A visual-textual tour through Vienna’s “places of memory” by Tal Adler and Karin Schneider
We investigate Vienna’s “places of memory”, where history is displayed and taught: Small district museums (Bezirksmuseen), that are not prestigious, hardly included in official guides but rather in elementary schools’ field trips; memorials like “The Exhibition in Vienna’s Otto Wagner Hospital: On the History of Nazi Medicine in Vienna”; or non-official Memorials like the Flakturms (military towers from WWII). On the other hand we examine details of the displays in the big, representative institutions like the military museum (Heeresgeschichtliche Museum), or the museum of Vienna (Wien Museum). All of these representations of memory invite multiple interpretations and support different aims and agendas, which pertain to different viewpoints of the past as well as of the present. Our project provides a series of photographs of these places with sometimes surprising displays, room installations, specific objects and tableaus combined with texts about the findings. The texts are also based on interviews with experts in this field and the workers of the institutions. Our aim is to understand how the production of history and its blind-spots functions in Vienna, a place so permeated with history.