July 8, 2003 - We; Hilary, Eric
and Stephen came to Graz for 2 reasons. To escape the oppressive
and creatively stifled New York art/music scene and to be a
part of the 2003 Cultural Capital. An event that due to money,
apathy and a sheer lack of creativity simply would not happen
in the US.
The birth of a nation, Acconci an der Mur: A
brilliant sanctuary of steel and water, art and politics. Curves
in the design create a flowing motion in the stillness. The
Republic of Acconci was incorporated on 3 July 2003 in a ceremony
that combined all of the pageantry of a political inauguration
and the (staged) awkwardness of a poorly organized community
theater. There in lies the genius of the people behind this
project in which the boundaries between theater and reality
no longer exist. It is the safest nation on earth and, if one
needs, they can request asylum from oppression and spend a
night in peace. We had the honor of performing there on 2 occasions.
Mountain of Memories: A visually stimulating
and very personal history of Graz. Some would say that they
created this mountain to bury their past. To hide the painful
points from plain view. Others could argue that now the past
has a place where people can spend the day and study. To think
and to learn about the elements that make a city. Still others
could say that this was a form of therapy. A way to face the
future by accepting the past. From toys for children to mechanical
breakthroughs to the Holocaust and every thing in between.
Whatever the reasons, there is much to remember in this city’s
near 1000 year existence.
Oskar is currently residing in the Mountain of Memories, his
permanent home is the center most point of Graz. A solemn stoic
figure who seems to generate emotions from all who see him.
Sad, strong, peaceful, contemplative and even violent. Poor
Oskar once lost his head when a drunkard picked a fight with
him. But he can be proud in the knowledge that he is the most
photographed landmark in Graz.
Phantom der Lust: If masochism did not already
have a place in social-sexual history, it would after this
showing. An intense depiction of Masoch and his affinity for
being physically and mentally abused in the name of sexual
gratification. Perhaps there is a political message behind
this. The world’s citizens are all abused for the pleasure
of those above us. Or it is just a critical view of pain as
pleasure between two or more consenting adults.
Homeless World Cup: Conceived by the Graz
street paper MEGAPHON, this event brought together teams of
homeless soccer players from all over the world. Their intention
was to stimulate awareness of the growing problem of homelessness
as well as build character and confidence in the players. The
opening match was between Holland and Germany. Holland won
14 to 0 and this seemed to be very amusing to the Austrian
people. Of course we showed our support for the New York Team.
We live in what many call the new Roman Empire. Should we
escape to Graz before our Empire falls? Here at least we are
protected by mountains and the love of our friends.
Thank you Graz for allowing us to not only witness the 2003
Cultural Capitol, but be a part of it.