Eduard Freudmann Portfolio - a[ - Akademie der bildenden Künste



Eduard Freudmann Portfolio - a[ - Akademie der bildenden Künste
Eduard Freudmann
Eduard Freudmann
lives and works in Vienna. He studied Fine Arts in Vienna and Weimar. Since 2007 he has been researching and
teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Freudmann produces his projects individually as well as in
(temporary) collectives. He links interventionist and documentary strategies with narrative and fictitious
elements and uses different formats and media such as video, installation or performance. Self-reflexivity, critical
knowledge production and political contextualization are the basis for his artistic practice which deals with the
politics of commemoration and history, questions regarding archives, and the dilemma of the mediatization of the
Shoah. Freudmann is interested in both official and unofficial history-political manifestations in public space as
well as approaches to the writing of microhistory, e.g. through the transmission of family histories. Furthermore,
he deals with possibilities of debating racisms, anti-Semitism and anti-Romaism in post-Nazi and post-colonial
contexts and their resulting potential identities and solidarities. Freudmann is the author of articles and books
which are integral components of his artistic work. His projects have been presented in exhibitions, biennials and
film festivals.
Komödiengasse 3/10
A-1020 Vienna
+43-6991-247 11 50
[email protected]
2007 Magister artium
2003–2007 Studies at the Department for Conceptual Art Practices, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
2002–2003 Studies at the Media Faculty, Bauhaus-University Weimar
1999–2002 Studies at the Department for Art and Photography, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Awards, Residencies
2015 Winner of the monument competition “From Those You Saved” (Poland)
2013 Artist-in-Residence at Shtetl Montreal (Canada)
2012 Artist-in-Residence at Artport Tel Aviv (Israel)
2012 Artist-in-Residence at the Digital Art Center Holon (Israel)
2011 Artist-in-Residence at Mamuta Jerusalem (Israel)
2007 Diploma Award at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Austria)
2004 Award at the 14th International Videofestival Bochum (Germany)
2003 Award at the backup_Festival Weimar (Germany)
2007–present Senior Artist at the Institute of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
2013–present Teaching Course: Project-Oriented Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
2007–2015 associated with the Conceptual Art Department, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
2014 Teaching Course: Whose Is The Capital Anyway?, Institute of Architecture, Technical University Vienna
2009–2012 Teaching Course: Platform for History Politics, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
2008–2009 Teaching Course: Critical Artistic Practice as Dissent, Academy of Fine Arts
2008 Teaching Course: Motion Picture - Documentary Film at the Institute for Art Education, Academy of Fine Arts
Exhibitions and film festivals (selection)
xhibit (A): Uncanny Materials, Founding Moments of Art Education
< rotor > Graz (A): Verfolgt, beraubt, vertrieben
Kala Bhavana Institute of Fine Arts Santiniketan (IN)
OFF Biennale Budapest (H)
Wiener Festwochen (A): Into The City
Muzeum Wspólczesne Wroclaw (PL): Vot ken you mach?
WUK (A): Open Systems
Kunsthaus Dresden (D): Vot ken you mach?
Tin Sheds Gallery Sydney (AUS): Baadlands: an Atlas of Experimental Cartography
Kunsthalle Exnergasse (A): Romani Lives
Artport Tel Aviv (IL): Slide Show
54th Venice Biennial (I): Roma Media Archive (Roma Pavilion collateral event)
Kunsthalle Exnergasse (A): a work that can‘t shake off what it reflects
Kunstpavillon Innsbruck (A): a work that can‘t shake off what it reflects
Open Space (A): Widersprüche! Critical Agency and the Difference Within
Labor Budapest (H): Between Ideology and Identity
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien (D): Reconsidering Rroma
Škuc Gallery Ljubljana (SLO): Cross Border Experience
European Culture Congress Wroclaw (PL): 10x10: See You There
Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual (AL): Episode 2
Shedhalle Zürich (CH): Some Misunderstandings to Discuss
Depo Istanbul (TR): Contingent Identities
49 th October Salon Belgrade (SRB): Artist-Citizen
Bucharest Biennial 3 (RO): Being Here – Mapping the Contemporary
Bildmuseet Umeå (S): The Map: Navigating the Present
< rotor > Graz (A): Land of Human Rights
Galerie Emil Filla (CZ): <rotor> on tour
Kogart Budapest (HU): Fresh Europe
Kunsthalle Exnergasse (A): Utopie : Freiheit
Prodajna galerija Belgrade (SCG): Beograd nekad I sad
SKC Belgrade (SCG): Divergiranje u realnosti
SKC Belgrade (SCG): April Meetings
IG Bildende Kunst (A): Zone 2005
33. International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL)
39. Solothurner Filmtage (CH)
European Film Festival Ankara/Bursa/Izmir (TR)
transmediale.04 (D)
Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival (Brazil)
Festival de Vidéo et Film de Différence Beirut (Lebanon)
11th European Film Festival Beirut (Lebanon)
20. Internationales Kurz Film Festival Hamburg (D)
14. Internationales Bochumer Videofestival (D)
46. Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm (D)
20. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm und Videofest (D)
backup_festival Weimar 2003 (D)
Presentations, lectures, screenings, workshops, interventions (selection)
xhibit (A): Turning (to) the Archive, project presentation and panel discussion
Universidad Católica del Perú (PER): work presentation and artist talk
Asylum Arts (USA): work presentation
Wien Museum (A): The Monument May Be A Forest, project presentation and panel discussion
Wiener Festwochen (A): Gedenktafel Hotel Metropole, work presentation
OFF Biennale Budapest (H): Artist talk on The White Elephant Archive
ROI Summit (IL): Case Study of the Warsaw monument project
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (A): On Productive Shame, Reconciliation and Agency, lecture
Wiener Festwochen (A): Face to Face with the Monument, lecture
Technical University Vienna (A): Whose Is The Capital, Anyway?, seminar
School of Arts, Nova Gorica (SLO): The White Elephant Archive, Patterns lecture
Parque del Sol 2014, Free University (A): Work presentation and history-political bike tour
Asylum Arts (USA): work presentation
Kunsthalle Exnergasse (A): Romani Lives, workshop
Planet 10 (A): Debating and Contesting Antisemitism and Racisms in the Same Space, workshop
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (A): Parallax Views on Architecture, lecture
Volkshochschule der Roma in Oberwart (A): Beograd Gazela, lecture
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (A): Doing Memory – Art, Research and the Politics of Memory and History, city tour
De Balie Amsterdam (NL): Requiem for Auschwitz, screening
MUMOK Vienna (A): Mit und ohne Nostalgie, work presentation
MUMOK Vienna (A): Dinge als Prozesse, workshop
Volkskundemuseum Vienna (A): Dinge als Prozesse, workshop
Goethe-University Frankfurt (D): Colonial Legacies – Postcolonial Contestations, lecture
Wiener Festwochen (A): Safe European Home?, lecture, panel discussion and film screening
NGBK Berlin (D): Spaceship Yugoslavia – The Suspension of Time, screening
Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen Innsbruck (A): Narratives of Disobedience, screening
Barbur Gallery Jerusalem (IL): Intervention, please!, work presentation
Shenkar University Tel Aviv (IL): Work Presentation by Eduard Freudmann
MUMOK Vienna (A): Educational Turn, workshop
Technical University Vienna (A): Space RE:solutions Conference, lecture, screening and panel discussion
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna: Regime, presentation/intervention
Kumu Art Museum Tallinn (EST): Let‘s Talk About Nationalism! Between Ideology and Identity, screening
Barbur Gallery Jerusalem (IL): screening
Annexe Gallery Kuala Lumpur (MAL): State of Exception: Arts Under Siege, screening
Bucharest Biennial 3 (RO): Being Here – Mapping the Contemporary, exhibition and book presentation
<rotor> Graz (A): Land of Human Rights, book presentation and panel discussion
Cabaret Voltaire Zürich (CH): book presentation
Kunstraum Lakeside Klagenfurt/Celovec (A): book presentation and panel discussion
Depot Wien (A): Beograd Gazela, book presentation and panel discussion
Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck (A): Beograd Gazela, book presentation
Kogart Budapest (HU): Fresh Europe, lecture and intervention
dietheater Wien (A): Politiken der Erziehung im neoliberalen globalen Kapitalismus, lecture and intervention
De Balie Amsterdam (NL): A Rough Guide to Belgrade, lecture
SKC Belgrade (SCG): April Meetings, lecture
Books, Articles, Interviews (selection)
The Monument Is a Dilemma (Gabu Heindl, Eduard Freudmann; Political Critique, February 2016)
Ten pomnik to dylemat (Gabu Heindl, Eduard Freudmann; krytyka polityczna, February 26, 2016)
An Allegory to Post-Nazism (in: On Productive Shame, Reconciliation, and Agency; Sternberg Press 2016)
„Eine kritische Position gegenüber Israel gehört zum guten Ton“ (Jungle World Nr. 30, 23. Juli 2015)
Offener Brief an den Kulturstadtrat (Open letter, Vienna 2015)
„… der Kritik des Antisemitismus gewidmet“ (derdiedas bildende Nr. 3, 2015)
Critics of the Cultural Boycott of Israel Make Their Case (Hyperallergic, May 20, 2015)
Challenging Double Standards – A Call Against the Boycott of Israeli Art and Society (Open Letter, 2014)
Dämonisierte Juden, boykottiertes Israel? (wina, 4/2014)
Allegorie des Postnazismus (Jungle World Nr. 38, 18. September 2014)
Pandora’s Box of Monuments Reopened (Chto Delat newspaper, issue #37, May 2014)
Offener Brief: Antisemitismus! Was tun? (Open letter, Wien 2012)
Open Letter: Anti-Semitism! What to do? (Open letter, Vienna 2012)
Offener Brief an die Bezirksvorstehung der L-Stadt (Open letter, Vienna 2012)
Fortified Knowledge (in: Space (Re)Solutions, transcript, Bielefeld 2011)
„Hakenkreuze? Ornamente!“ als Verdrängungskontinuität (in: 100 Jahre VBKÖ Festschrift, Wien 2011)
“Swastikas? Ornaments!” as a Continuity of Repression (in transversal 12/10, eipcp, 2010)
«¿Cruces gamadas? ¡Ornamentos!» como continuidad de la remoción (in transversal 12/10, eipcp, 2010)
Squatting the Crisis (Lina Dokuzović, Eduard Freudmann; in: eipcp 11/2009)
Die Krise besetzen (in: Uni brennt. grundsätzliches – kritisches – atmosphärisches, Turia & Kant, Wien 2010)
Squatând criza (in: Feminisme, h.arta, Timisoara, 2010)
A Trip to the Imperial Capital (Freudmann, Jurica, Marjanović; in: eipcp 02/2009)
Beograd Gazela – Vodič kroz sirotinjsko naselje (Agerman, Frojdman, Gilđi; Rende, Belgrad 2009)
Beograd Gazela – Dromesko manualo ande jek čorrivani cara (Aggermann, Freudmann, Gülcü; Drava 2009)
Intersections (ed.: Dokuzović, Freudmann, Haselmayer, Kovačič; Löcker Verlag, Wien 2009)
Ein Ausflug in die Reichshauptstadt (Freudmann, Jurica, Marjanović in: Kulturisse 0408 Wien)
Beograd Gazela – Reiseführer in eine Elendssiedlung (Aggermann, Freudmann, Gülcü; Drava, Celovec 2008)
The Exception Proves the Rule (Freudmann, Marjanović; in: Intersections, Löcker Verlag, Wien)
Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel (Freudmann und Marjanović; in: Kulturisse 0108, Wien)
Catalogues (selection)
Vot ken you mach?
Wiener Festwochen: Into The City
Baadlands: an Atlas of Experimental Cartography
Romani Lives
Objects for Personal Rituals
Regime - Wie Dominanz organisiert und Ausdruck formalisiert wird
Handbuch zur Umgestaltung des Lueger-Denkmals
Tiroler Künstlerschaft 2010-2012
Safe European Home?
Reconsidering Rroma – Aspects of Rroma and Sinti-Life in Contemporary Art
Between Ideology and Identity
Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual: Episode 2
Some Misunderstandings to Discuss
49 th October Salon Belgrade: Artist-Citizen
Bucharest Biennial 3: Being Here – Mapping the Contemporary
Land of Human Rights
Utopie : Freiheit
Reviews and Media (selection)
Warsaw Ghetto Memorial to Righteous Gentiles Hits New Snag (The Forward, 26.2.2016)
How Plans To Build a Monument to Righteous Gentiles in Warsaw Fell Apart (e-jewish philanthropy, 8. 11. 2015)
Poland’s mixed feelings over memorial to rescuers of Jews (Associated Press, 30. 8. 2015)
Fundacja rezygnuje z projektu wybranego w konkursie “Ratującym-Ocaleni” (, 13. 8. 2015)
Philanthropist and Jury Clash Over Design of Controversial Warsaw Memorial (Hyperallergic, 8. 5. 2015)
Warsaw Ghetto Memorial to Righteous Suffers New Setback as Design Is Tossed (The Forward, 2. 5. 2015)
Ohne Bewilligung der SPÖ-Obrigkeit (Thomas Trenkler: Kurier, 8. 6. 2015)
Kulturstadtrat intervenierte bei Podiumsdiskussion (Die Presse, 8. 6. 2015)
Podiumsdiskussion sorgt für Politikwirbel (, 9. 6. 2015)
Schießen Sie nicht auf den Pianisten! (Thomas Trenkler: Kurier, 10. 6. 2015)
Five Finalists Compete to Build Controversial Holocaust Memorial in Warsaw (Hyperallergic, 12. 2. 2015)
Finalists Picked in Memorial to Poles Who Saved Jews in WWII (New York Times, 4. 2. 2015)
„Diese Nacht hat mich zerbrochen“ (Kerstin Kellermann: skug, 7. 7. 2015)
In den Himmel sehen (Kerstin Kellermann: Augustin, 24. 6. 2015)
Tempo di ricordare Into the City (Angela Mayr: Il Manifesto, 4. 7. 2015)
Das Rumoren der Archive (Paul Divjak: wina, 7+8/2015)
ORF Kulturmontag: Der neue Antisemitismus (Constanze Griessler: ORF 2, 3. 11. 2014)
Stein oder nicht Stein? (Nina Schedlmayer: Profil #23, June 2, 2014)
Freien Blick auf Weinheber! (Josef Haslinger: Standard, 3. 7. 2013)
Stadtgartenamt schüttet Mahnmal wieder zu (Thomas Trenkler: Standard 2. 7. 2013)
Neuer Diskurs zu Büste (Die Presse, 2. 7. 2013)
Gartenamt vs. Kulturamt, das ist Brutalität (M. Huber, Kurier, 2. 7. 2013)
ORF Report (2. 7. 2013)
Ö1 Leporello (Natasa Konopitzky, 1. 7. 2013)
Austrian Artists Revamp Nazi Poet Memorial (The Arty Semite, The Jewish Daily Forward 1. 7. 2013)
Einzementiertes Bekenntnis zu Josef Weinheber (Thomas Trenkler, Standard, 30. 6. 2013)
Bezirksamt L-Stadt Revisited (Diktatorpuppe zerstört, Schaden gering, Mandelbaum Verlag, Wien 2012)
Dass etwas geschehen kann ... Postrepräsentatives Kuratieren (Nora Sternfeld: Bildpunkt Frühling 2012)
NS-Verharmlosung im Bezirksamt Leopoldstadt (Thomas Trenkler: Standard 7. 6. 2011)
Die Akademie der Verdrängenden Künste (Ruth Eisenreich: Nu 2/2011)
Aesthetic-emancipatory dispositives (Andrei Siclodi, eipcp 2/2011)
Wiederkehrende Rollenprobleme (Gin/i Müller und Lisbeth Kovačič: kulturrisse 2/2011)
Transformation kollektiver Erinnerung (Claudia Aurednik: Unique 05/2011)
Politik der Erinnerung (Lukas Tagwerker:, 19. 4. 2011), Menschen in Städten #27: DeKonstruktionen (Danila Mayer: OktoTV, 3. 6. 2011)
„Beograd Gazela“ – Leben in Baracken (Berliner Literaturkritik, 12. 1. 2009)
Flüchtig (Jochen Becker, Camera Austria, Ausgabe 103-104 2008)
Die Sache mit den Brotresten (Michael Martens, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12. 9. 2008)
Reiseführer durch eine Armutsgesellschaft (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 8. 8. 2008)
Reiseführer ins Abseits (Christian M. Peer, Dérive, Juli-September 2008)
Durchleuchteter Slum (Ute Woltron, Album/Der Standard, 26./27. 4. 2008)
Ö1 Leporello (Anna Soucek: Ö1, 3. 9. 2008)
Beograd Gazela (Jan Hinrichsen: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Volkskunde, Heft 2 2008)
Mitten in Europa: Zu Besuch in einem Slum (ku: Die Presse, 11. 6. 2008)
Führer in den Slum - Vodinaschi ando slum (Michael Wogg: d|Roma, Herbst/Terno džend 2008)
Die Gazelle von Belgrad (Radovan Grahovac:, 18. 4. 2008)
„Ein nettes Buch mit netten Bildern“ (Elena Messner: kakanienrevisited, 8. 4. 2008)
„Draussen sind wir alle Zigeuner“ (Interview, Die Zeit, April 2008)
Reiseführer in eine Elendssiedlung (Georg Horvath und Romana Riegler: Der Standard, 2. 10. 2007)
Heimkehrport (Thomas Prlic, Falter 1-2/2005)
Airport Praterstern (Alexia Weiss, Nu 1/2005)
Tor zur Welt wieder offen (Augustin, Jänner/2005)
Praterstern now boarding! (Ernest Allen: Die Bunte, März 2005)
airport.praterstern (Gitti Hell: malmoe, 17. 1. 2005)
A Stone Stands Here. Formations of
Remembrance, 1949– (2016)
Spatial installation
Zsuzsi Flohr and Eduard Freudmann
Music by Benjy Fox-Rosen
This installation is based on the performance
project „Was sie unterließ, haben wir getan.“
(“What they neglected, we did.”), which was
implemented in 2015 with actress Eva Reinold and curator Luisa Ziaja for Into the City/
Wiener Festwochen. Using ritual, discursivity
and intervention, it dealt with aspects of contested remembrance at Vienna’s Morzinplatz,
the former site of the Gestapo headquarters.
It was also conceived as a meta-memorial for
a group of survivors who had illegally built a
memorial to the victims of the Gestapo in
1951. The installation developed for this exhibition considers the spatial, aesthetic and
political dynamics between self-organized
interventions and the official culture of commemoration that have since unfolded on
the Morzinplatz and manifested in different
formations of remembrance. It actively juxtaposes the assertion often sought here of
the untouchability of monuments in history
and in practice against the transforming and
unresolved politics of history in the public
xhibit Vienna
„Was sie unterließ, haben wir getan.“ (2015)
Performance and Intervention in public space
by Zsuzsi Flohr, Benjy Fox-Rosen, Eduard
Freudmann, Eva Reinold, Luisa Ziaja
The project dealt with commemoration culture in public space in Vienna. It linked the elements of ritual, discourse and intervention in
a performative setting. It consisted of a panel
discussion, a choir, an actress and an crew of
workers who illegally erected a monument
dedicated to those who had illegally erected
a monument on that spot in 1951.
Announcement text:
“What they neglected, we did.”
Panel discussion on the struggles for memorialization and a commemoration ceremony
for a never erected obelisk at Morzinplatz
“From the beginning of the commemoration
ceremony, a group of former concentration
camp inmates worked in the rubble unnoticed, obscured by a line of men and women.
By 19:00, a truck arrived, which was immediately surrounded by comrades; under the
professional grip of our KZlers, using the two
beams – the stone was set its place. By 19:20
the truck drove off, the line dissolved and the
monument was unveiled.” (From: Der Neue
Mahnruf, magazine of the KZ-Verband).
As early as 1949 the KZ-Verband called for
the creation of a monument, dedicated to the
victims of the Nazis at Morzinplatz. After two
years of willful ignorance on the part of the
city, it was decided to take action “without
government authorization” and to erect a me-
morial stone on the sixth anniversary of the
liberation of Vienna. The stone became a central place for anti-fascist remembrance. In
1968, the stone was relocated because of the
construction of the Leopold Figl-Hof, and then
in 1985 the stone was replaced by the monument that stands today. At that moment the
yellow star, representing Jewish victims, was
added to the stone´s original red triangle, representing political victims, thereby enlarging
the scope of the memorial. Since the 1990’s
there has been a struggle to commemorate
homosexual and transgender victims as well
– so far with limited success.
The panel will discuss the struggle for memorialization on Morzinplatz. Self-organized
interventions, and the official culture of commemoration are the markers of larger historico-political fault lines: which monuments
were built on site, which were not? How does
their visibility interact with discourse and
public debate, on the one hand, and ritual and
commemoration, on the other? Why does the
city of Vienna have such a strained relationship to anti-fascist commemoration and the
critical handling problematic monuments?
Why must the city so often be forced into
dealing with these issues?
During the event, a commemoration ceremony will be held for a never erected obelisk. Appropriately festive dress is required.
Into The City, Wiener Festwochen
The White Elephant Archive, Settings No. 1–3
The performance was created during an art
residency at Artport in Tel Aviv in 2012 (The
White Elephant Archive, Setting No. 1). In
the subsequent year a revised and extended
version was produced for an exhibition at
Kunsthaus Dresden (The White Elephant Archive, Setting No. 2). The Setting No. 3 premiered in April 2015 at the OFF-Biennale
Budapest (Spinoza Theatre) and was shown
in the framework of Into The City/Wiener
Festwochen at Theater Nestroyhof Hamakom in Vienna and at Volkshaus Graz, the arts
and cultural center of the Austrian Communist Party KPÖ.
“When my grandmother passed away my
uncle took all the items, put them in a cardboard box and stored them in his attic. I,
myself, had been obsessed with my family history for a long time. And, in 2004, I
began working on an art project related to
our history. Since I knew that my uncle was
in possession of material that could be rel-
evant for my project, I drove to his place and
asked him to show it to me. He took me up
to his attic, pointed at the cardboard box
and said: ‘Take it, it’s yours.’ I was delighted.
Back home I opened the box right away and
started to go through the material. I realized
that what I had just received was a treasure,
a cornucopia of new and unfamiliar knowledge that would feed my obsession.”
In his performance “The White Elephant Archive, Setting No. 3” Freudmann traces stories from a family archive founded in 1979 by
his grandmother. He links contents of the archive with historical events and current political issues by means of documentary and
object theatre. Against a background of the
increasing absence of contemporary witnesses, Freudmann brings documents and
objects as protagonists on the stage in order
to consult them about the eternal dilemma
of whether to speak or to be silent about the
Artport Tel Aviv
Kunsthaus Dresden
Muzeum Wspólczesne Wroclaw
Hamakom Theatre Vienna
Spinoza Theatre Budapest
Volkshaus Graz
The Monument May Be A Forest (2015)
by Eduard Freudmann and Gabu Heindl
“The Monument May Be A Forest” was the
winner of the international competition “From
Those You Saved”, to erect a monument dedicated to Poles who saved Jews during the
Jury statement:
“The project represents a novel concept of
commemoration via processual aspect rather
than monumentality of imposing physical
presence. It bases on notions of care, comitment, fragility and risk, as much as the very
acts of sheltering the Jews by the Righteous.
Another important and inherent aspect of the
project relates to it’s participatory and the
potential to disseminate the commemoration
through time and space. The trees planted in
the nursery will perform a function of a message by being distributed and replanted in
different locations historically bound to Jewish life in Poland.”
Artist statement:
The plan to erect a monument dedicated to
Poles who saved Jewish lives is exceptional
because it is to be established by “Those You
Saved”, by Jews who want to commemorate
the Righteous, those who saved their lives or
the lives of their family members.
First and foremost, erecting the monument
is urgent. Time is passing and 70 years after
the end of Nazism both those who saved and
those who were saved are dwindling in numbers. Therefore we should open the monument as soon as is feasible. But there is a
dilemma: This is not an easy task that can be
rushed to completion. Erecting a monument
“From Those You Saved” requires time - both
for the creation of a *We, that is, those who
desire to establish the monument, and for
joint decision-making regarding important
issues such as to whom the monument is addressed or selecting the best location for the
We believe that this dilemma is not a bitter pill
to be swallowed. Rather, it is a unique asset
that should be incorporated into the monument. At its grand opening, the monument is
not a forest but a forest nursery, a vision of a
forest. The forest nursery is located in a large,
raised bed next to the Polin Museum, a formal
reference to the small hill upon which stands
the historic linden tree, the only remnant of
the pre-Ghetto period. It consists of dense
rows of two-year saplings of common trees
in Warsaw (lime, ash-tree, aspen, birch, horn-
beam, field maple, norway maple, common
oak tree, common alder). The number of trees
can only be estimated (a few thousand) and
it will change over the course of time since
some of the trees planted will not grow roots,
a perfectly normal occurrence in a nursery.
After the opening of the monument as a forest
nursery, a social discourse will aim to create
the *We and decide on the future of the monument as a forest, that is, enable it to become
a forest - at an urban location in Warsaw to be
decided. The monument is not only the forest nursery or the forest but also the process,
which will take place in cooperation with the
Polin Museum and is limited in duration. The
inherent fragility of the nursery is an intricate
part of the monument, without which it could
not achieve its full dimension.
The forest shall be planted permanently in a
participatory process. The urban location of
the forest is key. It stands for the alienating
character of the helping action, of the saving,
which was only carried out by a minority of
Poles who, in many cases, remained isolated
after the end of the German occupation due
to Polish anti-Semitism. The main motive behind planting a forest in a city to be a monument is the ambiguity represented by the forest. This ambiguity parallels the ambiguity of
saving Jewish lives and the ambiguous history
of how those actions have been dealt with in
Poland from the end of the German occupation to the present day. The forest was a place
of death, where Jews were killed by execution. The forest was a place where many Nazi
concentration camps were located. But the
forest was also a hide-out, a place of survival
and a place of resistance. Who helped Jews,
who saved Jews? It will never be possible to
set ultimate criteria; it will never be possible
to pinpoint exact numbers. These questions
can only be answered with ambiguity. And
that very ambiguity should be represented in
the monument.
If the *We fails, there will be no forest and the
monument fails as well. This failure would
manifest itself in the diminutive nature of the
forest nursery, which would never become
a forest and in the ephemeral nature of its
trees, which would not have space to grow.
The potential inability to express gratitude as
a *We is thus an intrinsic feature of the entire
project from the outset.
Gabu Heindl, Eduard Freudmann
1st general assembly of the committee
for the commemoration of the word that
designates the genocide of Roma and Sinti
Two-sided poster, A2 format
This work was created for the exhibition
To One’s Name at Kunsthalle Exnergasse
Vienna, curated by Suzana Milevska. It
deals with the aesthetics of commemoration as well as with its institutionalization and the relationship of one to
the other. The original German title is
“1. Hauptversammlung des Komitees
zur Erinnerung an das Wort mit dem der
Völkermord an Roma und Sinti bezeichnet wird.”
The two-sided poster was presented in
the gallery on two piles on the floor and
available for take-away. One side depicts
12 figures and a commemoration plaque
that can be cut out. The plaque inscription indicates that the group represents
the “1st general assembly of the committee for the commemoration of the word
that designates the genocide of Roma
and Sinti.” The figures’ images are taken
from several Austrian monuments dedicated to anti-Fascist resistance fighters,
to the allied forces who liberated Austria
from Nazism or to victims of the Shoah.
Many of these monuments had been debated and extensively contested; some
were physically attacked, even got destroyed and had to be re-erected. Their
presence is the result of political struggles for the public acknowledgement of
victimization and resistance. And their
presence in public space, their size and
the massiveness of their materials, indicate the successes of those struggles.
The longstanding struggle for the acknowledgement of the Nazi genocide of
Roma and Sinti has had comparatively
little effect. The consequence is a nearly
total lack of its commemoration in Austrian public space, a fact that the filigree
material of the poster refers to. Certainly,
this lack is a symptom of a more general
lack, the one of public discourse about
the genocide which is indicated in the
work by the committee commemorating
a term that actually does not exist. The
poster’s elements can be cut out and,
by using the attached stand, erected at
any place and in any arrangement. The
spatial settings to commemorate a “neglected genocide” can be created. The
backside of the poster shows such a setting against the background of Vienna’s
Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial (German: Mahnmal für die 65.000 ermordeten österreichischen Juden und Jüdinnen der Shoah) by Rachel Whiteread.
The memorial was opened in 2000 and is
the result of a decade-long struggle for
a monument dedicated to the victims of
the Shoah in Austria.
Into The City/Wiener Festwochen
Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna
WUK (Open Systems)
Weinheber ausgehoben
Unearthing a Nazi Poet (2013)
Intervention in public space
by Plattform Geschichtspolitik
This work deals with a memorial to Austrian
poet and Nazi Josef Weinheber (1892-1945)
which stands at the Schillerpark in Vienna’s
city centre. A temporary intervention aimed
at exposing its conflicted history and leading
to a permanent artistic reconfiguration and
contextualization of the monument.
“Schillerplatz and the adjacent Schiller Park
were designated and named in honor of the
classical German poet Friedrich Schiller in
the 1870s, when the Academy of Fine Arts
building was also constructed there. Subsequent to the Anschluss (Nazi Germany’s
annexation of Austria in 1938), many public
spaces across the city of Vienna began prohibiting Jews from gathering within them; at
the initiation of the Academy, Schillerplatz
was among these spaces. Today Schillerplatz
is marked by a large monument to Schiller,
along with several smaller monuments to
writers of the past, including Weinheber.
In 2010 Plattform Geschichtspolitik was invited by the Academy of Fine Arts to participate in a symposium Regime – Wie Dominanz
organisiert und Ausdruck formalisiert wird
(Regime – How dominance has organized and
formalized expression). On this occasion the
group initiated two actions to call attention to
the Academy’s own compliance with the Nazis
during the Nazi era, hoping to provoke conversation about the culpability of the institution,
and about these specific historical events.
One action was to rename Schillerplatz “Platz
der auf Betreiben der Akademie 1938/39 vom
Platz vertriebenen Jüd_innen” (Square of the
Jews who got expelled from the square on
the initiative of the Academy in 1938/39.) The
proposed name was printed on stickers and
posted around the square; several remained
posted for a few weeks. Plattform Geschichtspolitik also produced a paper wrapping for
the Weinheber monument, bringing the audience out into the square to cover the monument together during the symposium. The
wrapping too would remain in place for several weeks. Providing the caption, “A monument honoring a Nazi belittles Nazism and
the Shoah,” the wrapping’s text described
Weinheber’s Nazi activities, and the expulsion
of Jews from both the Academy and Schillerplatz during the Nazi era. Members of Plattform Geschichtspolitik composed a call to
action, to address the still-visible manifestations of Austro-Fascism in Vienna, and challenge the extent to which the city has actively
preserved them.
This intervention on the Weinheber monument in 2010 sparked a series of negotiations
back and forth between the collective and the
city department responsible for public art.
After further research, members of the group
submitted a formal proposal to the City of
Vienna to permanently mark the monument
in light of its historical legacy. The proposal,
which specified unearthing the monument’s
foundation and installing a plaque on the
pedestal contextualizing the intervention,
was conditionally approved and then subsequently dismissed, leading to the decision to
realize elements of this design in 2013 without official authorization.
On Friday June 28, 2013, a group of students
and teachers affiliated with the Academy
of Fine Arts arrived at Schillerplatz dressed
as art restorers and equipped with shovels,
wheelbarrows, and extra rolls of turf. One
participant wore a white lab coat and held a
clipboard, informing curious passersby that
the group was a conservation class from the
Academy, there to conserve the statue. The
group dug a rolling ditch around the base of
the monument, exposing its concrete foundation and altering the surrounding landscape,
and then naturalizing the alteration by planting rolls of turf over the ditch.
The site remained like this over the weekend,
before the excavation was filled in and leveled
by the city on Monday, using the same turf
that had been purchased for the intervention.
Plattform Geschichtspolitik was not criminalized for their action. Instead the Secretary of
Culture was recorded as saying that he appreciated the group’s effort—which came as
a surprise considering the restrictions and
complications with which the group’s proposal had initially been met. Despite the city’s
quick reversal of their intervention, responses
to the group’s subsequent attempts since
June 2013 to get the city to integrate a more
permanent change to the monument have
been characterized by slowness.”
Sarah Mendelsohn: Unearthing a Nazi Poet
i believe in coincidences – and only in coincidences. however, what happened to me in april
2009 is a pretty weird one. the story is somewhat cheesy. however, i decided to take a
camera and tell it.
ok …
i couldn’t fall asleep tonight because i couldn’t stop
thinking about a letter i had read earlier that day.
it is one out of a series of
letters that my grandfather
received in 1941 and 1942
from his parents. he was
living in exile in brussels
at that time. his parents
were in vienna. on may 12,
1942, they got deported from
vienna to izbica, from where
they never returned. my
grandfather was deported 5
months later. the lieblings,
a befriended couple, saved
the letters in brussels. they
passed them on to my grandpa
after his liberation in 1945.
my grandmother typewrote
them . that’s how they were
preserved for the children
and the children’s children.
it’s late. the birds are already
catching the first worms …
my grandpa’s parents were religious people. and they
were socialdemocrats. their kids were communists (4
out of 5) and they had emigrated to belgium, bolivia,
china and france. keeping in touch via mail wasn’t
easy those days. consequently, the letters tell about
the parents’ worries for their kids and about the
difficulties maintaining contact.
Seder 1942 (2012)
Graphic novel
This work was created for the special issue “Rituals” of the art magazine A5, published in August 2012. It is based on a series of letters that my great-grandparents
wrote to my grandfather in 1942/43. They
were trapped in Nazi-Vienna while he was
in exile in Brussels. The graphic novel consists of stills from a video I recorded in
2009 after having read those letters for
the first time. It reflects on Jewish resis-
tance, the Diaspora and Zionism and relates Passover stories from the Warsaw
Ghetto uprising, the Survivors’ Haggadah
and my very personal rituals of Passover’s
Seder Evening. Seder 1942 resembles the
first publication of a series of works that I
developed based on my family archive, the
White Elephant Archive. The archive was
created by my grandmother in 1979 and I
have been working with it since 2004.
Artport Tel Aviv
my grandpa’s father had worked as a secretary at
vienna’s jewish community. i suppose he was rather
well-informed about the ongoing events and about the
fate of those who got deported.
the letters tell that the two old people had little to eat and
little to heat. they had to burn books to keep themselves
warm. they write that they were nervous and they describe
the times of increased deportations as “times of increased
nervousness”. on september 19, 1941, they mention that they
wear “a visible sign of our nation” from that day on
and that they want to wear it with dignity and decency.
the letters tell about friends, acquaintances and family
emigrating, getting deported or dying a natural death.
though … jews dying a natural death
… seems rather a relative expression
in vienna during 1941/42, no?
i have been avoiding
these letters for a
long time, today i
decided to read them
and they really
touched me. one of
them engraved a
picture in my mind
that i can’t get rid
it’s a postcard from april 1, 1942.
my dears! today, at the preparation day of our spring feast i want to send you my
best greetings. i hope that you spend these evenings with your people in remembrance
of the festive evenings you had with us. we have a novelty here. self-made easter breads.
like other people mama tried to fabricate them and she succeeded. those are almost the
only symbols of the evenings. other ones are less present. but mama laid the table as
beautifully as in former days. she also put photos of her beloved ones on the table at the
places where they used to sit. thinking of you we get ready to celebrate. with regards
to you and your beloved. yours, papa
my dear children! many happy greetings for the celebration, we are in great company
today! all my children are figuratively around the table and in our minds we are all
certainly together. once again, all the best, stay healthy, may g-d bless you and all of
us. yours, mama
what made this very night different? i constantly saw my great-grandparents sitting
at the dinner table. i couldn’t fall asleep … so i got up … i googled … and it turned out
that seder evening 2009 had been on this very day. exactly 67 years after the two old
people had celebrated it amidst the photos of their kids.
isn’t that weird?
however, it didn’t turn me into a believer.
but at least into a sort of ritualist.
today it’s three seder evenings later. and i
celebrated each of them: with survivors at the
synagogue, with post-marxist intellectuals
in tel aviv, with my identity-confused jewish
friends in my aryanized flat in vienna. and
every year people loved my cheesy seder story.
the warsaw ghetto
fighters revolted on
seder evening 1943. but
it wasn’t them who
picked the date. they
reacted on the nazis
who chose passover
for resuming the
the survivors’ haggadah was written in
a displaced persons camp. it’s said that
there had been serious arguments among
the dp s whether to include the following
sentence: “there is no such thing as a
‘bad’ or ‘good’ exile. every exile leads to
extinction.” in the end the author, yosef dov
sheinson, decided to include it, he believed in
going for israel, not for anything else.
redemption following degradation,
that’s the exodus story’s plot. but
there ain’t no redemption in auschwitz.
don’t we express our desire to
give meaning to the meaningless
by relating one to the other?
shall the trauma be passed
down through generations?
any alternatives?
which curse is worse:
disremembering or
maybe we’ll discuss these
questions at next year’s
seder dinner. and after
racking our brains the
entire night we’ll still be
asking ourselves: which
of these questions goes
with the wise kid and
which with the wicked
one? which question is
posed by the simpleton
and which one by the kid
who does not know how
to ask?
hmpf ...
ok, we’ll see ...
Bezirksamt L-Stadt Revisited (2011)
Intervention in public space, temporary
The work was created as part of the
exhibition “Widersprüche. Critical Agency
and the Difference Within,” at Open
Space Gallery Vienna, curated by Nora
Sternfeld. It consisted of kidnapping
an anti-Semitic information plaque
from a district administration office,
substituting it with the reproduction
of a survivor’s art work called “Jewish
Bravery” and installing it in the gallery.
It only remained there for a couple of
minutes though; the police confiscated
it and brought it back to the administration office.
The show’s concept was to invite artists
and theoreticians to hold a lecture at the
exhibition opening. The subject of the
lectures would relate to the exhibition’s
title. The supposed title of my talk was
“Talking Back! Among us and beyond us:
Recognizing Anti-Semitism, disrupting
I live in Vienna’s 2nd district, the Jewish
quarter of the city. Tens of thousands
Jews had been expelled from there during the Nazi era. The Open Space Gallery is located there as well. A few days
before the opening, when I prepared for
the lecture, I went to the 2nd district’s
Magistratisches Bezirksamt (district
administration office) to renew my
passport. In one of the hallways I came
across an information plaque displaying the district history. Remarkably the
plaque concealed the crimes committed
against the district’s Jewish population
in the pogroms of 1670/71 and between
1938 and 1945.
Being accustomed to the insufficient
way Austria’s society handles its Nazi
past, the plaque was no surprise to me.
However, I decided to change my plans
for the opening lecture. I renamed it “Worüber ich heute sprechen wollte und was
ich morgen tun werde” (What I Planned
To Talk About Today And What I Will Do
Tomorrow), and told the audience about
the plaque and that I planned to kidnap
it and install it in the gallery. So the following day I went to the administration
office, took the plaque off the wall and
substituted it with a reproduction of an
artwork by the Israeli artist Menachem
Lemberger, entitled “Jewish Bravery”. I
brought the plaque to the gallery and
marked it with the following text: “Until
the 4th of May 2011, Nazi crimes had
been denied and anti-Semitic historywriting had been practiced in the Bezirksamt of Vienna’s L-Stadt.”
After a couple of minutes the police
showed up, confiscated the plaque and
returned it to the district administration office, where the authorities put it
back in its place. The police took me to
the station for an interrogation. After an
open letter was sent and a newspaper
article published the authorities substituted the old plaque with a revised one
and abandoned the lawsuit against me.
Open Space Vienna
a work that can‘t shake off what it reflects.
Debating and contesting continuities and
ruptures of colonial, fascist and Nazi
practices in Austria (2011)
An exhibition project by and with Petja Dimitrova, Lina Dokuzović, Eduard Freudmann,
Can Gülcü and Ivan Jurica. With works by
Ljubomir Bratić/Richard Ferkl, Christian
Gangl, Nina Höchtl, kegnschtelik – Yiddish Resistance 3.0, maiz – Autonomous
Center by and for Migrant Women, Marcel
Mališ, Ivana Marjanović, MigrafonA, Katharina Morawek, Platform History-Politics, Research Group on Black Austrian History and
Present, Marika Schmiedt.
Departing from Austria’s involvement in colonial practices, in both the present and the
past, as well as its crossovers to imperial
and fascist policies of expansion, the exhibition collects artistic positions that examine
these practices and oppose them through
resistant strategies. Multi-dimensional
perspectives on interwoven pasts should
thereby challenge existing competitions of
memory and open up spaces of action for
contemporary processes of political and
anti-racist self-empowerment.
A work that can‘t shake off what it reflects
is what Astrid Messerschmidt describes as
a memorial work, which debates and contests the eliminatory systems of violent oppression, such as colonialism and Nazism,
whereby their similarities and differences,
their continuities and ruptures, are taken
into consideration – always under the premises of clarifying the incompleteness and
inconcludability of history as a field of constant debate. This denotes a memorial work
that strives to avoid the relativization of
genocides and the creation of competitions
of memory, in which histories of victimization
are played out against each other. Instead,
the opening of spaces of narration is intended, which do not define themselves exclusively as the continuation of existing concepts of history or as the dissociation from
them, but to rather enable multi-dimensional perceptions of interwoven histories.
A work that can‘t shake off what it reflects
also implies the debating and contesting
of the effects of colonial, fascist and Nazi
practices and their interrelations with
present-day racisms and mechanisms of
exclusion. The respective memorial work,
which is both post-Nazi and post-colonial,
should thereby serve to examine given policies of disfranchisement, precarization and
exploitation in order to catalyze resistant
processes of anti-fascist and anti-racist
Furthermore, a work that can‘t shake off
what it reflects represents the attempt to
assemble interwoven, unconcluded and
contradictory artistic positions. The works
represented in the exhibition investigate
processes of transition and their interlinked
neocolonial structures in post-socialist
countries (Ivan Jurica, Marcel Mališ), analyze Austrian colonial histories (Nina Höchtl,
Katharina Morawek), refer to the relations
between nation-state constructions of identity and racist objectification (Petja Dimitrova, Research Group on Black Austrian History and Present) and position themselves
against the medialization and normalization of the discrimination of minorities
(Ljubomir Bratić/Richard Ferkl, Can Gülcü,
kegnschtelik – Yiddish Resistance 3.0). They
show potentialities of collective and selfempowering strategies for action, such as
self-organization and self-historization (MigrafonA, Platform History-Politics, Marika
Schmiedt), develop strategies against normative stereotypes of gender, migration or
class (Lina Dokuzović, maiz) and depict the
intersection between art, theory and activism as the point of departure for political intervention (Eduard Freudmann/Ivana
Marjanović, Marina Gržinić/Aina Šmid/
Zvonka Simčič).
Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna
Kunstpavillon Innsbruck
Monument of the Demand for Provenience
Research and Restitution (2010)
Temporary spatial intervention
by Plattform Geschichtspolitik
The intervention was carried out in November 2010 within the workshop “Educational
Turn”, organized by Schnittpunkt.
In January 2013 the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna employed a historian to be in charge of
researching on the provenance of its library,
its painting collection and its graphic collection. His task was to figure out if any of the
objects in the possession of the Academy
were Aryanized, meaning they were looted
during the systematic dispossession of
Jews and everyone classified as such by the
Nazis. The former Rector of the institution,
Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, had for many
years rejected the project of provenance research. Schmidt-Wulffen not only ignored
persistent requests from the Plattform Geschichtspolitik but also the fact that the
institution was legally obliged to carry out
such research.
The intervention started in the anteroom
of two offices at the Academy. A massive
antique table standing in the room was rumoured to have been aryanized. Due to the
given state of knowledge, it could not be
assessed whether that rumor was true or
false. However, the fact that the Academy
Rector’s Office was aware of the rumor and
despite this did not initiate the appropriate
investigation, turned the table into a symbol for the institution’s general refusal to do
provenance research. The participants of
the workshop, organized by Plattform Geschichtspolitik disassembled the table and
stacked its components, barricading the entrance to the Rector’s Office. Along with an
application for the budget to establish a position for provenance research at the Academy, the construction formed the “Monument
of the Demand for Provenance Research and
Uglyville – A Contention of
Anti-Romaism in Europe (2010)
Documentary by Eduard Freudmann
and Ivana Marjanović
Serbia/Austria 2010, 56 min., English/Serbian/German with english subtitles
This film is a critical analysis of the interrelation of racism (i.e. anti-Romaism) and capitalism in socalled New Europe (Europe after 1989), but also an analysis of strategies
of resistance to it. The starting point for the
film was the partial demolition and fencing
of a Roma slum next to “Belville”, a residential area erected to accommodate guests of
the international sports event “Universiade
Belgrade 2009.” In Belgrade there are many
Roma slums, for a more detailed description see also the project Beograd Gazela –
Travel Guide To A Slum. From time to time
some of those settlements get destroyed by
the authorities, which happened to the slum
next to Belville. However, this case is interesting because the destruction triggered
resistance by inhabitants and activists in
solidarity. Extensive protests were organized
that led to a moratorium on the destruction.
Eventually, the slum was fenced in by the
authorities and the international athletes
accommodated in the residential buildings
were told that what they were seeing behind
the fence was the scenery for a movie.
The film combines a theoretical analysis of
the situation (Contention of Anti-Romaism
as a Part of the Process of the Decoloniality
of Europe by Ivana Marjanović) with a narration of the protests and documentary images of the spatial setting around the slum
and the athletes’ accommodation area. Its
distanced landscape and architectural photography and the self-reflexive staging of
the theorist and the artist as activists can
be understood as a reaction to difficulties of
the previously mentioned project, Beograd
Gazela – Travel Guide To A Slum.
54th Venice Biennial
Wiener Festwochen
Kunsthalle Exnergasse
Kunstpavillon Innsbruck
Labor Budapest
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
City Museum Ljubljana
An dieser Stelle war bis 2010 (2010)
Spatial intervention by
Plattform Geschichtspolitik
The intervention was carried out at the assembly hall of the Academy of Fine Arts
Vienna in January 2010. It shows a cuboid
made of yellow wooden sheathings that is
installed on one of the walls with construction timber, on one side a bronze knob sticks
out. Next to the sheathing stand a concrete
mixer and a pile of cement bags. Text, inscribed on the cuboid and the wall right next
to it, look at the covered object from four
Victim Memorial
At this spot, a victim memorial was to be
seen from 1925 to 2009. A historical-political manifestation that concealed Austria’s
colonial expansion policy as the aggressor
of the First World War. It is testimony to the
self-victimization within the defeat. It was
supposed to be a “monument to the fallen
art academics,” referred to the participation
of art and its institutions in the implementation of hegemonic policies, anticipated in
its form subsequent fascist logics and described the continuity of the heroic deaths
for the emperor, the Führer, the nation and
the fatherland.
[An dieser Stelle war von 1925 bis 2009 ein
Opferdenkmal zu sehen. Eine geschichtspolitische Manifestation die Österreichs koloniale Expansionspolitik als Aggressor des Ersten
Weltkriegs unterschlug – Zeugnis der Selbstviktimisierung in der Niederlage. Es sollte ein
“Denkmal für die gefallenen Kunstakademiker” sein, verwies auf die Teilhabe von Kunst
und ihren Institutionen an der Durchführung
hegemonialer Politiken, nahm in seiner Form
nachfolgende faschistische Logiken vorweg
und beschrieb die Kontinuität der Heldentode für Kaiser, Führer, Volk und Vaterland.]
Hero’s Memorial
At this spot, a hero’s memorial was to be
seen from 1925 to 2009. It showed a naked
youngling in neoclassical style. The ahistorical representation of his beauty through
youth and strength served the notion of idealized body images and diverted attention
from the reality of war. A laurel in his right
hand stylized the heroes’ commemoration to
a victory within the defeat.
[An dieser Stelle war von 1925 bis 2009 ein
Heldendenkmal zu sehen. Es zeigte einen
nackten Jüngling im neoklassizistischen
Stil. Die ahistorisierende Darstellung seiner
Schönheit durch Jugend und Kraft diente
nicht nur zur Beförderung eines idealisierten
Körperbilds, sondern auch zur Ablenkung
von Kriegsrealität. Ein Lorbeer in der rechten
Hand stilisierte das Heldengedenken zu einem Sieg in der Niederlage.]
Warrior’s Memorial
At this spot, a warrior’s memorial was to be
seen from 1925 to 2009. It stylized the war
experience into a glorified myth of Christian
suffering. Front experience and heroic death
were constitutive for a masculinity that was
not able to make peace. The aestheticization
of mass murder and mass dying was supposed to create identity and served the legitimization of claims to power. Such heroes’
commemoration is a vehicle to obfuscate
the genesis of German fascism.
[An dieser Stelle war von 1925 bis 2009 ein
Kriegerdenkmal zu sehen. Es stilisierte die
Kriegserfahrung zu einem christlich verklärten Mythos des Leidens. Fronterlebnis und
Heldentod waren dabei konstitutiv für eine
Männlichkeit, die nicht mehr zum Frieden
fähig war. Die Ästhetisierung massenhaften
Mordens und Sterbens soll Identität stiften
und dient der Legitimation von Herrschaftsansprüchen. Derlei Heldengedenken ist ein
Vehikel zur Verschleierung der Genese des
deutschen Faschismus.]
At this spot, a memorial was to be seen from
1925 to 2009. Its author, Josef Müllner, was a
student (1896-1903), Professor (1910-1948)
and rector (1922-1928) of the Academy of
Fine Arts, he was closely connected to German-folkish fraternities during his entire
professional life. Müllner created the prototype for the war propagandistic “Wehrmann
in Eisen,” the racial-mythical “Siegfriedskopf” of the University of Vienna, a memorial
for Vienna’s anti-Semitic Mayor Karl Lueger,
as well as a bust of Adolf Hitler, which was
erected here at the central point of the assembly hall of the Academy. After the defeat
of National Socialism, Müllner was completely absolved. The respective certification of de-Nazification attested that he had
“carried out no Nazi propaganda”.
[An dieser Stelle war von 1925 bis 2009 ein
Denkmal zu sehen. Sein Autor, Josef Müllner, war Student (1896-1903), Professor
(1910-1948) und Rektor (1922-1928) der
Akademie der bildenden Künste, er stand
Zeit seines Schaffens in enger Verbindung zu
deutschnationalen Verbindungen. Müllner
schuf den kriegspropagandistischen “Wehrmann in Eisen”, den völkisch-mythischen
Siegfriedskopf der Universität Wien, ein Denkmal für Wiens antisemitischen Bürgermeister Karl Lueger, sowie jene Hitlerbüste, die
zentral in der Aula der Akademie aufgestellt
war. Er wurde nach der Niederlage des Nationalsozialismus vollständig rehabilitiert,
das betreffende Entnazifizierungsgutachten
bescheinigt, er habe “keine Nazipropaganda
The State of Exception Proved to be the
Rule (2008)
by Eduard Freudmann and Jelena Radić
A video documentary of the prevention of an
Serbia 2008, 84 min.
Serbian with English subtitles
The film deals with the events around an
exhibition of Albanian artists from Kosovo
in Belgrade’s Kontekst Galerija. On February 7th, 2008, the opening of the exhibition
was prevented by a clerical-fascist organization, violent football hooligans and the
Serbian police. With the immanent Kosovar
declaration of independence as backdrop,
this incident triggered hostile public discussions. Following Boris Groys’ assumption that art differs from non-art by being
under extraordinary police protection, the
non-protection of the exhibition should be
recognized as an attempt to invalidate the
exhibition’s artworks and convert them into
Along with narration about this series of
events, the documentary examines the tradition in which the incidents are embedded,
points out its political context, displays the
media coverage, reflects its preconditions,
meanings and impact. It connects the incidents in Kontekst Galerija with the national
and international political situation, the production of public opinion by media in Serbia
and a theoretical analysis and interpretation
of the situation.
49 th October Salon Belgrade
Shedhalle Zürich
Kumu Art Musteum Tallinn
Barbur Gallery Jerusalem
Annexe Gallery Kuala Lumpur
NGBK Berlin
Beograd Gazela
Travel Guide to a Slum (2008)
Lorenz Aggermann, Eduard Freudmann, Can
German, 224 pages
DRAVA 2008, ISBN: 978-3-85435-533-5
Romani, 224 pages
DRAVA 2009, ISBN: 978-3-85435-587-8
Serbian, 220 pages
RENDE 2009. ISBN: 978-86-83897-69-8
This book provides documentation of a
Roma slum in Belgrade, packed in the format of a travel guide book. It was published
in Serbian, Romani and German language
(see details below), received large attention by international media and is sold in
the travel guide sections of book stores. The
book is based on extensive research carried
out between 2005 and 2007 during several
longer stays in Belgrade. Politicians, sociologists, representatives of aid organizations,
and representatives of Roma associations
were interviewed and provided a precise
picture of those structures and mechanism
by which the Serbian Roma are pushed to
the margin of society. However they gave
little information about the Belgrade slums
or about Gazela itself. Thus the focus was
transferred to visiting the settlement itself,
in the course of which the extensive interviews with the inhabitants took place that
ultimately provided the major foundation for
the travel guide.
The book directs the reader’s attention to a
place which is paradigmatic for the recent
history of Roma in Southeastern Europe. It
provides essential information about the
social and economic structures of a slum,
about the inhabitants and their daily lives
and exposes the complex mechanisms of
marginalization and discrimination against
Roma. In addition, the individual chapters
are accompanied by a discussion which the
authors led at the end of a presentation of
the project. The edited transcriptions of interjections and comments run through the
book at the bottom of each page, documenting its origin as well as questions that were
still open even after the completion of the
typescript, and embed the project in the
context out of which it grew – that of contemporary art.
54. Venice Biennial
Tin Sheds Sydney
Wiener Festwochen
Bucharest Biennial 3
Tirana International Art Biannual
Depo Istanbul
Bildmuseet Umeå
< rotor > Graz
Kogart Budapest
Niemals Vergessen – Never Forget (2005)
Interventions in public space
by Michael Fleischner, Eduard Freudmann
and Can Gülcü
Airport Praterstern
The intervention was carried out in January 2005, during the so-called “Gedenkjahr”
(commemoration year) that was announced
by the Austrian government. Since 2000
Austria had been governed by a coalition of
the conservative party (ÖVP) and the rightextremist populist party (FPÖ). During that
year a number of anniversaries were celebrated and the government launched a
number of dubious art projects in public
space. Austrian artists and cultural workers
initiated a series of counter-projects; Airport
Praterstern was one of them.
Praterstern is a regional railway station at
a central location in Vienna that was under
reconstruction in January 2005. Before WW2
the Praterstern had been Austria’s largest
railway station. It was the arrival point for
tens of thousands of Jews immigrating to
Vienna as well as the point of departure for
deportations to concentration and extermination camps during Nazism. Without the
authorities’ permission we put up a presumably official information booth by using the
insignias of the Republic of Austria. In the
name of the Republic we announced the
launch of the initiative Niemals Vergessen
(Never Forget), which combined a utopian
construction project and a shift of paradigm
in terms of how the Republic deals with the
Jews expelled from Vienna during Nazism.
The construction project was a new airport
at Vienna’s Praterstern and it was presented
to the public through the information booth,
radio shows, newspaper articles, a website
and an online discussion forum. It served as
an eye-catcher for the utopian message announced on all project materials: Since the
year 2005 represents, amongst other, anniversaries the liberation from Nazism, the
Republic of Austria has finally decided to
compensate for its decade-long failure to
assume its responsibility towards the victims of Nazism and push forward the active
process of coming to terms with the country’s Nazi past.
Kunsthalle Exnergasse
Prodajna galerija Belgrade
SKC Belgrade
April Meetings Belgrade
Basistunnel Loiblpass
This intervention was carried out in October
2005, during the Austrian government’s socalled “Gedenkjahr” (commemoration year).
Since 2000 Austria had been governed by a
coalition of the conservative party (ÖVP) and
the right-extremist populist party (FPÖ). During that year a number of anniversaries were
celebrated and the government launched
a number of dubious art projects in public
space. Austrian artists and cultural workers
initiated a series of counter-projects; Basistunnel Loiblpass was one of them.
Basistunnel Loiblpass was the continuation
of Airport Praterstern, another intervention
in public space, we had carried out earlier
in 2005. The Loiblpass is an alpine mountain pass in Carinthia, the most southern
Austrian province, at the Austrian-Slovenian
border. In 1943 the Nazis erected two concentration camps, one on each side of (today’s) border. The camp inmates were forced
to build the Loibltunnel, a 1.570 m long tunnel at 1.068 m altitude. While the ruins of
the camp were conserved on the Slovenian
side and a memorial commemorates the
Nazi atrocities, hardly any reference can
be found on the Austrian side of the border
where traces of the camp were erased. The
region around the Loibl and generally the
southern part of Carinthia is inhabited by
members of the Slovenian minority persecuted by the Nazis, many of whom became
partisans. After the defeat of Nazism the
Carinthian Slovenians were oppressed as
well and deprived of their minority rights.
Their outstanding anti-Fascist resistance
and their contribution to the liberation of
Austria has been largely disregarded by the
state officials.
Again, without the authorities’ permission,
we put up a presumably official information
booth by using the insignias of the Republic
of Austria, this time in Klagenfurt, the capital of the province of Carinthia. In the name
of the Republic we announced the launch of
the initiative Niemals Vergessen (Never Forget), which combined a utopian construction
project and a shift of paradigm in terms of
how the Republic deals with the Carinthian
Slovenian partisans. The construction project consisted of two parts: First, the Loibl
tunnel would be closed for traffic and converted to the “Austrian Resistance Museum.”
Second, a new tunnel would be built through
the Alps connecting Klagenfurt and the Slovenian capital Ljubljana with a magnetic
levitation train. Besides the information
booth we presented the project through radio shows, newspaper articles, a website
and an online discussion forum.
Perception of War
An Approximation in Six Fragments (2003)
Eduard Freudmann and Ramon Grendene
A/CH/D 2003, 24 min., English with German
“The short-movie is based on six parts that
relate to each other. Central theme is the
perception of war – out of different points
of view. The work started as an attempt of
overcoming our own speechlessness about
the Iraq War. The topic of war holds an unmanageable multitude of questions, and, in
the truest sense of word, is incomprehensible. That is why we are not trying to give solutions but offer appproaches which shall be
understood as a fragmentaric process of an
endless ensemble. The movie uses different
genres/disciplines: animation, montage, agitprop, found footage, documentary, digital
Eduard Freudmann and Ramon Grendene
“In their six sequences the two german students Eduard Freudmann and Ramon Grendene show interpretations of the fascination
with current american militarism. They work
with the comprehensive fusion of documentary and animation tecniques (the film was
screened in the section Animadoc). Between
hits and misses, 24 of the freshest minutes
of the festival.”
Amir Labaki, director of the
International Documentary Film Festival Rio
de Janeiro about the 46th International Festival for Documentary and Animation Leipzig
“Is war a topic which fits into an experimental cinematic frame? The filmmakers
Eduard Freudmann and Ramon Grendene
dared to step in a minefield, trying unusual approaches to military thinking on the
search for the nature of violence. Six multidisciplinary short films developed, starting
points for a fragmentaric approach to a consecutive process. “
Prof. Wolfgang Kissel, Bauhaus-University
“This year‘s prizewinners are Eduard Freudmann and Ramon Grendene. Their film,
‘Perception of War - An Approximation in
Six Fragments’, exposes the paradoxes of
medial contemporary wars as well as their
fluctuating truths.”
The award jury of backup_Festival 2003
33. International Film Festival Rotterdam
46. Leipziger Dokumentarfilmfestival
20. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm und Videofest
39. Solothurner Filmtage
European Film Festival Ankara/Bursa/Izmir
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Festival de Vidéo et Film Beirut
11th European Film Festival Beirut
Select Media Festival 3 Chicago
20. Internat. Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg
14. Internationales Bochumer Videofestival
8. Lichtspieltage Winterthur
Signes de Nuit Paris
sehsüchte, Potsdam
Media Nox
backup_festival Weimar 2003
next5minutes Amsterdam
up and coming Int. Filmfestival Hannover

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