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Events 2009

Great Hall

Art Provocation. Salzburg Vision Impairments
Lecture with Wolfram P. Kastner

It was 15 years ago that the artist Wolfram P. Kastner cut down the black honorary SS ribbon with scissors at Salzburg’s municipal cemetery. Austria and Germany’s long practiced habit of looking the other way or, even better, seeing nothing and therefore knowing nothing and protecting the cemetery calm was disrupted with one cut. Federal police searched for the artist with German Shepherds, in a surprise attack the SS recaptured the wreath ribbon from the Galerie 5020 and made dark threats like „an eye for an eye…” A letter bomb was reported, charges were filed, trials and discussions were conducted. The disruption of the habit of looking away could not be retracted anymore and „Nazi blindness” (a very common vision impairment in the Alp region) was obvious. There was a lot of support for Kastner, the vision disrupter, in the various activities to honor the murdered (by the SS) deserters and Salzburg Jews, as well as in cutting down the SS banners.

The Nazi ghost remained at the Salzburg cemetery for 54 years - after 54 years the ghost is finally gone. Wolfram P. Kastner cut down the SS banner ten times. He showed and talked about some of the things that happened to him during and after the events.

Other vision impairments also were discussed: an invisible memorial to Thomas Bernhard on the Staatsbrücke, the criminal addition of a falsified quotation on the Theodor Herzl memorial plate the houses robbed of their markers and the memory of the Salzburg Anschluss book burning. Art sometimes stimulates more than it is given credit for when it does not limit itself to decorating, aestheticizing, and mystifying, but rather provokes unexpected perception and discussion.
(Carl Blauhorn, 2008)

Wolfram P. Kastner was born in 1947 in Munich, where he now lives and works. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and since 1982 has carried out multiple public activities and interventions on the topic of vision impairments, one of which was „Furchtbare Wege/ Terrible Paths ” in 2007, a project in memory of the death march of Hungarian Jews in April 1945 (part of the Upper Austrian Festival of Regions).

Art Provocation, Hubert Kramar, Hanna Hiob, Wolfram P. Kastner

Art Provocation, Hubert Kramar, Hanna Hiob, Wolfram P. Kastner
Photo: ikufo