La Strada 2023 / various locations, Graz, Steiermark

'Wo geht’s hier bitte endlich zum Paradies? Die Installation von veroniKATZEkova zeigt, wo es nicht langgeht. © Veronika Tzekova
'Wo geht’s hier bitte endlich zum Paradies? Die Installation von veroniKATZEkova zeigt, wo es nicht langgeht. © Veronika Tzekova

28.7. – 5.8.2023


The street arts festival La Strada is looking for paradise

Paradise is just around the corner: the street art festival La Strada discovers the better life in the small encounters of everyday life.

Werner Schrempf, director of the street art festival La Strada: “Every culture has its paradise, its heaven, its place of longing, its Garden of Eden.” Where exactly paradise is, whether it can still be discovered or whether it is – perhaps still unrecognized – around the corner, remains open. “The approaches of local and international artists are in any case fun, creative and give hope,” says Schrempf.

In any case, the entrance to the paradise of La Strada can be found on the main square in Graz and begins with a joint festival of the artists and the audience. The acrobats of the Australian company Gravity & Other Myths playfully conquer the city, divert the viewer’s gaze, and allow them to rediscover the urban space. Featuring two performers, a violinist and a seemingly endless array of costumes, “Pan/Catwalk” by Dutch artist collective Zwermers pays homage to the colorful and eclectic human nature. Together they transform the main square in Graz into the “Entrada al paradís”.

The French company Ex Nihilo focuses on everyday challenges in our urban spaces: Amidst old car tires, ropes and cheap plastic chairs, the dancers create their very own world in the performance “In-Paradise” in interaction with the urban architecture. A temporary “paradise” created through the search for balance and breaking out of everyday life. The nomadic use of the places is a fleeting and gentle borrowing that never excludes others.

The collective Navaridas ° Deutinger ° Wolf takes the audience to a very concrete and obvious paradise – in a piece of forest in Kalkleiten – and opens their eyes to what is so easy to overlook because it was always there. The choreographers Martha Navaridas and Alex Deutinger have teamed up with the visual artist Bernhard Wolf to get out of everyday life together with a group of people – night after night. “Bed & Breakfast in the Forest” is the prelude to a series of artistic works in rural Styrian regions that deal with questions and challenges in times of change.

But what happens when our world, our little paradise, goes under? “Dimanche”, a play by the Focus & Chaliwatéder troupe, paints a witty and tender portrait of humanity surprised by the uncontrollable forces of nature: a small family tries to maintain a sense of normality despite the chaos on a Sunday together, while outside three traveling reporters do their best to document the ecological apocalypse.

When one door closes, another one opens, they say. In “Exit” by Belgian choreographer Piet van Dycke, four acrobats move in a combination of dance, slapstick and balancing art with seemingly effortless ease in an installation of rotating walls and swinging doors. The performance tells of playing with power and the realization that every exit is also an entrance.LA STRADA
Various locations, Graz / Steiermark
28.07. – 05.08.2023