Panopticon

30 photographs (size print: each 40x50 cm), audio

2012

 

Exhibited in the group exhibition „Krieg gegen Kinder”

Künstlerhaus Wien

Dec. 2012 - Feb. 2013

 

 

"But the Panopticon must not be understood as a dream building:

it is the diagram of power reduced to its ideal form. "

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punishment (1977)

 

Photographs document the traces of the walls of the former foster home ‘Hohe Warte’ in Vienna. Damaged walls stand as a witness to the mistreatment and the resulting violations of the children to be supervised. The architectural model for the arrangement of the photographs is the Panopticon: An architectural concept from the late 18th century by Jeremy Bentham, designed to build institutions that allow the surveillance of many people by a single guard. The audio read the rules and regulations for an Austrian psychiatric institution for children - read by Helmut Oberhauser, who himself spent part of his childhood in homes, and Michaela Putz. As in the children's homes, this house regulation regulates all activities of the daily life for the children: sleeping, eating, washing, restroom visits, lessons and leisure. By entering the installation and listening to the instructions for handling, the viewers themselves are placed in the role of supervisor.

 

The exhibition “Krieg gegen Kinder” examined the institutionalized violence against children in Viennese foster homes. The work shown has a special focus on the former "Hohe Warte" children's home. The current desolate state of the building was documented in numerous photographic works and supplemented with installations. In combination with quotations from former home residents and passages from the report of the Historians' Commission, the exhibition was both evidence and interpretation. In the course of the artistic-scientific research there was an intensive cooperation with former inhabitants of the "weird castle Bubenheim", as the "Hohe Warte" is also called. As a visible result of this cooperation, some selected works of art by those affected will be placed in the exhibition. In addition, the exhibition also conducts mediation work: books, newspaper reports and videos allow visitors to deal deeper with the subject matter.

 

Curated by Thomas Waibel

With David Kurz, Patrick Detz, Isabel Fröschl and Florian Steiner

 

Panopticon #1, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #2, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #5, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #6, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #9, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #10, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #3, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #4, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #7, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon #8, Michaela Putz 2012
Panopticon, installation view Künstlerhaus Wien, Michaela Putz 2012