Forum Stadtpark: interdisciplinary artistic experiments since 1959

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Who we are

The FORUM STADTPARK is a production and presentation space for contemporary art in all its forms, organized by an independent association in Graz.

The FORUM STADTPARK can be an exhibition space, a concert hall, a space for discussion, a theatre, a music club, a cinema, a lecture hall, a gesamtkunstwerk. For over sixty years, it has dedicated itself to be an artistic experiment, and has been the birth place for much that has shaped cultural life both in Styria and in Austria to this day.

Since the very beginning, FORUM STADTPARK has understood contemporary art as something that does not (only) focus inwards. It takes its energy from dealing with societal questions and taking a stance. According to its statutes, FORUM STADTPARK aims at standing up to every instance of constraint on the freedom of intellectual and artistic life with appropriate measures.

Program and Structure

Currently the program of the FORUM STADTPARK contains the sections architecture, fine art, social politics, photography, literature, music, and performance. The various people responsible in those sections are elected by the association for a maximal timespan of eight years and are given a certain budget in order to carry out the intended program. Within the so-called "program forum" the program is coordinated and interdisciplinary projects are worked on.

The FORUM STADTPARK is run by a board elected by the association. Besides those responsible for the program, who all work on a royalty basis, there is a team of employed people in the offices, the technical department, cleanup, a.o as well as many others working in a minimal employment capacity or as freelancers. All in all there are more than 40 people regularly at work here.

Apart from its own productions organized in-house, the FORUM STADTPARK also welcomes a number of outside productions in its space. The bulk part of the program is represented by the many cooperations with various local and regional initiatives.

Self-Understanding and Scale

The FORUM STADTPARK understands itself as an open house that intends to offer everyone access to art and culture. Thus most of our productions take place with free admission. We are working hard to create an inviting and respectful space, and are trying to dismantle barriers.

As a collective representing the interests and creating actions by and for artists and intellectual labourers, the FORUM STADTPARK often shines a light on the production relationships within our own field. Theory and practice can only every be thought of together, working relations and hierarchies are as important as artistic standpoints. That is why we also strive to implement the Fair Pay guidelines of the IG Kultur as an institution.

In a regular year the FORUM STADTPARK hosts around 150-200 events, and counts more than twenty thousand visitors. Apart from fees, sales, sponsoring, and hospitality, the largest part of the income comes from support by the city of Graz, the state of Styria, and the responsible ministries of the federal government. All together the FORUM STADTPARK operates with a revenue of circa 500 000 € per year.

Team

Who works here?

Management

Markus Gönitzer
Markus Gönitzer
Vorstand

Markus Gönitzer

Markus Gönitzer organises discourse events in the fields of social policy and political theory. In addition to his work at Forum Stadtpark, he is involved in the Container 25 association and the Peršmanhof memorial. He finds his inner peace in the punk band Red Gaze and other band projects.

goenitzer@forumstadtpark.at
Miriam Schmid
Miriam Schmid
Vorstand

Miriam Schmid

Has been working as a freelance performer, director and theatre-maker since 2010. Co-founder of the Graz performance collective Das Planetenparty Prinzip. In 2020, she was awarded the Start Stipend for Performing Arts by the Federal Chancellery. Formerly responsible for the performance section, she is now part of the management collective.

schmid@forumstadtpark.at
Robin Klengel
Robin Klengel
Vorstand

Robin Klengel

*1988 in Graz. Cultural anthropologist and as a media artist part of the collective Total Refusal. Since 2017 on the board of FORUM STADTPARK. (Photo: Clara Wildberger)

klengel@forumstadtpark.at

Programme forum

Ana Jeinić
Ana Jeinić
Spartenbeauftragte Architektur

Ana Jeinić

*1981 in Banjaluka SFRY. Independent architectural theorist, cultural worker and utopian. Studied architecture and philosophy in Graz, Venice and Delft and worked at the akk of TU Graz and ESALA Edinburgh. She leads the project Grazotopia (Cultural Year 2020) and works for CITY<>HOSPITAL (cultural association f.act).

ana.j@tutanota.de
Clara Wildberger
Clara Wildberger
Spartenbeautragte Fotografie

Clara Wildberger

Works as a photographer and filmmaker on independent projects. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the USA.

clarawildberger.com

wildberger@forumstadtpark.at
Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Spartenbeautragter Literatur

