Hall of Half-Life

Visual arts

We are surrounded by testimonies of the past. Against the foil of these legacies, the herbst exhibition drafts an archaeology of the future.


Bright Sign

Wolken lösen sich in Wasser

Saint Jude’s Leftovers (Your Thoughts in Lights)


Future Perfect

herbst Academy


herbst exhibition


27/09 – 11/01/2016

Festival centre


27/09 – 18/10

Wed – Mon 10.00 – 21.00

5 €, Sundays admission free


22/10 – 11/01/2016

Wed – Mon 10.00 – 17.00

5 €


Opening Sat 26/09, 13.30


With Lara Almarcegui (NL/ES), Stéphane Béna Hanly (IE), Simon Boudvin (FR), Regina de Miguel (ES), Mikala Dwyer (AU), Geoffrey Farmer (CA), Harun Farocki (DE), Peter Galison (US) & Robb Moss (US), Mikhail Karikis (GB/GR), Sam Keogh (IE), Jean-Luc Moulène (FR), Lonnie van Brummelen (NL) & Siebren de Haan (NL)

Curated by Tessa Giblin (IE/NZ)

Buried deep in the ground, nuclear waste will remain radioactive for thousands of years to come. Will future generations recognise today’s nuclear waste disposal sites for what they are? What materials and messages could survive even if exposed to changing times and the evolution of life? Today testimonies of the past often pose conundrums, with natural and man-made objects accruing meaning which is both evidenced and imagined, that reflects the changing knowledge and ideologies of human populations.

“Hall of Half-Life” confronts us with an evolution of forms, meaning and language, presenting artworks in the maelstrom of a changing current of planetary and geological impact, whose force can only be imagined in the nascent Anthropocene age. The majority of the works on show were specially commissioned, with the artists digging for the bones of the past, envisioning the erstwhile coral reefs on which modern-day Graz stands, listening to the stories linked to supposedly banal everyday objects, or inspecting ancient relics and even bog bodies. “Hall of Half-Life” explores the terrain of those marks, carriers of meaning, monuments, ruins and wastelands that can be seen as inscriptions of the modern age.

Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Project supporter Culture Ireland & mondriaan fund

Tessa Giblin (IE/NZ)

Tessa Giblin was born in 1978 and is a New Zealand curator living and working in Dublin. Having graduated in fine art from the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts in Christchurch in 2001, from 2002 to 2004 she worked as the director of the urban installation project “Gridlocked”. Giblin curated her first exhibition in 2003 at the Jonathan Smart Gallery in Christchurch before working on the curatorial programme at the De Appel Arts Centre in Amsterdam from 2004 to 2005. Tessa Giblin has been curator of visual art at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin since 2006. She is currently in the middle of planning the group exhibition “Riddle of the Burial Ground” as well as solo exhibitions by David Claerbout and Gretchen Bender.