Riccardo Giacconi | Options | Kunstverein Graz 2019 © Clara Wildberger

Riccardo Giacconi
05.11.2021 – 15.01.2022

OPENING: 04.11.2021 | 17.30
The openings will take place in the context of the Premierentage 2021.

As a research-based body of work, 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’.



Co-commissioned and co-produced by steirischer herbst ’19 and Grazer Kunstverein.

Supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities in the context of the Italian Council 2019 Program.

Special Thanks to Stadtarchiv Innsbruck and Tiroler Landesarchiv.