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On Sept. 22 2004, the new Kunsthaus Graz, a large venue for contemporary art, debuts in Graz, Austria's second largest city. The approximately $40-million, 120,000-square-foot, three-level building was paid for in part by federal funds and local public sources as well as by Graz 2003, which oversees EU funds allocated to the town as this year's cultural capital of Europe. Nicknamed "a friendly alien" by local residents, the building, designed by the London-based architectural team of Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, has an organic shape with a skin made of shimmering blue acrylic panels. At night, the building glows by means of a computerized lighting system beneath the translucent skin. With large, tubelike "nozzles" for windows that protrude from the convex roof, the structure indeed suggests an outer-space creature that has landed in the middle of Graz's historic town center along the banks of the Mur River. --David Ebony

"Phantom of Desire. Visions of Masochism in Art"

Two classics from literature, “Venus in Fur” (1869) and “Psychopathia sexualis” (1886) are directly linked to Graz. The novel “Venus in Furs” is seen as a prototype for the writings of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and his wife Wanda, as well as for masochistic phantasies in general. Although Sacher-Masoch as a person has fallen almost into oblivion, his work has gained a lasting effect. Based upon Sacher-Masoch's novel Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, the Grazer physician (1840-1902), coined the term “masochism” in his medical standard work “Psychopathia Sexualis” (1886) as the description of a sexual disposition combining pain and lust. Since then masochism has become the subject of many analysises and studies in film, literature, philosophy, music and the fine arts which reflect this phenomenon in its manifold socio-historical contexts.

On the basis of these facts, a history of sexuality in the arts has been conceived in the form of an exhibition that follows Sacher-Masoch's influence from the end of the nineteenth century till the present. The exhibition should reflect artistic acceptability, namely how the social, political and psycho-analytical implications of masochism were received in the art world: The masochistic body, the profile of the cruel woman, dominant relationships and masochism as the explicit thematisation of power in relationships, fetish and ritual as important elements of setting a masochistic scene and masochism as a psychologically-defining category of, amongst other things, femininity. Here, art is based on the visual aspect, more exactly the visual representation of masochism. The visual representation does not only mean representation of matters sexual, but rather the whole complex of punishment and resistance, controller and victim, immersion and inversion and lust and harm should be illuminated. --http://www.stmk.gv.at/verwaltung/lmj-ng/03/phantom/konzept_e.html, accessed Mar 2004

