Riccardo Giacconi, Hannes Obermair & Petra Poelzl in conversation about the South Tyrol Option Agreement and its Aftermath

14.01.2022 | 19.00 CET
FREIfenster | FREIRAD Freies Radio Innsbruck
The talk will be held in English.

The artist talk between the artist Riccardo Giacconi, the historian Hannes Obermair and the curator Petra Poelzl, departs from Giacconi’s research-based exhibition project OPTIONS. The exhibition, originally conceived for steirischer herbst ’19 and Grazer Kunstverein’s Autumn Season currently on view at Kunstpavillon.

OPTIONS takes its cues from the events between 1939 and 1943, when the native German-speaking people of South Tyrol were given the option of either emigrating to neighboring Nazi Austria (and other Third Reich territories) or remaining in Fascist Italy and being forcibly integrated into the mainstream Italian culture, thereby losing their language and cultural heritage. This system, enforced after an agreement between Mussolini and Hitler, was called the “Option Agreement” (“Option” or “Südtiroler Umsiedlung”).

Taking the South Tyrolean territory as a case study, OPTIONS questions ideas of citizenship, borders, identity, language communities, ´Heimat’, nativism, minority, and migration. The project establishes resonances between those ideas and the use of the same ideas in contemporary political discourses in Europe.

RICCARDO GIACCONI has studied fine arts at the IUAV University of Venezia. His work has been exhibited in various institutions, such as Grazer Kunstverein (Graz), ar/ge kunst (Bolzano), MAC (Belfast), WUK Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (Reims), tranzitdisplay (Prague), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin) and the 6. Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. He was artist-in-residence at the Centre international d‘art et du paysage (Vassivière, France), lugar a dudas (Cali, Colombia), MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, La Box (Bourges, France) and Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (Innsbruck, Austria). He presented his films at several festivals, including the New York Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Visions du Réel and FID Marseille, where he won the Grand Prix of the International Competition in 2015. He co-founded the collective listening festival ‘Helicotrema’ and the audio storytelling studio ‘Botafuego’.

HANNES OBERMAIR has a doctorate in history (University of Innsbruck) and is currently a senior researcher at the Eurac (European Academy of Bozen-Bolzano). His main areas of research are medieval studies, the regional history of fascism and nazism, and public history. Among his most recent publications: Zeitgeschichte im Museum. Das 20. und 21. Jahrhundert ausstellen und vermitteln (2021, with H. Bäuerlein et al.), “Großdeutschland ruft!” Südtiroler NS-Optionspropaganda und völkische Sozialisation (2021), and Die Zeit dazwischen. Südtirol 1918-1922: Vom Ende des Weltkrieges bis zum faschistischen Regime (2020, with U. Kindl).