The School of the We

An Art and Cultural Project on Conviviality
in the Neighbourhood of the Annenviertel in Graz and Beyond

From April 2021 in the frame of the Graz Cultural Year 2020

How is a sense of unity—”we”—actually created? What relationships and networks are behind this in a neighbourhood? What promotes conviviality, living together based on relationships and cooperation?

The art and cultural project The School of the We takes place at five locations across the Annenviertel area and in the premises of the art centre < rotor >. Outdoors, artists will create “islands of conviviality” at each of the locations. These are offered for use to all Grazers and guests of the city. As seating furniture, a place to lie down, for picnics, to meet friends, as a playscape. Places to stay, to come together, to linger, but also for reflection, inspiration or simply relaxation will emerge—and, as soon as it will be possible again, places for organised events!

Design by studio ASYNCHROM for the project “wir senden weiter…” at Metahofspitz

The School of the We is inspired by a number of thinkers and practitioners. At this point, Berlin-based Mathias Heyden should be mentioned in particular, who introduced the phrase ‘School’ of We in a text on urban commoning. Thinking about commons and communities in the city beyond all logic of market and state then also leads further to comunalidad. This is a term coined collectively by indigenous intellectuals from Mexico that combines both the commons and the community. Now it is no coincidence that another crucial concept also has its origins in Mexico, the conviviality already mentioned. After all, various forward-looking forms of coexistence have been developed in the Latin American country that radiate throughout the world.

Exercise during a round table on project preparation (Photo: Karin Lernbeiß)

In the premises of < rotor > in Volksgartenstraße, spaces designed by artists will be on display—or rather, experienced—as part of The School of the We. This is because there is a special focus on perception through all the senses, some of which have been suppressed in times of pandemic.

The School of the We is conceived as a sphere of learning, unlearning and uplearning. Thinking about and experimenting with solidarity-based forms of living together is intended to broaden the horizons of the imaginable. And this is happening in a time marked by radical change and unpredictability. In view of this, The School of the We refers to models that allow the unforeseeable to emerge as a formative element alongside the unambiguous and defined..

Working on the exhibition design of < rotor > (Collage: Daniela Brasil)

Participating artists:
Nayari Castillo, Aleksandra Czerniawska, Catherine Grau / Zoe Kreye,

Grossi Maglioni, Karin Lernbeiß, minipogon, Nikolay Oleynikov,
Eliana Otta, RESANITA, studio ASYNCHROME
et al.

Project conception:
Daniela Brasil, Alessandra Pomarico, Margarethe Makovec & Anton Lederer
and numerous contributors of brainstorm meetings, round tables and talks in the neighbourhood.

From end of April 2021 at < rotor >, Volksgartenstraße 6a, 8020 Graz
From May 2021 at Marienplatz, Lendplatz, in front of the Orpheum, at Metahofspitz and at Platz der Begegnung—all in the Annenviertel neighbourhood, 8020 Graz.

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Documentation from the project preparation

Thinktank 1, 11.12.2019

Thinktank 2, 15.1.2020

Thinktank 3, 4.3.2020

Thinktank 4, 30.11.2020

Research visit Nikolay Oleynikov, January 2020

Research visit Eliana Otta, January 2020

Research visit minipogon, Jan./Feb. 2020

Research visit Aleksandra Czerniawska, February 2020

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