As soon as we set off on a walk through the city, we are confronted with an array of different forms of memory culture. We stroll past impressive statues of long deceased rulers or famous musicians, perhaps briefly pause and ponder abstractly designed monuments, or discover in passing graffiti tags on commemorative plaques. Monuments are memories turned to stone in the here and now. They are snapshots that tell stories and should remind us of “history.” But what would it be like if monuments came alive and actually spoke to us? What if monuments were democratic and each of us would receive one?
On the basis of their lectures in the exhibition Space for Kids. It’s Your Mo(nu)ment! students from the Master of Arts Education program at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna asked themselves these questions and responded with their own musical and performative interventions. The video works developed in the framework of the seminar are inspired by the contemporary artworks in the exhibition and reflect both the international spectrum of the group as well as the diversity of our society.
In the video Denkmal: Sprichst du zu mir? [Monument: Are You Speaking to Me?] “sounds and movements converge to a quiet persistence in time and space, in the inside and outside. The apparent immobility of the monument provokes a reflection of living history. A dialogue between monument and the person emerges.” The discussion and an exchange of thoughts on the topic of memory culture are also the central theme in the video project of the second group of students: “From the monument – this public and publicized form of memory – we arrived at street art and at the question of how memory culture can be negotiated in a democratic way, what the actual role of the monument is, who recalls it, whom it serves. What would it be like if there was a monument for each person ever born, including a plaque with information about his/her life and work? Would it be a gigantic army of stone figures, cursorily perceived or even ignored by the living? Street art is less person-oriented, more focused on the content; the artist often remains anonymous, the work fleeting, fading in time. Three people follow their curiosity while exploring a new city.” The third video contribution Frei Bruch can again be seen as a plea for contemplation: “What if you stopped to break free? What if you really took a look instead of hectic walking on? And what if you realized that you can find yourself, that you can achieve more, that you can free yourself? — It is time to break the silence and give voice to what has been forgotten. ”
For their interventions the students left the exhibition space of Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz and set forth on an expedition through Vienna.
Video Denkmal: Sprichst Du zu mir? [Monument: Are You Speaking to Me?]
Concept, idea, and realization: Domenika Arnetzeder, Sehyun Paik, Ana Cristina Rodríguez Hermosillo, and Sara Zaher
Camera: Almut Wregg
Video o.T. [Untitled]
Concept, idea, and realization: Esther Conter, Gideon Maoz, and Sanaz Zaher
Camera: Steven Ralph
Video Frei Bruch
Concept, idea, realization, and camera: David Ambrosch, Veronica Klavzar, Nevena Veljkovic, camera: Almut Wregg
Music: Matti Felber
Project supervisor: Edith Wregg, MUK Wien
Project coordination: Martin Walkner, Kunsthalle Wien
A cooperation between Kunsthalle Wien and the Master of Arts Education program at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna.