10 days / 100 events / every day 2 pm to 2 am
Talks, discussions, films, readings, lectures, performances, concerts, parties
WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do. This question is deliberately asked without a question mark, and, as such, no singular answer should be expected. Rather, it leaves room for a wide range of statements, explanations, and interpretations. The ten-day festival at the Kunsthalle Wien focuses on the central issues of our society, and draws on Thomas Bernhard’s tradition of critical, and sometimes unsettling thinking. The festival transposes his thinking to the present, spreading it through a variety of disciplines so as to work towards a productive analysis of the present. WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do features contributions from practitioners in the visual arts, music, literature, art theory, sociology, philosophy, and economics; presents, films, performances, and concerts. Every day from two in the afternoon until two o’clock in the morning, a marathon – one without a pre-determined finish line – unfolds. This is framed around a set by American artist Barbara Kruger; an installation by Austrian artist Heinrich Dunst; and the sound piece TONSPUR 53 – related to and inspired by both John Cage and Thomas Bernhard’s novel Concrete – by Austrian artist Robert Schwarz. Every day, there will be six to twelve acts of different tempos and tonalities. While these are autonomous, they also form part of a unified overall program, unfolding over the course of the ten-day run of WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do. Both the performers – who come together in choreographed sequences and various formats – as well as the audience members, are productively involved in the action. Together, they will open room for interpretation along the fault lines of society. Performances will replace lectures and discussion rounds will be replaced by readings, concerts, talks, and sets by famous DJs.
Participants include: Saâdane Afif, artist (Berlin); Joonas Ahonen, pianist (Vienna); Danai Anesiadou, artist (Brussels); Barnabás Bencsik, curator (Budapest); Clemens Berger, writer (Vienna); Daniel Buchholz, gallerist (Cologne/Berlin); Roger Bundschuh, architect (Berlin); Stefanie Carp, dramaturge Wiener Festwochen (Vienna); Alessio delli Castelli, artist (Berlin); Zita Cobb, Shorefast Foundation (Ottawa); Beatriz Colomina, architecture historian (Princeton); Curt Cuisine, music critic (Vienna); Michael Dallinger, cellist (Vienna); George van Dam, composer and musician (Brussels); Clémentine Deliss, director Weltkulturen Museum (Frankfurt a. M.); Ann Demeester, director De Appel (Amsterdam); Julius Deutschbauer, artist (Vienna); Sepp Dreissinger, photographer (Vienna); Heinrich Dunst, artist (Vienna); Yilmaz Dziewior, director Kunsthaus Bregenz (Bregenz); Tav Falco, musician (Vienna); Harun Farocki, filmmaker (Berlin); Thomas Feuerstein, artist (Vienna); Bernhard Fetz, director Literary Archives of the National Library (Vienna); Krista Fleischmann, journalist (Straß); Gunnar Fras, timpanist (Vienna); Maria Fusco, artist (London); Isa Genzken, artist (Berlin); Liam Gillick, artist (New York); Stefan Gmünder, journalist (Vienna); Piero Golia, artist (Los Angeles); David Gross, composer (New York); Krist Gruijthuijsen, director Grazer Kunstverein (Graz); Francesca Habsburg, chairman TBA21 (Vienna); Byung-Chul Han, philosopher (Berlin); Gert Hecher, pianist (Vienna); Helene Hegemann, writer (Berlin); Jan Hoet, curator (Ghent); Lisa Hofer, actress (Vienna); Karl Holmqvist, artist (Berlin); Alfred Höller, taxidermist (Pinsdorf); Carsten Höller, artist (Stockholm); Katja Huber, journalist (Munich); Martin Huber, archive of Thomas Bernhard (Gmunden); Tim Jackson, economist (Surrey); Marien Jongewaard, actor (Amsterdam); Schorsch Kamerun, singer (Hamburg); Dorottya Karsay, activist (Budapest); Sung Hwan Kim, artist (New York); Alexander Kluge, filmmaker (Munich); Kasper König, curator (Cologne); Martin Kratochwil, musician (Vienna); Barbara Kruger, artist (Los Angeles); Herbert Lachmayer, philosopher (Vienna); Erik Leidal, singer (Vienna); Erik van Lieshout, artist (Rotterdam); Geert Lovink, media theorist (Amsterdam); Marko Lulic, artist (Vienna); Martin Markeli, artist (Vienna); Barbara Marković, writer (Vienna); Tom McCarthy, writer (London); Thomas Meinecke, writer (Munich); Robert Menasse, writer (Vienna); Michele di Menna, artist (Berlin); Mián Mián, writer (Shanghai); Thomas Mießgang, journalist (Vienna); Manfred Mittermayer, literary scientist (Salzburg); Matthias Mühling, curator Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich); Rainer Münz, Erste Group (Vienna); Didi Neidhart, music critic (Vienna); Gerald Nestler, artist (Vienna); Merab Ninidze, actor (Berlin/Vienna); Markus Oberndorfer, artist (Vienna); Marcel Odenbach, artist (Cologne); Boris Ondreička, artist and curator (Bratislava); Wolfgang Pauser, philosopher (Vienna); Robert Pfaller, philosopher (Vienna); Patrick Pulsinger, producer and DJ (Vienna); Doron Rabinovici, writer and historian (Vienna); Juliane Rebentisch, philosopher (Offenbach a. M.); Simon Rees, curator (Vienna); Gerwald Rockenschaub, artist (Berlin/Vienna); Willem de Rooij, artist (Berlin); Station Rose, artist (Vienna); Elisabeth von Samsonow, philosopher and artist (Vienna); Sepp Schellhorn, gourmet chef (Goldegg); Markus Schinwald, artist (Vienna); Urs Schnell, filmmaker (Bern); Katharina Schrade, singer (Berlin); Robert Schwarz, sound artist (Vienna); Yohanna Schwertfeger, actress Burgtheater (Vienna); Tomáš Sedláček, economist (Prague); Ulrich Seidl, filmmaker (Vienna); Peter Sloterdijk, philosopher (Karlsruhe); Biljana Srbljanović, writer (Paris); Gerald Straub, artist and curator (Vienna); Thomas Trenkler, journalist (Vienna); Thomas D. Trummer, director Kunsthalle Mainz (Mainz); Vitus Weh, quartier21 (Vienna); Peter Weibel, artist, curator and director of ZKM (Karlsruhe); Robert Wilhite, artist (USA); Frederick Wiseman, filmmaker (New York); Erwin Wurm, artist (Vienna), Jean Philipp Oliver Viol, composer (Vienna); Erich Zawinul, producer (Vienna).
Concept: Nicolaus Schafhausen
Dramaturgy: Vanessa Joan Müller
Curators: Cathérine Hug, Lucas Gehrmann and Nicolaus Schafhausen
Curatorial Assistents: Andrea Hubin, Gareth Long and Vivien Trommer
External Partners: Wiener Festwochen, Thomas Bernhard Archive (Gmunden) and Private Foundation (Vienna), British Council Austria (Vienna), Embassy of the United States of America (Vienna), Czech Centrum (Vienna), Ministry of Life (Vienna).
Joint evening programme with Wiener Festwochen, daily 10 p.m. to midnight