On November 10, the House of History Austria opens in the Neue Burg on Vienna’s Heldenplatz. This is the first museum of contemporary history in the country to be opened to the public.
The museum, which is organizationally part of the Austrian National Library, invites visitors to explore the history of Austria. Starting with the foundation of the Republic in 1918, social changes and political fault lines are highlighted and communicated in a contemporary manner.
A central task of the museum will be to promote a reflective and critical examination of Austrian history. Also in the sense of looking forward. “Because only with a sharpened eye for the past can we understand the present and thus meaningfully shape the future,” explains Dr. Monika Sommer, Director of the House of History Austria. Designed as a discussion forum for the whole of Austria, the House of History also attaches particular importance to European and international networking.
Sound installation illuminates historical shadows
The location of the new museum itself stimulates discussion – it is located in the very place where Adolf Hitler announced Austria’s “entry” into the German Reich on March 15, 1938, with frenetic mass celebrations. This speech is “like an everlasting shadow over the Austrian and international image of Heldenplatz,” says Director Sommer.
This historical background prompted the House of History Austria to invite the renowned Scottish artist Susan Philipsz to develop an artistic work. Since March 12, her sound installation entitled “The Voices” has reminded us of Austria’s “annexation” to Germany in 1938, and uses the sound of grated glass to create a sound space for memories and emotions. The Voices can be heard twice a day until November 12 at 12.30 pm and 6.30 pm.