Isabel Lewis (DE/US/DO)

An Occasion

Performance / Music / Installation / Participation

Artist Isabel Lewis invites visitors to a sensory salon. A special meeting of things, people, plants and thoughts, music, dance and aroma.

An Occassion (Foto: Joanna Seitz)


Festival centre at Palais Attems

Social Muscle Club

Where Are We Now?

Austrian premiere


Sat 23/09, 16.00 – 21.00

Festival centre

Admission free

Isabel Lewis studied choreography, dance and literary criticism. For her signature “Occasions” she has devised a technique with which she can be performer and dancer, DJ and speaker in one. In this way, she creates situations that both relax and, at the same time, tax the full range of human senses. The inner courtyard of Palais Attems thus becomes a garden of the senses in which everything is possible: philosophical musings, social get-togethers and even romantic encounters. A place where body and mind come together.

The Berlin-based Dominican-American artist installs her unconventional philosophical salon, primarily in the context of the visual arts – at the Frieze Art Fair and at Kunsthalle Basel and most recently the Tate Modern – and is now set to launch the steirischer herbst festival centre. Inspired by ancient Greek symposia, those revelries accompanied by intellectual debates described by many authors including Plato, she always adapts the dramaturgy of her “Occasions” to suit the particular comings and goings, guests and their energy.

By and with Isabel Lewis

Isabel Lewis (DE/US/DO)

Isabel Lewis, born in Santo Domingo/Dominican Republic in 1981, works as an interdisciplinary performance artist and cultural theorist. Lewis, who grew up in Florida, studied dance and choreography and literary studies at the Hollins University in Virginia. After graduating, she founded the New York-based performance collective Labor Union in 2004 together with Erika Hand and also began devising and staging her own pieces – including at the ImPulsTanz festival, the Frieze Art Fair London, and HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin. The all-round talent, who has been based in Berlin since 2009, has also worked as editor for the Movement Research Performance Journal and was curator at New York’s Dixon Place from 2005 to 2008.