My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool;
it gives me all the world and exiles me from it. Ursula K. Le Guin 

The program of Kunstpavillon and Neue Galerie Innsbruck 2021/22 is entitled Dancing at the Edge of the World, alluding to the eponymous essay collection by Ursula K. Le Guin. In this, the science-fiction author outlines alternative social and societal realms of possibility that are not anchored in a colonial, patriarchal, and xenophobic narrative structure.

In a present shaped by a pandemic, virulent socio-political issues and the big question of how we live together seem to have fallen by the wayside. The nation state assumes the role of a crisis manager, while visions of a backward-looking future solidify and historical amnesia sweeps across broad sections of society. But surely, isn’t this very moment one with the inherent potential to accentuate speculative utopias and counter-narratives, to renegotiate ways of living together and empathy in a local and global context? And to look for ways to integrate diversity on our planet into everyday considerations? How can our relationship with the environment be shaped responsibly? What ways of living together have proved/or could prove to be beneficial? And how can a conscious approach towards the past and its vivid heritage succeed?

The beginning was marked by two exhibitions: OPTIONS (Riccardo Giacconi, Kunstpavillon) and ARCHIVES OF RESISTANCE AND REPAIR (Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan & Onyeka Igwe, Neue Galerie Innsbruck), curated by Lexington Davis und Julia DeFabo. The artistic works in both exhibitions questioned prevalent knowledge regimes and recount stories that are hardly considered in the powerful canons of history-making: While Riccardo Giaccconi developed references between the South Tyrolean resettlement implemented by Mussolini and Hitler and the current political climate in Europe; Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan & Onyeka Igwe looked for possible ways of re-evaluating historical materials from a decolonial, anti-imperialist perspective. The exhibition THE DUST by Tianzhuo Chen was on display in the Kunstpavillon during summer 2022. The program cycle ends with the exhibition BODIES OF WATER features works by Hannelore Nenning, Enar de Dios Rodríguez, and Elsa Salonen as well as a performance by Ursula Beiler.

In 2022 there was also a collaboration with Innsbruck International: Biennial of the Arts.

Dancing at the Edge of the World formed the first program cycle under the artistic direction of Petra Poelzl.


OPEN CALL JURY 2021/22 | 319 Applications
Margarethe Drexel (artist, Innsbruck/Los Angeles)
Luigi Fassi (artistic director, MAN Contemporary Art Museum/Italy)
Petra Poelzl (artistic & managing director Kunstpavillon & Neue Galerie Innsbruck)


Graphic design: © Annja Krautgasser

Riccardo Giacconi
05.11.2021 – 15.01.2022

with Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan & Onyeka Igwe
curated by Lexington Davis & Julia DeFabo
Neue Galerie Innsbruck
05.11.2021 – 15.01.2022