Victory Spikes, created by the Viennese artist collective Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber
, addresses the ongoing international discourse regarding historical monuments and the debate over demolishing controversial structures. The installation will be exhibited in Munich until November 20, 2022.
Making a case for not effacing the past, Victory Spikes comments on new ways to update a monuments historical relevance with the aim to revitalize Munichs ambivalent Victory Gate (Siegestor). The monument was originally constructed between 18431850 as a war memorial dedicated to the Bavarian army, and after the Second World War, it was repurposed as a shrine for peace.
In Victory Spikes, the top of the monument is covered with spikes. Although the spikes that are commonly used to repel pigeons are approximately 10 centimeters long, the spikes used in this installation are scaled-up, measuring 3.5 meters.
By greatly increasing the size of the spikes viewers are encouraged to imagine a gigantic dove, the quintessential symbol of peace. What is deliberately left open is the question whether the scaled-up spike defence against an oversized dove alludes to the almost forgotten peace movement of our time or to a sabre-rattling and general military build-up.
Victory Spikes is part of the Past Statements Program, in conjunction with Public Art Munich and the Institute of Local History and Remembrance Culture at Munichs Department of Arts and Culture.
The Steinbrener/Dempf & Huber collective consists of sculptor Christoph Steinbrener, photographer and graphic designer Rainer Dempf, and architect Martin Huber.
The group has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, installations, and art interventions in numerous museums and cultural centers throughout Europe and in the USA, including the DAC/Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen; Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y de la Modernidad in Spain; the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel; the Museo dArte Moderna Ugo Carà in Muggia, Italy; Expo Milano; Fundacion Canal in Madrid; and Julia C. Butridge Gallery, Dougherty Arts Center in Houston, Texas.
In Austria their work has been shown at the Museum of Natural History, the Kunsthalle Wien, and the Zoo Schönbrunn in Vienna; the Kunsthaus in Mürz; Landesgalerie Niederösterreich in Krems; Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park in Wienerbruck; and OÖ Kulturquartier, Kunstraum Dornbirn, and Center for Contemporary Art in Linz.
Permanent installations created by the collective include in Vienna, commissioned by the Viennese public art agency KÖR; and Critical Mass, commissioned by SPZ in Dornbirn, Austria.