Isa Rosenberger, of: Enns sugar factory, actress: E.Herber, photo: M.Mistelbacher, 2021





Industrial Heritage and Colonialism

Opening: Friday, October 8, 2021, 14:00 until 20:00
Exhibition duration: 9.10.–23.12.2021 + 7.1.–29.1.2022

Participating artists:
Luz Blanco • Alessandra dos Santos • Samuel FerrettoFokus Grupa • Ferenc Gróf • Elisabeth Gschiel • Kyo Kim Zdena Kolečková • Pia Lanzinger • Ilona Németh • Resa Pernthaller Anna Ponchon • Isa Rosenberger • Sandro Sulaberidze

Curatorial Statement
Photos from the opening on 8 october 2021
Pictures from the exhibition
Video walk through the exhibition


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The history of sugar begins with cane sugar. Sugar cane has been cultivated for thousands of years. The sweetener appeared in Europe at the time of the Crusades. Around 200 years ago, sugar beet grown in Europe became a serious competitor to imported sugar cane. From then on, the European sugar industry, as well as sugar consumption, experienced a tremendous boom. Today, internationally operating sugar companies dominate the market, and numerous local sugar factories have been closed down.

With their works, the artists in the exhibition SUGAR reflect on the chequered history of sugar production, which comes along with various forms of colonialism.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Exhibition: 9.10–23.12.2021 + 7.1-29.1.2021
Opening hours: MO – FR 10:00 – 18:00, SA 12:00 – 16:00
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Dialogic tours through the exhibition for school classes and other groups by prior appointment:, +43 316 688306

Free entry!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Accompanying Events

Friday, 8.10.2021, 14:00 – 20:00
Opening of the exhibition
Location: < rotor >, Volksgartenstraße 6a, 8020 Graz

Saturday, 9.10.2021, 11:00
Book presentation “Eastern Sugar” with: Edit András, Maja & Reuben Fowkes, Ferenc Gróf, Ilona Németh, Olja Triaška Stefanovic >>
Moderation: Walter Seidl
Location: GrazMuseum, Sackstraße 18, 8010 Graz

Sunday, 10.10.2021, 9:00 – 20:00
Excursion to the Kunsthalle Bratislava, visiting the exhibition “Potential Agrarianisms. Will There Still Be Sugar after the Rebellion?”
Info and registration:, +43 316 688306

Wednesday, 24.11.2021, 19:00
Artist talk with Elisabeth Gschiel and Resa Pernthaller >>
Takes place online.

Tuesday, 7.12.2021, 19:00
Artist talk with Fokus Grupa and Ferenc Gróf >>
Takes place online.

Wednesday, 26.1.2021, 19:00
Lecture by Susanna Steiger-Moser "Sweet Interactions: Work - Society - Health" and artist talk with Isa Rosenberger >>
Findet online statt.

Further programme items will follow

All activities take place in accordance with the current Covid-19 regulations.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This exhibition is part of:

an international, interdisciplinary visual arts project with a particular focus on artistic research. Using the case of the sugar industry in Central Europe, the project reflects recent aspects of European history.

With the sugar industry in Slovakia as a starting point, case study and metaphor, EASTERN SUGAR provides an opportunity for discussion and critical reflection on the impact of the economies of socialism and neoliberalism in the countries of Central Europe and beyond. The inspiration for this project can be found in the work of the artist Ilone Németh, who lives near Bratislava. She has been observing the developments in the Slovakian sugar industry and specially the decline of the Dunajská Streda factory in her works. This artistic research has now been expanded on an international level.

After the project officially started in Budapest in November 2019, a lot of research, travel and preparation work took place. During the project period artist resindencies. exhibitions and discursive events happended in Bourges, Bratislava, Budapest, Fresing, Graz and Prague - with the aim of presenting the economic, political, historical, neo-colonial and cultural contexts of the product sugar from the perspective of visual artists.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
a project co-funded by the programme Creative Europe of the European Union and implemented by the Slovak National Gallery in cooperation with partners:
< rotor > centre for contemporary art (AT),
Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA (CZ),
Schafhof – European Center for Art Upper Bavaria (DE),
La Box gallery of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art (FR),
T-TUDOK Inc., Centre for Knowledge Management and
Educational Research (HU),
and associated partners – Kunsthalle Bratislava (SK),
Muzeum Sztuki Lódž (PL).

Co-funded by:

Project funding for Ilona Németh's contribution to the exhibition: