H13 2020: Julischka Stengele: BALLAST | EXISTENZ


Performance and award ceremony: THU, 03 09 2020
Entry: 7:00 pm, start performance: 7:30 pm


Welcome: Katharina Brandl, Artistic Director Kunstraum Niederoesterreich
Award ceremony: Landeshauptfrau Johanna Mikl-Leitner


Hosted by: Alexandra Augustin (FM4 / Ö1)
DJ Susie Flowers

Exhibition: FRI, 04 09 – SAT 12 09 2020 (with works by Julischka Stengele and Magdalena Fischer)
Artist Talk: SAT, 12 09 2020, 01:00 pm


The artist Julischka Stengele is the winner of the H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance 2020. The jury, consisting of Katharina Brandl, Astrid Peterle, Stefanie Sourial und Luisa Ziaja, chose Stengele’s project BALLAST | EXISTENZ out of more than 80 submissions. The performance and the award ceremony will take place at the Kunstraum Niederoesterreich on Thursday, 03 09 2020 at 7:00 pm.


Due to the current Covid-19 situation and increased security measures  we kindly ask you to register HERE

ATTENTION: The available places are already taken, no more registrations are possible!


Stengele describes herself as „unapologetically fat, queer and femme/inist“. The same can be said about her work. She uses her body as material, content, stage and piece of art. In her awarded project BALLAST | EXISTENZ the artist adresses the representation of certain social groups who are often framed as being a burden for both economy and society - especially since the Covid-19 crisis. Stengele focuses on the ongoing devaluation of those bodies who are not willing or unable to adjust to the overwhelming demands of capitalism today. She draws parallels between contemporary debates about productivity and worthiness and fascistic ideologies of the “healthy” productive body. She investigates how these ideological factors can play an important part in current discussions about the Covid-19 pandemic and so-called “high-risk groups”. Because in the end, it all comes back to one question: Who is dispensable?


In 2020, the H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance will be awarded for the 14th time by Kunstraum Niederoesterreich. The aim is to foster and showcase performative works and make them accessible to an interested audience. This year, the H13 prize money was raised to 5000 EUR. It is the only Austrian award for performance art as a medium of fine arts.


Jury Statement

“Julischka Stengele’s project BALLAST | EXISTENZ addresses the ambiguity of the term “performance”: performance as a guiding economic concept in society and performance as a medium in art. Who has to, who is allowed to, who can deliver performance, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic? In her performance, which will be presented at Kunstraum Niederoesterreich on September 3, 2020, the artist gets to the heart of highly topical questions concerning how we live together: Which bodies – especially these days – are considered a burden? How can solidarity, how can relationality between bodies be conceived when physical distancing seems to be the order of the day? Julischka Stengele’s art is characterised – as she says herself – by an unequivocal advocacy of a queer, feminist, and body positive practice. This year the H13 Lower Austria Prize for Performance goes to an artist who stands out as a loud proponent of diversity in contemporary art and has enriched the Viennese art scene, uncompromisingly and tenaciously, with her performances and curatorial projects.”


The Artist

Julischka Stengele lives in Vienna and works internationally as artist, performer, writer, lecturer and curator. She studied Design, Photography, Fine Arts, Performance and Queer/Gender Studies in Berlin, Helsinki and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Stengele describes her art as socially committing. Her work deals with the consequences of power mechanisms and stigmatization as well as with the possibility of emancipation through art. She works in various artistic media, nevertheless, her trenchant performative pieces are what the artist is known for. Furthermore, she also published the periodic column leib&leben in Austria’s feminist magazine an.schläge. Her works have been shown in more than 20 countries around the world and received numerous awards. In September 2019 Stengele directed the queer performance festival Femmes Against Fascism that took place at the Otto-Wagner-Spital in Vienna.



Kunstraum Niederoesterreich is barrier free. The side entrance (on the left side in front of the courtyard) and the complete exhibition area are fully accessible on the ground level and suitable for visitors in wheelchairs. There is a public toilet for the disabled with barrier-free access and another gender-neutral WC are available.

The moderation will be held in German and interpreted in ÖGS. Handouts with information about the exhibition are available on site in black writing (German / English). Most of the works in the exhibition can be experienced visually, some also auditory and tactile. There are mainly standing rooms, but there are also sitting and lying areas. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served.

Therapy dogs can be brought into the exhibitions. The event is suitable for children. The event is accessible free of charge, registration for the award ceremony is required. The performance takes place in the courtyard, the exhibition indoor. Attention is paid to Covid19 safety and hygiene measures.




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