Exhibition View "Options" by Riccardo Giacconi 
(c) Fotostudio.West 

Exhibition View "Options" by Riccardo Giacconi 

(c) Fotostudio.West 



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. The beginning is marked by two exhibitions: OPTIONS (Riccardo Giacconi, Kunstpavillon) and ARCHIVES OF RESISTANCE AND REPAIR (Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan & Onyeka Igwe, Neue Galerie Innsbruck). The artistic works in both exhibitions question prevalent knowledge regimes and recount stories that are hardly considered in the powerful canons of history-making: While Riccardo Giaccconi develops references between the South Tyrolean resettlement implemented by Mussolini and Hitler and the current political climate in Europe; Shiraz Bayjoo, Maeve Brennan & Onyeka Igwe look for possible ways of re-evaluating historical materials from a decolonial, anti-imperialist perspective.


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.


OPTIONS is an exhibition by Riccardo Giacconi originally conceived for steirischer herbst ’19 — Grand Hotel Abyss and Grazer Kunstverein’s Autumn Season.

Developed in collaboration with: Carteles La Linterna (Cali, Colombia), Franco Citterio (Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & Figli), Herlyng Ferla, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Giulia Marzin, Katja Renzler, Ronja Mussbacher, Stadtarchiv/Stadtmuseum Innsbruck, Tiroler Landes- museum, Carolina Valencia Caicedo.

Acknowledgements: Christoph Ampferer, Meinrad Berger, Erica Boito, Nicolò Degiorgis, Riccardo Dello Sbarba, Hannes Egger, Maurizio Ferrandi, Georg Grote, Franz Haller, Hans Heiss, Eva Klotz, Albert Mayr, Lisa Mazza, Giorgio Mezzalira, Georg Mischì, Renate Mumelter, Lukas Morscher, Hannes Obermair, Günther Pallaver, Eva Pfanzelter, Verena Rastner (ar/ge kunst), Iaco Rigo, Carlo Romeo, Andrei Siclodi, Hilary Solly, Michael Stefaner, Leopold Steurer, Ina Tartler (Vereinigte Bühnen Bozen), Martha Verdorfer.

Rennweg 8a
Rennweg 1
6020 Innsbruck
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Riccardo Giacconi