Fiston Mwanza Mujila

*in Lubumbashi/Dem. Rep. Congo, lives in Graz. He writes poetry, prose and plays. For his novel Tram 83 he received, among others, the International Literature Prize - House of World Cultures and the Peter Rosegger Literature Prize. The play Zu der Zeit der Königinmutter was performed at Akademietheater Vienna and Deutsches Theater Berlin. (Photo: Pep Herrero)

fistonmwanzanasser@yahoo.fr
Markus Waitschacher
Markus Waitschacher
Spartenbeauftragter Bildende Kunst

Markus Waitschacher

Curator, art educator and cultural anthropologist. Curates site-specific and site-sensitive exhibitions and enjoys discussing art. Since 2013 he has been working in the education department at the Universalmuseum Joanneum. In free projects he explores the city of Graz collectively and artistically-scientifically. He works with Birgit Kulterer on the collection of the city of Graz. (Photo: Alfred Lenz)

markus.waitschacher@gmx.at
Patrick Wurzwallner
Patrick Wurzwallner
Spartenbeauftragter Musik

Patrick Wurzwallner

Musician, performer, curator, cultural manager as well as freelance copywriter, editor, translator, speaker - regularly for the platforms Freistil-Magazin, Rokkos Adventures, as well as ArtFaces. Active at Elevate-Festival, Wak-Music, Wbmotion, mur.at, V:NM, klingt.org. Responsible for the music section since 2015 (Photo: Manfred Werner)

wurzi.sounds.org

wurzwallner@forumstadtpark.at
Sara T. Huber
Sara T. Huber
Spartenbeautragte Gesellschaftspolitik

Sara T. Huber

Social pedagogue, lecturer at the University of Klagenfurt and PhD student at the University of Graz. She is part of various political collectives in Graz and has done discoursive and activist work and organised events on various socio-political topics. (Photo: Lena Prehal)

sara.huber@gmx.at
Victoria Fux
Victoria Fux
Spartenbeautragte Performance

Victoria Fux

Since 2006 performer in numerous productions at TaO!, Mezzanin Theatre, Forum Stadtpark, La Strada and the Planeten Party Prinzip. Theatre pedagogical training at TaO! 2012-14. 2017 dance and performance training at ImPulsTanz. Art Space Scholarship Holder of the Province of Styria 2017/2018. Since 2019 responsible for the performance section.

fux@forumstadtpark.at

Employee

Anja Korherr
Anja Korherr
Barteam

Anja Korherr

Studies at the Linz University of Art, works as a painter and artist as well as in the bar team at Forum Stadtpark.

bar@forumstadtpark.at
Arne Glöckner
Arne Glöckner
Haustechnik, Veranstaltungstechnik

Arne Glöckner

In addition to his existence as guitarist of the experimental Graz avant-garde band "Heifetz", songwriter, singer and spokesman for the everyday canalisation project "Familie Geschrey" and graphic designer and founding member of "Nights Im Bunker", the musician and trash artist is also our technical director, together with Sebastian Schröck.

gloeckner@forumstadtpark.at
Catrin Manoli
Catrin Manoli
Barteam

Catrin Manoli

Studies at the Department of Experimental Design at the Kunstuni Linz and works both as an animal preparator and behind the bar at the Forum Stadtpark.

bar@forumstadtpark.at
Claudia Gerhäusser
Claudia Gerhäusser
Spartenbeautragte Architektur bis 2021

Claudia Gerhäusser

Since 2010 projects in public space with oiXplorer and exhibitions/publications with studio cake. Studied architecture/design in Germany and the USA. Assistantships with Julie Mehretu, Peter Eisenman, volume magazine, baunetz, TU Graz and guest editor of GAM#13 spatial expeditions.

gerhaeusser@forumstadtpark.at
Diego Rivas
Diego Rivas
Bar team

Diego Rivas

Since 2019 Diego is part of our bar team.

bar@forumstadtpark.at
Filipa Cicin-Sain
Filipa Cicin-Sain
Organisation, Terminkoordination, Produktion

Filipa Cicin-Sain

Formally responsible for the music section Filipa has remained in the back office of the house. She coordinates all dates and the production of events. She is also responsible for the bigMaMa concerts in Graz and has been mixing up the music scene for many years as feelipa with the disko404 crew and Zagreb's CFSN DJ collective.

fcs@forumstadtpark.at
Gudrun Becker
Gudrun Becker
Assistenz, Barorganisation

Gudrun Becker

Photographer and cultural worker, in Graz since 2005. Formerly active at many festivals such as steirischer herbst, Diagonale and Elevate, she now also works in the back office and bar organisation at Forum Stadtpark.

