Susanne Wagner

10 — 25 Jul 14


Photograph of an art project by Silke Wagner on Odeonsplatz in front of the Feldherrnhalle. The installation is a living monument intended to create the illusion of a sculpture: A series of performers sit and lie in motionless poses on white plinths stacked like pyramids. Their faces show rigid, sad or agonised expressions. The performers are dressed in green-grey costumes that match the verdigris bronze patina of the two generals' sculptures on the left and right in the Feldherrnhalle. Two of the figures in the foreground hold a memorial plaque with the inscription "In memory of the victims of sexual violence during the war". The highest plinth block also bears the word "Anonymous" in capital letters, which is also the title of the art project.

Anonym, 2014 © Foto: Thomas Splett

Susanne Wagner has developed a living memorial for Odeonsplatz to commemorate the victims of sexualised violence during the war.

The artist Susanne Wagner is showing the performance “Anonymous” on 10 and 25 July at 7 pm on Odeonsplatz. This living memorial is dedicated to the memory of the victims of sexualised violence during the war. The art performance in public space with fourteen performers sheds light on a dimension of war that has long been considered a taboo subject and is a reminder that sexualised violence has always been a weapon of war. The Odeonsplatz with the Feldherrnhalle as a representative site for Bavarian military history forms the backdrop for the memorial. The theme of the anonymous victims of sexualised violence is juxtaposed with the names of war heroes who are commemorated in the Feldherrnhalle.

Sexualised violence is a weapon used almost everywhere people are at war – from Bosnia to Rwanda, from Liberia to Syria. This type of violence within armed conflict has been known since antiquity and is still being committed today; it is predominantly directed against women and girls, but queer, non-binary and trans people, as well as boys and men, are also affected. For a long time, the extent of sexual crimes in war remained taboo and unexplored – even by the victims. Public perception has now changed and international criminal justice is prosecuting these crimes.

The art project “Anonymous” commemorates the suffering of many people who were victims of sexualised violence during the war. The formal model for the performance is the representation of ‘living statues’, which can also be found in highly frequented places in Munich. They often represent historical figures and create the illusion of a sculpture in a motionless pose. The performers in the “Anonymous” memorial wear costumes that match the verdigris bronze patina of the two commanders’ sculptures on the left and right of the Feldherrnhalle. It remains unclear to which social classes the figures in the performance belong. Rather, the figures lying on a monumental pedestal, dressed in contemporary clothes, represent the suffering of many.

Susanne Wagner, born in 1977 in Munich, lives and works in Munich.



80539 Munich