In February 2020, Kunst im öffentlichen Raum GmbH (KÖR) and the Vienna Anti-Discrimination Agency for Same-Gender and Transgender Lifestyles (WASt) launched a one-stage, invited artistic realization competition to obtain a design for the "Memorial to the Men and Women Victimized by the Persecution of Homosexuals in the Nazi Era" in Resselpark in the 4th district, which will be erected and maintained by the City of Vienna. The competition procedure was announced and carried out for eight invited participants.
The evaluation committee met on 29 June 2020 and selected Marc Quinn's design as the winning project.
According to the 2020 study "A long way to go for LGBTI equality. Sex, sexual orientation and gender" by the European Fundamental Rights Agency FRA, 86% of same-sex couples in Europe avoid going hand in hand in public places for fear of being insulted, threatened or violated. In Austria 78% avoid this.
Marc Quinn's sculpture depicts the moment of simplest and most elementary interpersonal contact. His design shows two pairs of hands lying tenderly on top of each other - on one side by two men, on the other by two women.
These pairs of hands seem to be chopped off at the wrists and thus convey the greatest brutality in the moment of loving touch.
The design reflects this ambivalence in aesthetic clarity and is striking on both an intellectual and emotional level.
Through the mirrored cut surfaces of the wrists and the tabletop, the viewer becomes part of the artwork and cannot avoid engaging with the depicted themes of same-sex love and its persecution.
This clear iconography convinced the jury to choose Quinn's sculpture as the winning design of the competition "Memorial to the Men and Women Victimized by the Persecution of Homosexuals in the Nazi Era".
Resselpark, 1040 Wien
one-stage, invited artistic competition for the "Memorial to the Men and Women Victimized by the Persecution of Homosexuals in the Nazi Era" in Resselpark, 1040 Vienna
Kunst im öffentlichen Raum GmbH and the Vienna Anti-Discrimination Agency for Same-Gender and Transgender lifestyles (WASt)
Gelitin/Gelatin (AT), Matthias Herrmann (AT), Martin Pfeifle (DE), Jakob Lena Knebl (AT), Stephen Prina (US), Susanne Lorenz (DE), Every Ocean Hughes (SE) and Marc Quinn (UK)
Julian Göthe, artist
Doris Haidvogl, landscape planner
Lea Halbwidl, head of district administration, 4th municipal district of Vienna
Franz Kobermaier, Municipal Dept. 19 – Architecture and Urban Design
Doris Krüger, artist and former chair of KÖR jury
Hannah H. Lessing, National Funds of the Republic of Austria
Cordula Loidl-Reisch, landscape architect
Hannes Sulzenbacher, co-director, QWIEN Vienna Queer History Center
Ursula Schwarz, Municipal Dept. for Cultural Affairs (Department of Cultural Heritage)
Corinna Tomberger, art and social studies scholar
Technical preliminary test
Monika Trimmel, Werkraum Ingenieure ZT GmbH
Marc Quinn* 1964 in London (UK), lives and works in London.