becker@forumstadtpark.at
Heidrun Primas
Heidrun Primas
Ehemalige Präsidentin

Heidrun Primas

*1968 in Graz. Member of the board of HDA, 2011-2011 president of Forum Stadtpark. Spokesperson of the Graz Cultural Advisory Board. Member of the board of OMEGA. Winner of the Hanns Koren Prize of the Province of Styria 2019. Founding member of the association Flüchtlingshilfe Doro Blancke. Is still active at Forum Stadtpark.

primas@forumstadtpark.at
Kinga Tóth
Kinga Tóth
Spartenbeautragte Literatur bis 2021

Kinga Tóth

Linguist and (sound) poet-illustrator as well as cultural manager. She stages her texts in performances and installations. Her publications include volumes of poetry (in Hungarian, German and English) with illustrations. (Photo: Simon Wahlers)

www.kingatoth.com

toth@forumstadtpark.at
Lena Prehal
Lena Prehal
Fotodokumentation

Lena Prehal

Photographer and anthropologist Lena and a team of external photographers take care of the photo documentation of our events.

fotoarchiv@forumstadtpark.at
Mojca Legvart
Mojca Legvart
Bar team

Mojca Legvart

Mojca works in the bar team, organises corona arrangements and oversees our exhibitions

bar@forumstadtpark.at
Roland Schwarz
Roland Schwarz
Finanzorganisation, Presse, Archiv

Roland Schwarz

The concert organiser and cultural journalist has been with the house since 2013 and is now responsible for finances, press and archives. (Photo: Lena Prehal)

office@forumstadtpark.at
Sebastian Schröck
Sebastian Schröck
Haustechnik, Veranstaltungstechnik

Sebastian Schröck

Sebastian has been working as a house technician since 2019. Together with Arne Glöckner, he takes care for the technical management in the house.

schroeck@forumstadtpark.at
Valerie Wanz
Valerie Wanz
Barorganisation

Valerie Wanz

Valerie has been working at the Forum Stadtpark bar for many years now. Since 2019, she has also been supporting the team in the bar organisation.

bar@foroumstadtpark.at
zweintopf
zweintopf
Spartenbeautragte Bildende Kunst bis 2021

zweintopf

Artist duo founded in 2006 by Eva Pichler and Gerhard Pichler. Active both in classical exhibition contexts and in public spaces – in the form of installations, objects and videos or unannounced interventions.

zweintopf.net

zweintopf@forumstadtpark.at

Space

The cultural program takes place on (at least) three floors.
Main Room Saloon Cellar Archive

The house includes over three different event spaces for various needs as well as additional infrastructure:

Main Room

The main room on the ground floor has been offering space for contemporary art production for over sixty years, as well as acting as the main space for all larger events in the house: Ranging from exhibitions, to theatre productions, readings, discussions, and concerts. The room is around 170 square metres and the window front can be partially opened to access the park.

Saloon

The saloon in the first floor is used as a day to day meeting place and cultural hub. It regularly hosts workshops, discussion, readings, smaller concerts, and exhibitions. The terrace acts as a connecting element between fresh air and discourse.

Cellar

The black cellar is the production and performance space with a club atmosphere and bar. It is the connection to contemporary music, theatre, and sound installation, for evenings of improvisation and club culture. Experiments in the darkness underground.

Archive

The archive of the FORUM STADTPARK is the central hub for the memory of artistic, political, social, philosophical, and societal discourse in Graz – and has been for over half a century. In addition to this, after prior consultation all of the print publications from the FORUM STADTPARK publishing house can be viewed.

History

Probably the longest running house for interdisciplinary art in Europe.

1958

Foundation

During the summer of 1958, the "Junge Gruppe", including the artists Othmar Carli, Gustav Zankl and Günter Waldorf, requested permission to permanently use the vacant former Stadtpark Café for art related events. However, the city council rejected this proposition and decided to demolish the building. It was only after protests of the press, politicians and several art societies that a deadline was set for the acquisition of the funds required for the maintenance of the building. The fund raising was successful and on 15th January 1959 FORUM STADTPARK’s constitutional assembly took place. In November 1960, the building was officially opened with the exhibition "Bekenntnis und Konfrontation".

1959

The early years

As a self-managing artist association FORUM STADTPARK’s ideals were to promote the interests of people engaged in the cultural sector, more so than ever before. The building was to serve as a podium specifically for young artists and scientists. The founders expected their association to cover all aspects related to culture, including aesthetically traditional, historical, political and didactic issues, the result of which was a division of nine equal departments. However, during the 60s, the amount of theoretical projects decreased. The initial goal to cover a broad spectrum of culture was replaced with a focus on contemporary arts and literature.