Ajamu Claude Alexandre Emmanuelle Antille Nobuyoshi Araki Charles Atlas Christian Ludwig Attersee Miroslav Balka Franz von Bayros Aubrey Beardsley Fredie Beckmans Hans Bellmer Madeleine Berkhemer Tobias Bernstrup Gilles Berquet Josef Beuys Sylvie Blocher Barbara Bloom Monica Bonvicini Katharina Bosse Guy Bourdin Pierre Bourgeade Victor Brauner Birgit Brenner Olaf Breuning Günter Brus Noel Burch Sophie Calle Jacqueline Chanton Larry Clark Jordan Crandall Guido Crepax Salvador Dali Heinrich Davringhausen Vlasta Delimar Wim Delvoye Milena Dopitová Marcel Duchamp Nicole Eisenmann Michel Fingesten Leonor Fini Bob Flanagan Sylvie Fleury Hideki Fujii Shinya Fujiwara Julio Galan Willi Geiger Nan Goldin Greg Gorman Franz Graf Fergus Greer Otto Greiner Mona Hahn Yoshifumi Hayashi Georg Herold John Hilliard Rebecca Horn Horst P. Horst Eikoh Hosoe Karl Hubbuch Georges Hugnet Alain Jacquet Charles Francois Jeandel Allen Jones Birgit Jürgenssen Mike Kelley Anne-Mia Van Kerckhoven Fernand Khnopff Tania Kitchell Jürgen Klauke Pierre Klossowski Doris Kloster Oskar Kokoschka "KOLKOZ" Katharina Kranichfeld Les Krims Elke Krystufek Alfred Kubin Karl Kunz Helmut Lang Barone de Lapin Michèle Larue Jean-Jacques Lebel Zoe Leonard David Levinthal Thomas Locher Philipp Lorca di Corcia Heinrich Mann Robert Mapplethorpe Ralf Marsault Plinio Martelli Olaf Martens André Masson Paul McCarthy Bjarne Melgaard Annette Messager Chantal Michel Mr. Pearl Tracey Moffat Pierre Molinier Morawe/Reiff Mark Morrisroe David Nebreda Helmut Newton Cady Noland Albert Oehlen Catherine Opie Gina Pane Christian Paraschiv Maurizio Pellegrin Roland Penrose Raymond Pettibon Pipifax Sigmar Polke Milá Preslová Arnulf Rainer Philippe Ramette Man Ray Catherine Robbe-Grillet Felicien Rops Gerhard Rühm Jimmy de Sana Otto Rudolf Schatz Julia Scher Rudolf Schlichter Jacques Schumacher Rudolf Schwarzkogler Peter Sengl Andres Serrano Cindy Sherman Flora Sigismundi Sissi Pepe Smit Edgard de Souza Edda Strobl Franz von Stuck Jindrich Styrsky Karel Teige Wolfgang Tilmans Tom of Finland Roland Topor Nicole Tran Ba Vang Rosemarie Trockel Clovis Trouille Cy Twombly Salla Tykkä Raoul Ubac Tomi Ungerer Maurice Uzelac Chris von Wangenheim John Waters Joel Peter Witkin --http://www.stmk.gv.at/verwaltung/lmj-ng/03/phantom/kuenstler_e.html [Jan 2005]


The “Sacher-Masoch Festival” (26. April - 24. August 2003)

The “Sacher-Masoch Festival” designed by the Neue Galerie examines the work and the influence of the Graz writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch in an exhibition, “Phantom of Lust. Visions of Masochism in Art”, in the symposium “Rhetorics and Scenarios“ and in a series of performances titled “Masomania”.

“Venus in Furs” and “Psychopathia sexualis” – two classics of sexual literature – are closely associated with Graz through their authors. The Lviv-born Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895) lived in Graz from 1854 to 1873 and from 1854-1881. Here he qualified as a university lecturer and taught history at the university. His contemporary Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902), also a resident of Graz, took the theme which occupied Sacher-Masoch all his life and translated it into the concepts of sexual psychology. Due to the worldwide impact of the concept of masochism – which, together with sadism, remains the most popular contribution to sexual literature – Leopold von Sacher-Masoch can justifiably be regarded as one of Graz’ most significant personalities.

Sacher-Masoch wrote most of the novel “Venus in Furs“ (1869) while in Graz. Krafft-Ebing, in writing his textbook “Psychopathia sexualis“ (1890 onwards) used the author’s name to coin the term “masochism” for a certain type of sexual behaviour in which gratification is linked to the suffering or the humiliation of the subject. It is astonishing that, in contrast to the countless studies that exist on the subject of sadism and the Marquis de Sade, the cultural significance of masochism and Sacher-Masoch himself has been the subject of comparatively few studies to date. In France, students of literature and cultural theory and different movements in art (such as surrealism) have made de Sade the subject of hymns and significant treatises. In the German-speaking world, in contrast, authors, students of literature, artists and cultural theorists have not given adequate attention to the work and the impact of Sacher- Masoch. However, the rediscovery of Sacher-Masoch which began largely in the USA (see Theodor Reik: “Masochism in Modern Man“, 1941) and France (see Gilles Deleuze’s epoch-making tribute in “Le Froid et le Cruel“ in “Présentation de Sacher-Masoch“, 1967) is proof that the German-speaking world too ought to begin giving Sacher- Masoch’s work the attention it deserves. Peter Weibel --http://www.stmk.gv.at/verwaltung/lmj-ng/03/sachermasoch/sm-programm.pdf [Feb 2005]

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