The Seed Eaters

Visual arts / Exhibition / Participation / Performance

Where are we now? Visual artist Emily Mast joins residents from Graz to stage a performance in a setting that is both an exhibition and a stage for Kunstverein visitors.

The Seed Eaters (Foto: Mackenzie Hoffman, „Everything Nothing Something Always (Walla!)”, 2009)


Identity/identities. More than the sum of your parts

Thirty-five mini scenes, eighteen sculptural sets, three new performers each night, and continually shifting roles – “The Seed Eaters” is a commissioned work developed by US artist Emily Mast for the Grazer Kunstverein. It is presented as a deconstructed play, where language, objects, and participants’ personalities have equal value. Under the new Director Kate Strain, the theme of this exhibition year is the necessity of art and its inherent magic. Emily Mast is particularly interested in the experience of endings, empathy and the abolition of hierarchies in this context.

On the first five days of the exhibition, players will activate the collection of sets to perform the entire work, developed by the artist in collaboration with playwright Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. Throughout the five evening performances, “The Seed Eaters” presents five unique readings to the varied rhythms of percussionist Manuel Alcaraz Clemente. The players, all residents of Graz, have been chosen for their differences and how little they seem to have in common.

For the remaining duration of the exhibition, the Kunstverein audience is invited to move around the set at their own pace, guided by prompts to embody the play themselves. Here the visitors’ own empathic capacity is what fills the installation with life and turns the space into a stage.

Co-produced by steirischer herbst, Grazer Kunstverein