General information on the contextualization
In May 2021, following an ongoing public discussion on the Lueger Monument, the city held a round table at City Hall, attended by more than 40 experts from the arts, academia, politics, administration, and representatives of civil society. The exchange of such diverse voices and the open and respectful discussion showed that the Lueger Monument can no longer remain uncommented, but that there is a need for action that goes beyond the additional plaque that has existed since summer 2016.
This discussion also provided the basis for the decision of the City of Vienna to permanently contextualize the monument artistically. The competition for this will take place in the fall and will be carried out by KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien. Until its realization, a temporary installation will respond to the monument to Karl Lueger.
"The temporary installation entitled 'Lueger temporary [Lueger temporär]' by Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch is an important step on the way to a permanent contextualization of the Lueger monument. Above all, it is an important step in making the square a living place of remembrance and learning, against anti-Semitism and political populism," emphasizes Vienna's City Councillor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler. "The artistic installation 'Lueger temporary' marks in signal colors, but in a fragile form, the space - on site and in society - for an active, constantly changing confrontation with our history. Art can counterbalance, initiate awareness processes and public discourse, highlight the diversity of history and historiography, and keep memory culture alive."
"Our history has light and dark sides that we must honestly deal with. The temporary installation presented today offers a chance to provoke thoughts on this topic. The disposal of the Lueger monument is the wrong signal, because our past should not be erased, but we must face it. It is about a culture of remembrance, of which street names and monuments are a part. That's why I'm against cancel culture and for an open and respectful discourse. The installation 'Lueger temporary' is a visible sign of this will for public dialogue," said Markus Figl, District Head Innere Stadt.
"Every city has a memory. Public art actively or passively refers to this memory, inscribes itself into it with its resistant potential or develops aesthetic offers for its present and future. With their temporary intervention at the Lueger Monument, Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch connect the specific questions raised by the Lueger Monument with the overarching questions about the culture of remembrance: they put up for discussion how we should deal today with the historically burdened component of our history," say Cornelia Offergeld, Curatorial Director KÖR, and Martina Taig, Managing Director KÖR .
"The invitation to design a temporary project makes it possible to expand the discussion around the Lueger Monument. In the sense of a counterpole, we temporarily store or lean on Lueger-associated places of Vienna as objects. We show that Karl Lueger is inscribed in the city on different levels. We create a walkable and usable display for the public and connect historical narrative with the present, juxtaposing inanimate objects with an open format," Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch elaborate.
Details of the temporary installation
After their research, Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch were interested in Lueger's multifaceted presence in Vienna. Six- Petritsch then planned to build a temporary archive with what had been deposited in the "memory-storing city" [Erinnerungsspeicher Stadt]. For this purpose, 15 Lueger-associated artifacts present in Vienna's public space will be assembled in the form of their silhouettes at the Lueger Monument. These silhouettes lean against a scaffold on a scale of 1:1 and soberly await their assignment. The public is provided with a kind of display warehouse that depicts the process of ordering and structuring as a necessary basis for opinion formation and is intended to represent the beginning of a differentiated public discussion as a kind of "local negotiation".
In the run-up, the duo explored all the places of memory, plaques, buildings in Vienna that are associated with Lueger and took their respective forms. Assembled at Luegerplatz, they form a display for a public discussion that allows questions such as: How do we as a 21st century society want to deal with our "dark heritage"? What can public space provide? What should be made available for future consideration?
The artists Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch
Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch have been working together since 1997 on films, photographs, displays, artist's books, and site- and context-specific installations and projects in public space. They explore the limits of our existence and our perception with expeditions into everyday life, through oceans, polar regions, concrete deserts as well as lunar landscapes. Their interventions are experimental test arrangements with which they reorder space, combining aesthetic with political dimensions. In this context, works such as "[Die innere Grenze]The Inner Border/Notranja meja" (2008) and "[Das Denkmal]The Monument/Spomenik" (2015) in Carinthia were designed as counter-monuments, as well as the participatory project "[Die Stadt und das gute Leben]The City and the Good Life" (2020) in the form of a survey of space and landscape.
Karl-Lueger-Platz, 1010 Vienna
Nicole Six * 1971 Vöcklabruck (AT), lives in Vienna
Paul Petritsch * 1968 Friesach (AT), lives in Vienna