Program ’18 / Volksfronten

Yoshinori Niwa

Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space (2018)
Installation and video
Yoshinori Niwa, advertisement for Withdrawing Adolf Hitler

Yoshinori Niwa, advertisement for Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018. Graphic design: Yelena Maksutay. Courtesy the artist

Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke

Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke

Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke
Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke
Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke
Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, 2018, installation and video, steirischer herbst, photo: Mathias Völzke

Perhaps it’s a tattered photograph, an official-looking document, or a certain kind of book, or maybe even an entire uniform. Whatever it is, you can’t show it to anyone because it implicates your long-gone relatives in the darkest episodes of the not-so-distant past, yet you wouldn’t want to sell or destroy it either. Such objects are kept carefully stored away in the deepest of drawers and highest corners of the attic. You never really know who else owns similar relics, since their public display is illegal in Austria, but you imagine that many other people do. In his new work in public space for steirischer herbst, artist Yoshinori Niwa plays with this cultural and legal situation of privacy and uncertainty. In a public campaign, he offers to dispose of any unwanted or compromising memorabilia from the fascist era. People can anonymously rid themselves of these objects by dumping them into a container installed in the city center. The contents will be collected and later destroyed under official supervision in accordance with relevant Austrian laws. As part of this unburdening, it is important that the public will never know the exact amount or nature of what was collected, or who left the items there. The container might be full, or it might be completely empty. Niwa’s point is to activate the imagination. He wants to confront the owners of such mementos with an ethical choice: hold onto these traces of a troubled past, or make use of this “clean” method of disposal, stepping forward into the future freed of these objects.


Seeking for private NS relics
 

Yoshinori Niwa is already looking for people who own such relics from Nazi times and who are willing to talk about them, about the stories connected with them, and the ambivalent way we treat them. This is an opportunity to contribute to the second part of the project—a collection of video documentations that will be showcased on www.steirischerherbst.at. The artist will visit you with a cameraman to shoot the interview. You can of course remain anonymous in the video and we will respect your privacy. 
 

If you are interested in taking part in the project, please leave your name, phone number, and perhaps a brief message on +43 664 884 145 50. Visits and shootings are scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 September and 25 to 26 September in Graz. It may also be possible to visit you outside of Graz.

21.9.–14.10.

Hauptplatz and online
8010 Graz

Google Maps

Free access

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst

Camera: Constantin Lederer
Video editing: Yoshinori Niwa
Graphic design: Yelena Maksutay

Yoshinori Niwa (1982, Aichi Prefecture, Japan) is a performance, video, and installation artist whose practice takes the form of social interventions in public spaces, often involving seemingly absurd and unproductive physical acts. He lives in Vienna.


 

Video documentaries (ongoing series)

These videos present the artist's work-in-progress and invite you to accompany his ongoing search for private NS relics. 


Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 27 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 26 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 25 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 22 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 19 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 13 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 11 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 8 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 7 September 2018



Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 6 September 2018



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Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 18 July 2018



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Yoshinori Niwa, Withdrawing Adolf Hitler from a Private Space, Day of 17 July 2018

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