Shedding new light on heritage: Chromotopia Heldentor in Vienna
Vienna-based artist Victoria Coeln gave the 2014 European Heritage Congress delegates a special preview of her most recent light installation, entitled Chromotopia Heldentor, on the evening of 3 May, at the Äußeres Burgtor, Burgring/Heldenplatz, Vienna.
This work is dedicated to Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, founder and president of the first Austrian Peace Society, peace activist and Austrian author. With the powerful gesture of a painter, Victoria Coeln ‘superscribes’ the Äußere Burgtor, its surrounding area and history. The art intervention ‘neutralizes’ this public space and creates openings for new debates and interpretations, for new ways of thinking and a new vision. Chromotopia Heldentor is on display from 6 May to 26 June 2014, daily from sunset to sunrise.
Several of Coelns works are on permanent display in public spaces in Vienna, including Stadtpark – Painting the Night, Chromotopia Wiener Konzerthaus and Chromotopia St. Stephan. In addition, she has created temporary installations in public spaces throughout Austria and beyond.
The artist was invited by Europa Nostra to join the Heritage Awards Ceremony at the Burgtheater on the evening of 5 May, where she created a light installation that intervened between the audience and the stage. She was also a panelist at the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ debate that took place in Vienna on 4 May. During the debate at the Dorotheum when she was asked if there is a political message that she wants to pass to Europe today she said: “Art is a powerful tool which connects people beyond boundaries and should be used at an official level to strengthen and promote Europe’s unity in diversity.”