, filmmaker (Bern); Katharina Schrade, singer (Berlin); Robert Schwarz, sound artist (Vienna); Yohanna Schwertfeger, actress Burgtheater (Vienna); Tomáš Sedláček, economist (Prague); Ulrich Seidl, filmmaker (Vienna); Peter Sloterdijk, philosopher (Karlsruhe); Biljana Srbljanović, writer (Paris); Gerald Straub, artist and curator (Vienna); Thomas Trenkler, journalist (Vienna); Thomas D. Trummer, director Kunsthalle Mainz (Mainz); Vitus Weh, quartier21 (Vienna); Peter Weibel, artist, curator and director of ZKM (Karlsruhe); Robert Wilhite, artist (USA); Frederick Wiseman, filmmaker (New York); Erwin Wurm, artist (Vienna), Jean Philipp Oliver Viol, composer (Vienna); Erich Zawinul, producer (Vienna).

Concept: Nicolaus Schafhausen
Dramaturgy: Vanessa Joan Müller
Curators: Cathérine Hug, Lucas Gehrmann, and Nicolaus Schafhausen
Curatorial Assistants: Andrea Hubin, Gareth Long, and Vivien Trommer

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