Kate Strain appointed as new artistic director of Grazer Kunstverein


The search for a new artistic director for the Grazer Kunstverein attracted the large amount of 111 applicants from home and abroad. It was a difficult task for the jury to draw a pre-selection from the variety of high-quality applications. Out of the candidates that were interviewed, the new artistic director was selected:

Irish curator, Kate Strain (1983, Dublin) will become the new artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein effective 1 September 2016.

Over the past ten years, Strain has been developing a vibrant practice as an independent curator. Her approach is informed by a commitment to exploring the overlap between performance (the presentation of a scripted scenario) and performativity (the constitution of meaning through acts or practices) in visual arts practice today. She has worked across a range of organisations, from the multi-disciplinary Project Arts Centre, Dublin, to the rural art space Cow House Studios, Wexford, Ireland. Throughout her work with artists she is dedicated to realising projects in ways that reflect and enliven their wider relevance and inherent potency.

Ongoing projects include The Centre For Dying On Stage, a research platform and commissioning body that explores ideas around disappearance and performance; On Curating Histories, a generative research project and lecture series that mines the history of curating; and RGKSKSRG, the paired curatorial practice working alongside Rachael Gilbourne. Recent exhibitions include The Re-appropriation of Sensuality, a solo exhibition by Emma Haugh at NCAD Gallery, Dublin, and the related live production This is Public and Sexy, at studio 468, Dublin; The Man Who Sat On Himself co-curated group exhibition at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino; Clerk of Mind, solo exhibition by Chris Evans, at Project Arts Centre, Dublin; Father Can’t You See I’m Burning? co-curated group exhibition at de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; and Tonight you can call me Trish, group exhibition at The LAB, Dublin.

In 2016, Strain co-founded the first Department of Ultimology, in collaboration with Fiona Hallinan, at Trinity College Dublin. She was a participant of the Young Curators Residency Programme at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2015), and de Appel Curatorial Programme, Amsterdam (2013/14).

Under the direction of Krist Gruijthuijsen, the Grazer Kunstverein has developed into an outstanding institution, where experimental, complex and far-reaching programming has attracted an enormous amount of national and international attention. The jury is convinced that Kate Strain’s in-depth knowledge and overwhelming energy will positively contribute to the institution’s legacy.