Theme Day - May -Statues

by - 1.5.10

Alfred Hrdlicka's Mahnmal gegen Krieg und Faschismus, 1986

A monument by Alfred Hrdlicka for the victims of the Second World War and the Nazi regime in Austria (1938-45) Situated in the square behind the State Opera and in front of the Albertina.

Hrdlicka was an Austrian sculptor, draughtsman, painter and artist. He was originally a dental technician student from 1943 to 1945, he studied painting until 1952 at the Akademie der bildenden Künste under Albert Paris Gütersloh and Josef Dobrowsky. Afterwards he studied sculpture until 1957 under Fritz Wotruba. In 1960 he had his first exhibition in Vienna; in 1964 he attained international recognition as a representative of Austria in the architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy. He died recently, on 5 December 2009 due to a prolonged illness at age 81.


The split white monument, The Gates of Violence, remembers victims of all wars and violence, including the 1938–1945 Nazi rule of Austria. Standing directly in front of it, you're at the gates of a concentration camp...step into a montage of wartime images: soldiers, blood, slave laborers, bombings and ruins everywhere.

The hunched-over figure on the ground behind is a representation of Jews during the era. This piece caused an uproar sometime after the installation was presented prompting the government to commission another memorial, that of British Rachel Whiteread's Holocaust Memorial at the Judenplatz (2000).

The installation seem a common statue when you look at it but the impact will hit you when you realize this monument stands on the very same spot where several hundred people hiding in a cellar got buried alive when it was demolished in a WWII bombing attack.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


Scenic Sunday

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  2. Everything about this post is so painful. But thank you for sharing it, Gizelle. We should never forget, no matter what country we live in.

  3. Mirage: Something that should be remembered and art is the perfect way.

  4. A very powerful monument to the victims of the horrors of World War II.

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  6. An interesting entry of yours and the statue just as important. Please have a wonderful start into the new week.

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