In the Press

“Ready for a guided tour of the pleasure capital’s dark side?”
Interview with Henriette Gallus. Athinorama (GR), 25.7.19, in Greek

“steirischer herbst against intolerance”
TV interview with Ekaterina Degot. RTVSLO (SI), 30.8.19, in English

“Beyond the extravagant opening and the lavishly staged installations, exhibitions, theater productions, and performances, a number of spectacular small-scale events are also part of the program.”
80 Kulturzeitung (AT), September 2019, in German

“Art has to speak up”
Interview with Ekaterina Degot. Monopol (DE), 17.9.19, in German

“Art, pleasure, and awareness”
Interview with David Riff. Artribune (IT), 8.9.19, in Italian

“Hedonism in times of crisis”
Interview with Ekaterina Degot. Delo (SI), 16.9.19, in Slovenian

“Agente provocatrice. Russian curator Ekaterina Degot has been directing the steirischer herbst cultural festival since 2018 – and is familiarizing herself with the Austrian tradition of ‘Nestbeschmutzung’ (literally: fouling the nest).”
Portrait of Ekaterina Degot in Die Zeit (DE), 19.9.19, in German

“In her second steirischer herbst, Russian curator Ekaterina Degot has truly come into her own as the new director of the festival.”
Die Presse (AT), 21.9.19, in German

“This installment of steirischer herbst is all about pleasure and joy in troubled times. And what place could be better suited for this than Graz, where you can savor the demise of the West with a glass of Sturm in your hand?”
HART Magazine (BE), 21.9.19, in Dutch

“If pleasure is a double agent, its other role is excess, as celebrated by the ‘Opening Extravaganza’ in the neoclassical surroundings of Congress Graz with an exuberant performance program (outstanding: Jakob Lena Knebl with Markus Pires Mata and Cibelle Cavalli Bastos).”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (DE), 22.9.19, in German

“Following a successful steirischer herbst opening at the Grazer Congress last Thursday, the herbst festival is surpassing itself with its program.”
ÖSTERREICH Steiermark (AT), 22.9.19, in German

“Accomplished combinations on the opening weekend of steirischer herbst: political satire, participatory performance, and cultural Greek gifts in the name of architecture.”
Der Standard (AT), 23.9.19, in German

“Abysmal pleasure: steirischer herbst in Graz. Part Two”
HART Magazine (BE), 23.9.19, in Dutch

“Can Art Help Us Survive the Apocalypse?”
Elephant Magazine (UK), 24.9.19, in English

“There is no way around Europe’s oldest avant-garde festival. The whole city becomes a stage for art actions in the public space.”
Falter (AT), 39-2019, in German

“steirischer herbst festival tackles pleasure in times of inequality.”
RTVSLO (SI), 26.9.19, TV report in Slovenian

“This year’s steirischer herbst, appropriately titled Grand Hotel Abyss, distributed hotel-style ‘Please Clean’ hangers to attendees, but its real success is that it isn’t afraid to get dirty in the process of tidying up.”
Artforum (US), 26.9.19, in English

“The fact that this abyss is dangerously close and may already be a reality surrounding us, is demonstrated by Artur Żmijewski’s ‘Plan B’ installation in a vacant store in Girardigasse in Graz.”
Kleine Zeitung (AT), 27.9.19, in German

”What is fascinating about this year’s festival theme (...) is how perfectly it seems to apply to current conditions, while spanning an extensive artistic horizon, both historically and geographically as well as politically and aesthetically.”
Junge Welt (DE), 27.9.19, in German

“Hanna Rohn has once again pulled off what she is so good at: she creates a sense of comfort, she makes people feel comfortable. When everyone starts singing ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ the schmaltz takes over the herbstkantine.”
Kronen Zeitung (AT), 28.9.19, in German

“Rarely has an exhibition title epitomized the zeitgeist as aptly as this year’s steirischer herbst.”
TAZ (DE), 30.9.19, in German

“The Grand Hotel Abyss is home to a cast of strange and varied characters, each sheltering from the raging incoherence of today’s world. Whether this lavish destination is a plush cover for paralysis or a temporary abode that opens to glimpses of something new is the knife-edged tension that the theme for this edition of the festival creates.”
Art Agenda (US), 2.10.19, in English

Grand Hotel Abyss explores an increasingly fractured global political landscape, presenting work that presents the myriad clashes at the heart of a turbulent political climate, suggesting that the hedonism of consumer capitalism in our contemporary era and the rising tide of crypto-nationalist tendencies has striking similarities to its 1930s forbear.”
Interviews with Ekaterina Degot, Michael Portnoy, and Jeremy Deller. Flaunt (US), 2.10.19, in English

“steirischer herbst continues to formulate an intelligent and at times provocative commentary on the current state of affairs, more needed than ever regarding the political climate in Austria and elsewhere.”
SPIKE (AT), 2.10.19, in English

“The Grand Hotel Abyss theme is an excellent way of bringing the political back to the festival after a prolonged abstinence. This has always been and remains the mission of the avant-garde.”
Meine Woche (AT), 2.10.19, in German

“I have always been interested in demonstrations and gatherings of all kinds. There's just a lot to see; it’s a kind of folk art.”
Interview with Jeremy Deller. Der Freitag (DE), 5.10.19, in German

“This festival in Graz is full of sharp surprises, and given that it is a largely publicly funded project, its willingness to bite the hand that feeds makes it one to pay attention to, and to engage with rigorously.”
Hyperallergic (US), 10.10.19, in English

“Lukács underscored the paradox of cultural critique that isn’t followed by direct action. In Graz, his words hit the contemporary art world in its soft spot.”
Mousse (IT), 10.10.19, in English

“The abyss is never far away from a feast”
Contemporary Lynx (PL), 11.10.19, in English

“steirischer herbst is an excellent example of a contemporary art festival with a strong and determined curatorial vision.”
Delo (SI), 8.10.19, in Slovenian

“Ekaterina Degot took up her office in 2018 with the intent of reinventing steirischer herbst. She has fulfilled this task unerringly with her concept of an artistic parcours.”
Kronen Zeitung (AT), 12.10.19, in German

“Boredom in the face of disaster: steirischer herbst ‘19”
SZUM (PL), 18.10.19, in Polish

“Metrópolis: steirischer herbst festival reportage”
RTVE (ES), 29.10.19, TV report in Spanish

“Celebrating on the edge of the abyss! This image also proves that Degot has understood Styria…”
Theater der Zeit (DE), November 19, in German

“steirischer herbst’s success rests in its confidence to trace such links between past and present at a moment where the far right is swelling. As with every festival, certain works, well, work and others don’t, but what matters is the proposition engendered by Grand Hotel Abyss: the action. The conversations that build amid this environment bring people into the fold and ask them to take a position.”
Camera Austria (AT), December 2019, in English

“The 2019 ‘herbst’ is a good vintage and in the words of Müller-Guttenbrunn: ‘Life consists of bad times and beautiful moments.’”
Kunstforum International (DE), December 2019, in German

“Fin de siècle squalor and sardonic masques in Grand Hotel Abyss, the 2019 edition of the annual Austrian festival.”
Frieze (UK), 2.12.19, in English

“steirischer herbst’s exploration of the passions guiding popular narratives of wellness and pleasure, provided space for a nuanced critique. The critique was an amusing one.”
Art Margins (US), 18.12.19, in English