1960

The transformation

In the 60s and 70s, FORUM STADTPARK was established as one of the few places of presentation and production of progressive art and literature. Similarly, its self-perception underwent a transformation from an organisation generally devoted to culture to an art association and also incorporated a publishing house. International public attention was attracted by its literature journal manuskripte, which was founded in 1960. In addition, the photography journal Camera Austria, the film journal blimp, the literature journal Absolut, the essay journal Liqueur as well as the journal schreibkraft were now published here and the avant-garde festival steirischer herbst was initiated.

1995

Restructuring

In 1995, Alfred Kolleritsch resigned as chairman in favour of Walter Grond, which lead to the replacement of most functionaries, abstractors and other staff members. This radical change was supposed to make the increasingly elitist association approachable to young artists again and consequently expected to revolutionise its rigid idea of “Avantgarde”. The different departments were dissipated; organisational and artistic issues were separated from each other, which discouraged projects that evolved around individuals. The FORUM STADTPARK theatre, Camera Austria and manuskripte parted ways.

1997

Rebuilding and the jubilee

In 1997, Peter Zinagel succeeded Walter Grond. During his tenure, the house was rebuilt and a first floor was added. In 2003, Anton Lederer became chairman and combined the separate departments to form one committee in charge of cultural work – the Programmforum. This new development was a significant step in the encouragement of interdisciplinary work. In 2009, FORUM STADTPARK celebrated its 50 year jubilee with Bernhard Wolf as chairman.

2011

Rathaus der Herzen

In 2011 Heidrun Primas took over the management and declared the FORUM STADTPARK as City Hall of Hearts. Today FORUM STADTPARK sees itself as an interdisciplinary society devoted to a wide concept of arts and interdisciplinary work. On three floors, 150 events including architecture, literature, fine arts, film, photography, medial art, fashion, music, theatre, performance and theoretical contents take place each year, the majority of them free of charge. The association’s claim is to present a laboratory and a platform to many circles of local, Austrian and international culture production.

2021

The management since Kolleritsch

1995-1997: W. Grond / P. Zinganel (deputy chairperson) / G. Ostanek (treasurer)
1997-2003: P. Zinganel / G. Muhr (dep. chairp.) / G. Ostanek (treas.)
2003-2007: A. Lederer / R. Binder-Krieglstein (dep. chairp.) / A. Putz (treas.)
2007-2009: B. Wolf / C. Peschl (dep. chairp.) / A. Putz bzw. ab 2008 K. Petrowitsch (treas.)
2009-2011: C. Peschl / H. Primas (dep. chairp.) / K. Petrowitsch (treas.)
2011-2017: H. Primas / J. Schrettle (dep. chairp.) / U. Musil (treas.)
2017-2021: H. Primas / R. Klengel (dep. chairp.) / E. Gruber (treas.)
since 2017: R. Klengel / M. Schmid / M. Gönitzer (collective)

Organize & become a part

How do things run here?

The FORUM STADTPARK is a non-profit organisation consisting of artists, researchers, and intellectual labourers. Those who want to take part can apply for a membership. For an expense contribution we also offer our space for external initiatives and artists for non-commercial projects, as long as they fit the current program and it is administratively possible for us.

External Events

In order to use the space of the FORUM STADTPARK for an external event you are welcome to send us an application. As our spacial and personal resources are limited we would ask for your understanding however that many applications have to be denied. Expense contributions can vary depending on the length, extent of the event, and the financial situation of the applicants. The program forum as well as the board are responsible for the decision on whether or not an application is granted.

Applications can be made here.

Membership

Those who work in the fields of art, culture, and research, either as a full time occupation or on an honorary basis, can apply for a full membership at the general assembly of the collective. Full members can take part in shaping the development of the house through their right to vote in the general assembly. There are regular meeting or special assemblies for members. You can become a member for 30€ or 10€ at a discounted price per year.

All other persons are welcome to become supporting members, self-less contributors of art and culture for a yearly contribution of 40€.

Foto: Forum Stadtpark frontal view from the fountain

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(c) Garfied Trummer

Foto: Forum Stadtpark diagonally from the front

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(c) Garfield Trummer

Logo

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Logo Forum Stadtpark (.jpg)

Plan 1st floor

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Plan 1st floor Forum Stadtpark

Plan 2nd floor

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Plan 2nd floor Forum Stadtpark

Plan cellar

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Plan cellar Forum stadtpark