Gottfried Helnwein makes statement against war and terror with 2018 artistic wrapping of the Ringturm!
An official ceremony to mark the completion of Gottfried Helnwein’s 4,000m2 art installation at the Ringturm took place on Friday 22 June.
Günter Geyer, Chairman of the Managing Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein, invited Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to unveil the 2018 artistic wrapping of the Ringturm. Specially commissioned for the covering of the Ringturm, Helnwein’s composition “I saw this” takes a stand against war, terror and repression, and forms an integral part of the 100th anniversary celebrations taking place in 2018 for Austria’s First Republic.
Speaking about the spectacular installation in the heart of Vienna, Chancellor Kurz said: “Gottfried Helnwein’s work triggers emotions and in doing so, curbs people’s indifference and the instinct to look the other way. Especially in 2018, a commemorative year, this artwork takes on a special significance.”
Renowned Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, one of the country’s most important contemporary artists on the post-WW2 international arts scene, designed this year’s covering on behalf of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein. Helnwein commented: “I want to force people to look.” In parallel with the artistic wrapping, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein will also be showing a selection of his work at the Ringturm Exhibition Centre.
The host, as well as initiator and champion of the covering, Günter Geyer, explained: “We are extremely proud to have secured the services of internationally acclaimed Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein for the 2018 covering. We were also very honoured to have Chancellor Kurz open this year’s installation.” The covering of the historic office block on Vienna’s Ringstrasse boulevard will be on display until September. “Helnwein’s composition is our appeal against war and violence around the world in the 2018 commemorative year.”
Helnwein at – and on – the Ringturm
In tandem with the wrapping of its head office, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein will also stage an exhibition of four works by the star artist at the Ringturm Exhibition Centre. The display includes both motifs on the wrapping: “The Disasters of War 49” and “The Disasters of War 60”. Helnwein’s “Child 14” and “The Murmur of the Innocents 69” are also part of the exhibition. Entry is free.
The work: “I saw this” by Gottfried Helnwein
On the front of the Ringturm, a blonde-haired girl is holding a machine gun with the Danube Canal in her sights. The rear of the building features an image of a city ablaze before the eyes of a larger-than-life manga character. The background shows people against the backdrop of a wall of flames and smoke several metres high. The two-part composition is a protest against terror and war.