The Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig preferred to leave the mosaic he designed for the underground tramway station Laurenzgasse untitled so that he would not curb or pin down the passengers’ associations.
Zobernig’s Ohne Titel (Untitled) is unusually rich in meanings. The work intertwines things that are usually strictly separated: inside and outside are reverted as are top and bottom; ivy twines of an exterior wall are transferred into a subterranean inside space as an abstracted mosaic picture; a luxuriant biotope is crossed with a matter-offact transport structure; a deep green dissolves as turned into pixels. Thus, a play with illusions of depth, grades of figurative abstraction, and personal interaction unfolds in the middle of a space characterized by functional pragmatism. The ornamental design for the walls of the passage combines one of the oldest pictorial techniques with modern technology. The pixels of the motif’s photographic resolution correspond with the size of the glass tesserae. According to Zobernig, people depend on such fictions for inspiration – self-constructed picture puzzles occupy the viewer’s perception, illusions of depth and color contrasts please the eye.
It was in the autumn of 2009 when work started on the revitalization of Vienna’s underground tramway stations – with the objective of implementing a permanent artistic design solution that would upgrade the structures and create a present-day atmosphere. Zobernig’s design was taken into account in the planning of the conversion measures.
Underground tramway station Laurenzgasse, 1050 Vienna