In 2014 Catrin Bolt initiated and realised the project Alltagsskulpturen Mahnmal (Everyday Sculptures Memorial) that can be seen in 10 different places with a total length of about 1.200 meters in various districts of Vienna. In May and October 2017 it was extended by six locations with a total length of about 800 meters in the second, fifth, ninth and twentieth district of Vienna.
Catrin Bolt’s Alltagsskulpturen Mahnmal was based on personal reports of incidents in the public space of Vienna during the time of National Socialism. Road marking paint was used to apply passages from these reports in various places so that they could be read by people walking by. The places chosen were the scenes where the described incidents had occurred. Passersby could thus experience the urban space and their surroundings not only in their present distinctiveness and function but also in their historical dimension and in regard to what had happened there.
Many maltreatments occurred in the public realm, loudly and visibly; the text lines were intended to be equally discernible. The urban space was used as a political stage and thus contained a part of history within itself. The reports emphasized the aspect of public visibility and presented the incidents from the victims’ perspective. The texts were applied along sidewalks; the color of the marking paint was black. Black paint of this kind is frequently used to revoke the validity of markings by overpainting them. In this case, however, it served to make the invisible visible again. With a total length of one thousand meters, the memorial extended along ten places across several districts of Vienna.
Since the lettering is designed from street marking material and the memorial is applied directly to the ground surfaces of the outdoor space, there are parallels to street markings in and of themselves. These change with the urban space, adapting to the conditions and the needs of the inhabitants. They can be renewed, some decay or crumble away, and new markings are always being added. The memorial can also be seen as a growing and adapting urban structure. In some places it remains well preserved, elsewhere it changes due to weather, construction sites, underground conditions and wear and tear, and in still other places new texts are added. As part of the city, it thus co-designs itself with the changing and living outdoor space. The project is emphasized in its incompleteness as not completed (and not concludeable), as the incidents that are referred to are not manageable and also not completely narratable.
One of the ten chosen texts was a passage from the writer Gitta Deutsch’s recollections:
It was, above all, the time of my first great love. We read poems, went for walks, and met in the Stadtpark where we were not allowed to sit down, as “Only for Arians” was written on the benches. One day, he did not turn up for a rendezvous after school, and it turned out that the Nazis, some SA sadists, made him walk back and forth across the Franzensbrücke with a placard reading “Don’t buy from Jews” all afternoon. He was a particularly sensitive, decent lad, and this wore him down tremendously.
2nd and 3rd district, Franzensbrücke
Gitta Deutsch, in Erzählte Geschichte: Berichte von Widerstandskämpfern und Verfolgten, vol. 3: Jüdische Schicksale, ed. Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, 2nd edition (Vienna, 1993), 325
Born in Vienna in 1924, Gitta Deutsch witnessed the “Anschluss” and the beginning persecution of Jews as a schoolgirl. In 1938, she left Vienna for England with the help of Quakers, where she soon settled in. Her father joined her, yet both she and her father were interned as hostile foreigners on the Isle of Man. Gitta Deutsch stayed in England until the 1960s and founded a family there. In 1969 the poet and translator returned to Vienna, where she worked for the United Nations. She died in Vienna in 1998.
Hermann-Gmeiner-Park, 1010 Wien
Staatsoper, 1010 Wien
Große Pfarrgasse, 1020 Wien
Kleine Sperlgasse, 1020 Wien
Im Werd, 1020 Wien
Praterallee, 1020 Wien
Schiffamtsgasse, 1020 Wien
Franzensbrücke, 1020 und 1030 Wien
Brigittenauer Lände, 1200 Wien
Westbahnhof, 1150 Wien
*1979 Friesach (AT), lives and works in Vienna.
Partners and sponsors
National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, Kulturforum Brigittenau, Rembrandtin
For more informationen about the extension of the project in 2017 follow this link:
GO TO EXTENSION