The tri-country biennial “trigon” was founded in Graz in 1963, and for decades it presented an opportunity for wider artistic exchange between ex-Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria, and other countries. “trigon 67” in particular, which took place at the Künstlerhaus and its outdoor environs with the title “ambiente / environment,” was one of the biennial’s central exhibitions, featuring fifteen, nowadays well-known artists, who examined contemporary architectural issues and the perception of space.
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of “trigon 67” and steirischer herbst, the Künstlerhaus has reevaluated these once heavily discussed approaches. In the exhibition "trigon 67/17 – ambiente nuovo/ post environment" (23.09 – 23.11.17), fifteen young artists from the Trigon region have once again revisited the original subject, presenting a range of practices that deal with space and architecture in contemporary art.
In the symposium, which will take place on three consecutive Thursday afternoons at three prominent art institutions in the Trigon region, academics, curators, and critics will discuss and investigate the exhibition “trigon 67,” highlighting its repercussions on contemporary art in Austria, Italy, and ex-Yugoslavia. In addition, the current exhibition “trigon 67/17 – ambiente nuovo / post environment” at the Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, will be another main focal point.
The symposium will start at Museum for Contemporary Art, MSU Zagreb, home to many artworks by artists presented in “trigon 67.” Running parallel to the symposium, the exhibition „Rebel with a Vision,“ featuring Vjenceslav Richter, who was also a part of “trigon 67,” will be on display at the museum. In “trigon 67” Richter presented a large-scale, outdoor installation.
In his opening presentation, Jürgen Dehm, the curator at Künstlerhaus Graz, will discuss the similarities and differences, developments, and shifts between "trigon 67" and "trigon 67/17" in relation to its thematic foundation: the conception of space in contemporary art. How is the concept of space conceived today? Fifty years later? What changes have occurred in respect to the initial aim of the tri-nation biennale trigon?
In collaboration, independent curator and director of Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art Branka Benčić and art historian and curator Tihana Puc will present Proposition for a Map of "trigon," providing an overview of the fragmentary map of exhibitions, artists, and artistic occurrences in the Trigon region in the 1960s and 1970s. By connecting and visualizing information from over 800 artists and artistic groups, they will present the possibilities for a 'distance reading' of trigon, discerning the often invisible and unregistered links between artists, as well as a basis for their further analysis ‘beyond trigon’.
Vesna Meštrić, a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, will discuss the work of Vjenceslav Richter, an architect, sculptor, painter, print artist, designer, and set designer, who took part in trigon a total three times. Meštrić presentation will focus on Richter's appearances in trigon and their meaning in an international context.
The talk brings together several curatorial positions that address different aspects of trigon and how they relate to artistic, curatorial, and institutional practices today. Jürgen Dehm will discuss aspects in sculpture, installation, and environment in the exhibition context of "trigon 67/17," Branka Benčić will address her research on early video practices in the region in relation to "trigon 73 – Audiovisuelle Botschaften," "trigon 75," and "Motovun video meeting 1976," while Iva Rada Janković and Jasna Jakšić will discuss their research on trigon in the 1970s in relation to recent artistic production in Austria.