Today's art institutions are often constrained to work in a mode of imaginary participation, as real audiences might give these institutions a wide berth. This self-isolation represents a huge blind spot of contemporary art. Why don't we all, as curators, try to work in a different direction for a change? To escape our comfort zones and safe spaces. Such was the intention behind The Way Out, the 2021 edition of steirischer herbst. It presented a curatorial sketch for a way of working outside, outdoors, in public space, where the radical democratization of art's accessibility is a horizon of thought and a goal to which artists and artworks might aspire.
Every year for a month, STEIRISCHER HERBST, the oldest interdisciplinary festival of contemporary art in Europe, turns the city of Graz and the province of Styria in Austria into a parcours of installative and performative works. Since 1968, the festival has offered a platform for public debates, critical positions, and dialogues between the arts.
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