The neon work “8. November 1939” by the artist Silke Wagner is the result of a competition organized by the cultural department of the City of Munich. According to Silke Wagner, “Georg Elser has earned a place in the history of resistance fighters against the National Socialist dictatorship through his actions. The purpose of the memorial can only be to commemorate this. The work draws attention to what is essential – the assassination.”
Every day at 9:20 p.m., the time of the explosion on November 8, 1939, the individual elements made of red neon tubes are lit up one after the other, giving the historical date of November 8, 1939. At 9:21 p.m. sharp, the light goes out again and the work “disappears” from urban public space. Thus, the abstract monument is consistently limited to its central information – at the same time, through this conscious reduction, the usual perception of the square is broken and the viewer’s attention is focused on this one minute, which could have given the history of the 20th century a different turn.
Silke Wagner, born in 1968 in Göppingen, lives and works in Frankfurt.