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The artistic work of Elisabeth Schmirl, lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Design at the Innsbruck location, turns the spacious staircase of the Unicorn - opened in 2021 as a start-up and innovation hub of the University of Graz - into a multi-perspective space for encounters, remembrance and commemoration.

workshop / symposium May 8, 2023 from 8:30 a.m

Unicorn, Conference Deck, Schubertstrasse 6a, Graz

An art and memorial project by the University of Graz

The building, constructed in 1868/69, served as the headquarters of the Graz student union during the Nazi era, a department of the Reich student union in Berlin. Two National Socialist murals bear witness to this to this day. In 1997, Richard Kriesche and Helmut Konrad commented on the politics of remembrance through an artistic intervention, and in 2017 this combination was placed under monument protection.

The current art project "Because there are so many." by Elisabeth Schmirl, university professor for graphics and painting in the Department of Fine Arts and Design at the Innsbruck location, reacts to this situation with portraits and messages from a large number of contemporary and historical, real and fictitious figures:

„You can see unique murals printed in flat gray. They run through the stairwell and manifest themselves between the first and second floors a group representation. There, users of the staircase near the wall trigger multicolored shadows with their bodies and engage with the life-size, screen-printed groups.”

- (Elisabeth Schmirl)

Elisabeth Schmirl selected image and text quotations from the wealth of material, combined them with fictitious figures and sentences and assembled them into an associative structure of biographical fragments, visual motifs, symbols, gestures, thoughts and statements on escape, remembrance and commemoration. In this multi-layered mixture, the stairwell of the Unicorn offers both a place of remembrance and a glimpse into the future.

On May 8th there will be a project workshop at the Unicorn in Graz on the occasion of the handover of the artwork by Elisabeth Schmirl to the public.


An event by: University of Graz, Center for Jewish Studies, Institute for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology, Institute for History/Culture and Gender History, Institute for Educational and Education/work area migration - diversity - education), arge leb idris architecture/architektin iris reiter and <rotor> center for contemporary art

Details at (Opens in new tab)