Petra Pölzl (Austria) is a cultural manager, Ph.D. candidate, freelance curator, dramaturge and researcher, who works in Austria, Germany and China. She currently lives between Vienna and Berlin.
In the last several years, she has been working in the field of visual, performing and performance art in Austria, Germany and China. She has worked as a director’s assistant at Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin (Gesine Danckwart’s Ping Tan Tales, 2008), as an exhibition assistant for Wiener Festwochen at the Secession (Unrest of Form. Imagining the Political Subject, 2013), as well as in the curatorial team of the German Pavilion at the EXPO2010 in Shanghai. Since 2011 Petra has been engaged with steirischer herbst (Festival for New Art), which takes place in Graz (Austria) annually, since the late 1960s. Starting as a production manager, she is currently working as a dramaturge in the festival programming team. Since 2015 she is a guest lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin and at the Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna.
Petra attended Chinese Studies, the Chinese language and Theatre Studies in Vienna, Beijing and Berlin and holds a Master's degree from the Free University of Berlin. She is registered as a doctoral candidate at the Department of East Asian Art History at the Freie Universität of Berlin. Her research centers on artistic strategies of re-participation and re-appearance, as applied within performative art practices in post-shock-art boom in China. In the course of her research she has been invited to talks and lectures at gallery spaces, including: MAXXI Museum (Rome), SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin) and Kunstraum Niederoesterreich (Vienna). Petra wrote several papers and texts on Chinese contemporary Art. Her text on performative strategies in Xu Zhen’s work was published in the catalogue of the exhibition Corporate. Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company) at Kunsthaus Graz.
Petra has been awarded with a variety of grants. Just recently she received a research grant from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation to undertake research on the Chengdu performance art scene during the late 1990s in cooperation with the Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong).