Coming to Terms with the Past: The Vienna Project as an Interactive, Interdisciplinary Model of Memorialization



Issues of representation following mass atrocities remain one of the greatest challenges for artists working with histories of genocide. The Vienna Project was developed as a temporary, social action, public art memorial project, marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Anschluss in Austria, when Austria was annexed into Greater Germany. After the war, allied occupation in Austria ended in 1955, followed by state sovereignty. “Coming to Terms with the Past: The Vienna Project as an Interactive, Interdisciplinary Model of Memorialization” features a comparative discussion of major memorial development in Vienna, the capital of Austria, between 1955 and 2014. Introduced as a post-conceptual model of memorialization, The Vienna Project opened in 2013 and closed 1 year later. The Project combined research with participatory methodologies and became the first national memorial of its kind in Europe to include multiple victim groups in a single presentation, while preserving differences between the groups. The chapter situates the project within a continuum of memorialization in Vienna and captures the author’s role as conceptual artist, cultural historian, and founding director of The Vienna Project.


Holocaust Memory Public art Austria Art activism Citizenship 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lesley UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Women’s Studies Research CenterBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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