art project UNDINE KOMMT
art project Undine kommt
GERMAN DESIGN AWARD WINNER
Excellent Architecture/ Fair& Exhibition 2024
Petra Stelzmüller designs the above-ground conduit in the Sigmund-Freud-Park with text passages by Ingeborg Bachmann:
Undine kommt – an art project in public space, with kind support of Wiener Linien.
The conduit pipes, winding themselves through the city like an alien construction, are supposed to serve not only as an aqueduct, but also as a voice for important messages:
Petra Stelzmüller sees them as a voice for women.
Two subjects are of special concern to her:
- society’s expectations of a woman’s role and a woman’s position in society (e.g. wages, equality, etc.); this relates to the public and displayed
- the relation between people, mainly physical and psychological violence against women by men (2022: 30 femicides); this relates to the private and not right away apparent
The project Undine kommt uses quotes from Undine geht (1961) by Ingeborg Bachmann, the first German-speaking feminist writer of the post-war era. Selected text passages wind themselves along the pipes like a snake. Visitors of the park and those interested in art will notice the project from afar, being enticed to enter the art installation reading.
As a writer Ingeborg Bachmann shines a light on the mysterious, the relation between public and private, discretion and indiscretion. Petra Stelzmüller artistically contextualizes interior and exterior: the exterior, the text, forms a unity with the interior, the groundwater, as the public, the visible, relates to the private, the invisible.
The project Undine kommt signifies a reversal and stands for the female gender not making do with the state of affairs, but to rebel instead, to attract attention and to make a statement:
# against physical violence, but also against its psychological form of threats, degradations, humiliations, mobbing, intimidations, stalking and verbal abuse.
Violence is a social incident, given in all social systems and shaped already during education and in relationships.
The temporary art installation Undine kommt sets a gentle but insistent example and will be on exhibit for one year. It is suitable for discussion boards in schools and information events held for both pupils and adults by the police department for preventing violence and is supposed to be an open space for everyone.
Upon the project’s completion all produced tarpaulins are being reutilized: they will be made into handbags etc. by a socially oriented women’s club and auctioned off in the course of a charity for the benefit of women’s projects.
quotations on the frontside:
“I love the water, its dense transparency, the green in the water and the speechless creatures (and soon I’ll be speechless, too), my hair under them, in it, the just water, the indifferent mirror, that bans me from seeing you differently. The wet border between me and myself …”
“You people! You monsters! You buy and have yourself been bought.”
“We loved each other. We were of the same mind.”
quotations on the reverse side:
“I could enter with a look that says: Think! Be! Say it!”
“I am under water. Am under water.“
“Good evening.” “Good evening.” “How far is it to your place?” “Far, it is far.” “And far it is to mine.”
“I will never return, never again say Yes and You and Yes.”
“– I’ve told you: Death is in there. And: Time is at it.”
from the short story „Undine geht“, Ingeborg Bachmann: literary works, volume 2. short stories ©1978 Piper publishing company Ltd, Munich
GERMAN DESIGN AWARD WINNER 2024 excellent architecture/ fair& exhibition “Undine kommt”
photos UNDINE KOMMT
pressarticles in german
L’ART POUR L’ART
photos art installation @Erich Reismann
group photos @ David Bohmann and Tobias Holzer
photo Ingeborg Bachmann @Heinz Bachmann
text: Petra Stelzmüller, translation: A. Brom