63 Jahre danach
63 Years After
Graz. Austria 2010
Following the completion of Ich Sigfried Uiberreither Landeshauptmann 2008 (I Sigfried Uiberreither Provincial Governor 2008) at the Burgtor city gate in Graz, the Styrian parliament and the provincial government commissioned a second project to Jochen Gerz.

63 Jahre danach ― 63 years after ― began with the formation of an interdisciplinary research group made up of historians, art historians, sociologists and scholars of German Studies from the University of Graz, who were given the task of compiling photographs from the National Socialist period. In contrast to conventional historical documentations of the Nazi era, the intention here was to compile a series of snapshots of everyday life, and thereby to establish a continuity between the past and the present.

Of the many hundreds of photographs compiled, 96 were subsequently published in Styria’s leading daily newspapers. The paper’s readers then selected a total of 48 photos. These images were presented via the newspaper to the members of the Styrian parliament with an invitation to each parliamentarian to choose one picture and compose a personal text to accompany it―a text written from a contemporary perspective 63 years after. In spring 2009, 48 parliamentarians responded to this request. Their texts were published in the newspaper together with the corresponding photos from the Nazi period, and readers then selected the 24 contributions that now make up the artwork 63 years after.

It was also left to the readership to decide where each of these 24 contributions would be located in Styria. As a result, following a process using the daily press as a platform and lasting almost a year, 12 objects have been installed in 12 different municipalities within the province of Styria and at 12 locations in the capital Graz

These objects document the genesis of a work that has been publically authored by scholars, politicians and the newspaper’s readership (5,000 participants) and confront each location with the photo/text relating to it.

Public authorship
Object: Newspaper publications, 19 photo/text - objects in public space

Four years after its inauguration, the newly elected right wing coalition of the city of Graz decided, in spite of public protest, to dismantle 63 Years After.
© Marcus Auer, Graz
© Marcus Auer, Graz