In the last eight years, springtime in Krems not only brings blossoming apricot trees, white wine, and the splendour of the world heritage site Wachau but also a showcase of the most innovative art forms of our time, between avant-garde and subculture. Much of what has been presented at donaufestival for the first time has since made its way to numerous institutions and festivals in Austria and beyond – which we are naturally quite proud of, but all the more reason to turn it up a notch. The ninth edition of the festival augments its focus on performative art forms that operate beyond the boundaries of theatre, in realms of visual arts and actionism, between installation and media art, between daring assertions and camouflage – driven by a deep craving for an art that has impact on society and politics. This pursuit is also mirrored in this year’s music programme, which boasts an uncompromising commitment to radical innovation, both in form and in content. We explore reciprocities between experiment and subculture, between sound art and club culture, from the past to the present.
Three theatrical world premieres by Peter Litscher, Saint Genet, and Miasma, which draw their tension from the fluctuation between exhibition, installation, live film, actionism, and theatre are counterparted by a list of highly relevant sociopolitical works by international artists and activists from Middle and South America, including Tania Bruguera, Teresa Margolles, Carlos Amorales, Sin Kabeza Productions, and Fran Ilich. The performance and visual art programme in collaboration with Kunsthalle Krems continues this year with projects by Douglas Gordon and Tino Sehgal.
The musical nexus of the festival hooks up with a number of outstanding reference models like Girls Against Boys (with David Yow!), Robert Hood, Michael Rother, Martin Rev, JG Thirlwell, or :zoviet*france: and weaves its web further in pioneering sound laboratories. Geoff Barrow of Portishead introduces two of his new projects (Beak> and Drokk), the prolific labels PAN and Tri Angle present showcases of their talent, and the retro-futuristic Skweee Club invites you to a synthie showdown. Intriguing experiments by Demdike Stare, Raime, Container, or Pete Swanson are flanked on the one side by a frenzy of techno and underground HipHop (Simian Mobile Disco, Death Grips) and ambient grandmasters William Basinski and Biosphere on the other. And on the opening an artist integrates all the elements that the festival is built upon and weaves all of the content threads together in a performance: Peter Weibel and the ZKM Center for Art and Media with “The Origin of Noise – The Noise of the Origin”.