Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak

Situation Report (2021)
Video series

Each week of the festival program is accompanied by uniquely performative video reports from the streets and environs of Graz. They are not “coverage” in the traditional sense, but rather artistic and intellectual projects, complementing the festival’s other situations.

During the fourth week of the festival, artist duo Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak take their collaborative performance practice to Graz’s public spaces. Utilizing traditional Slavic and Filipino mythologies, they build narratives in which folk beliefs clash with current sociopolitical debates (especially minority politics). Interested in the strange, mysterious, and unsettling aspects of modern life, they often take up taboo subjects and probe different models of masculinities. The duo also play with the intelligibility and comprehensibility of their narratives by using different languages. Their performances are always situated in a particular time and space and on this occasion respond to local contexts in Graz. One of these will be EuroSkills 2021: European Championship for Young Professionals—an event and a contest for what some consider to be systemically relevant occupations.

Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak have collaborated on numerous performances, drawing upon their different personal histories and cultural experiences. Their multi-perspective dialogues aim to renegotiate and add to existing queer, POC, and immigrant narratives.

Nicholas Grafia (1990, Angeles City, Philippines) is an artist whose work combines performance, painting, and time-based media installations in order to discuss the creation of psychological, cultural, and political memory, as well as processes of social othering, exclusion, and inclusion. He lives in Düsseldorf.

Mikołaj Sobczak (1989, Poznań, Poland) is an artist working with video, paintings, and ceramics, often including performative actions as well. He frequently collaborates with artist Nicholas Grafia. In his work, Sobczak focuses on political issues and historical policy, emphasizing the perspective and life of marginalized subjects. He lives in Warsaw and Amsterdam.


In the streets of Graz and online

In German, English, and other languages

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ʼ21

With the kind support of Polish Institute Vienna