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30 August 2015

Opening concert-performance of the Steirischer Herbst festival is inspired by a surrealist sculpture with zipper-eyes and filmstrip-collar

The text by author Josef Winkler for the opening event of the 'Steirischer Herbst' festival (Graz, Austria), the installation-based concert performance 'Specter of the Gardenia or the Day Will Come' composed by Johannes Maria Staud is inspired by Marcel Jean’s surrealist sculpture from 1936 which shows a head with zipper-eyes which references selective perception and people's subjective choice for closing or opening the eyes to see and reflect on certain topics; the zipper-eyes together with the filmstrip-collar at the neck of the sculpture could be interpreted as an early artistic critic on mass media and the construction of reality. The concert performance is especially produced for Steirischer Herbst which runs this year under the leitmotif 'Back to the Future' and is driven by the thought that "our present is yesterday's future" related to today's challenges like climate change or migration. At his surrealistic monologue, Josef Winkler looks back into his childhood and into an endangered future. The world premiere of 'Specter of the Gardenia or the Day Will Come' will happen on 25 September 2015. The festival runs until 18 October 2015 (programme).

fig. from right: Poster for the installation-based concert performance 'Specter of the Gardenia or the Day Will Come', world premiere with Ensemble Modern on the opening day of Steirischer Herbst festival 2015 on 25 September at the Helmut List Halle in Graz, Austria. Picture: Heta Multanen. Image left: Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud (left) and Austrian writer Josef Winkler. Photo: Lisi Specht photographs, (C) Lisi Specht

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