Carlos Spottorno & Guillermo Abril

Exhibition at the BTV Stadtforum in Innsbruck
18.05.2020 to 14.08.2020

Opening times of the gallery
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Carlos Spottorno
Exhibition at the BTV Stadtforum in Innsbruck
18.05.2020 to 14.08.2020

Opening times of the gallery
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The two Spanish artists Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril have found an original format for their work. They explore the interface between journalism, literature and photographic art. Among others, they publish their work in the Spanish magazine El País Semanal, in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and in belletristic publications throughout Europe. Furthermore, they exhibit in relevant institutions for creative photography.

In 2016, they published a remarkable report on Europe’s external borders as a graphic novel. This picture story combines subjective eye-witness accounts with facts derived from research and an unusual form of illustrative photography, which has made them internationally famous. The book has already been translated into five languages and appeared in German under the title Der Riss (The Crack) .

For INN SITU, the two artists created a report in words and pictures on the border between Austria and Italy, that is, North and South Tyrol – a border which, in the view of these two southern Europeans, is today an example of successful coexistence at the centre of the European Union, even though it originally resulted from the First World War and the region’s conflict-ridden history.

One of the goals of the series at BTV Stadtforum is to invite outside perspectives on the region and, as a result of this “outside” view, to become freshly aware of what has supposedly been seen, judged and internalised a thousand times. It is an offer to hold these subjective observations as a lens over one’s own opinions on the subject, and to make use of possible divergencies as a stimulus for discourse and reflection.


© Carlos Spottorno

The journey


Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril were scarcely familiar with the region prior to being invited to this project. They researched the geographical, historical and political facts in a classic professional journalistic manner. They selected interviewees and sites, visited some of these on several occasions in the course of the last year, and followed not only their meticulous preparation but also their chance encounters in situ. Extensively informed of the facts, they were open to surprises, alternative points of view and moments of insight in their encounters.

It is an inquisitive, personal, informal and unprejudiced approach to the everyday reality of a region by two European citizens from another country. What is exceptional is the variety of their observations through time and place: from the alpine transition between two climate zones at the time of Ötzi, the Tyrloean Iceman, via the Chinese tourist looking at the Dolomites by means of her Instagram account, to the telltale depths of the geological layers that the Brenner Base Tunnel will plough through. This is how they hit on the fault line, which gives the exposition its title and is the geological term for the collision of rock strata which are, in point of fact, directly beneath the border.



Beyond the here and now


Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril present their observations as a graphic novel – a living interaction between picture and text, a medium that moves between the boundaries of documentation and illustration, between the concrete and the exemplary. The gallery thus turns into a walk-in comic.

Picture stories are usually in the form of drawings. Spottorno’s pictures, however, are photographs and thus always depict specific locations and people. At the same time, he modifies the photos in such a way that they look beyond the subject. This creates an aesthetic of simultaneity, which derives its tension from a journalistic and artistic strategy, from the reality of this place and its worldliness.


R.E.T. Brassband


The opening week in April with exhibition opening, concerts and dialogue could not take place due to the corona lockdown. An occasion for us to end this extraordinary INN SITU project with a finissage in the BTV Stadtforum.

R.E.T Brass Band

Two short concerts in response to the exhibition of 30 minutes each.

The artistic director of R.E.T. uses the special acoustics of the foyer and concert hall in the BTV Stadtforum for a special sound experience.

For everyone interested:
Guided tour of the exhibition before the concert with the two Spanish reporters Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril and the artistic director Hans-Joachim Gögl. The tour takes place in English.


music and photography in dialogue

For the INN SITU series, we invite international photographers to the region to develop a new exhibition that reflects their encounters with Tyrol and Vorarlberg twice a year. At the same time, for each exhibition we invite outstanding musicians and composers from Tyrol and Vorarlberg to stage a new concert which resonates with the photographer and his or her work. R.E.T. Brass Band, conducted by Andreas Lackner, will prepare a programme resonating with the graphic novel on the border between North and South Tyrol by Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril. The region has a vibrant brass music tradition of excellent quality in both the north and the south. R.E.T. Brass Band stands among the leading ensembles of this music genre.

This time the concert format in response to the graphic novel over the border between North and South Tyrol was taken over by the R.E.T Brass Band under the direction of Andreas Lackner. The region has a lively brass music tradition of exquisite quality in both the north and south. The R.E.T. Brass Band is one of the leading orchestras in this genre

Due to the corona virus situation, we had to cancel the concerts scheduled for April 1st and 2nd, 2020.

Review of the Finissage

© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher
© I. Ascher

Three formations, three locations

The dramaturgical response to crossing borders in the exhibition by Artistic Director Andreas Lackner is captivating: in the course of the concert, R.E.T. Brass Band moves through three locations in three different formations. The programme starts with a short concert in the square in front of BTV Stadtforum with all members of the roughly thirty-strong band. Later, there is a smaller ensemble in the building’s foyer, and finally a fading-out in the form of a chamber music quintet in Ton Halle.

R.E.T. Brass Band

Founded in January 2014, this Tyrolean band has set out to perform sophisticated brass band literature at the highest level. Already in the first year of its foundation, the ensemble won its first Austrian brass band competition and represented Austria on a European competitive level. Moreover, it is important to R.E.T. Brass Band to promote young professional brass players in Tyrol. To this end, the Alpine Brass Band Academy was founded. Approximately 50 children and young people immerse in the brass band world on the grounds of Stams Abbey every summer. In 2019, the young musicians of R.E.T. Brass Band brought the European Brass Band Championship title from Montreux to Austria.



Due to the corona virus situation, we unfortunately had to cancel the dialogue event that was scheduled for April 3, 2020. However, we do offer a digital guided tours. Originally planned concerts:

A response to the exhibition from various specialist disciplines. A dialogue between philosopher Andreas Oberprantacher, archaeologist and Ötzi expert Andreas Putzer and literary scholar Christine Riccabona. Musical commentary by saxophonist Helga Plankensteiner and pianist Michael Lösch.

New formats of exchange and reflection

The dramaturgical triad of the INN SITU series is rounded off by an accompanying dialogue. Personalities from science, culture and music are invited to provide their responses to the exhibition, and we experiment with new formats of exchange:

The speakers each select a picture from the exhibition and exchange their views about it with each other. Free-flowing dialogue with music, reflecting different points of view, inspired by the exhibition.

This time, an echo from different disciplines was planned for the exhibition. A dialogue between the philosopher Andreas Oberprantacher, the archaeologist and Ötzi expert Andreas Putzer and the literary scholar Christine Riccabona. Musically commented by saxophonist Helga Plankensteiner and pianist Michael Lösch.

Due to the corona virus situation, we unfortunately had to cancel the dialogue event that was scheduled for April 3, 2020.

Dialogue partner

Andras Oberprantachter
© Andras Oberprantachter
Andras Putzer
© Andreas Putzer
Christine Riccabona
© Christin Jenny

Helga Plankensteiner (saxophone) and Michael Lösch (piano)

Both come from South Tyrol and are among the most outstanding jazz musicians of the region. They appear at the most important international festivals in various formations, such as Sextett Plankton, whose adaptation of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise made them internationally famous.

Helga Plankeinsteiner
Michael Loesch