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30 May 2023

Annotation December 12, 2023: Petra Stelzmüller's design for the above-ground pipe route in Vienna's Sigmund Freud Park with texts by Ingeborg Bachmann for the art project 'Undine kommt' wins the German Design Award 2024 in the category 'Excellent Architecture - Fair and Exhibition' for raising people's awareness of socially relevant issues in public space.

Preview of public art in Vienna: Architect, designer Petra Stelzmüller interprets Ingeborg Bachmann's 'Undine geht' (Undine leaves) with sculpture 'Undine kommt' (Undine is coming) on water pipe in Sigmund Freud Park

The construction of Petra Stelzmüller's latest work for her new women's art project, the sculpture 'Undine kommt' (Undine is coming), supported by the public transit network Wiener Linien, is currently underway in the Sigmund-Freud-Park in Vienna. The official opening will take place on 6 June. Already with the design of the brooch 'Thetis', which was a cooperation project with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien on occasion of the 'Iron Men' exhibition last year, Petra Stelzmüller set a statement against the exclusive sharing of power among men and for the diversity of roles of women. The design of the brooch is inspired by historical sources; it's named after the nymph Thetis, who appears in various roles like the goddess of water in Greek mythology, and was developed with references to the history of the Golden Fleece. The brooch Thetis received the German Design Award 2023 in the category 'Excellent product design, lifestyle and fashion'.

The new work, the sculpture 'Undine kommt' (Undine is coming) refers to the prose text 'Undine geht' (translated: Undine leaves or Undine goes) by Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann, which, through the story of the water nymph Undine, tells of unequal power relations in the relationship between men and women. Stelzmüller reversed the title of Bachmann's story for the sculptural work to 'Undine kommt' and rewrites the story of inequality and discrimination with text snippets on the water pipe to raise awareness of gender inequality and advocate for change.

Image (visualizer for a preview): The sculptural-text work 'Undine kommt' by Petra Stelzmüller will be officially opened on 6 June 2023 in the Sigmund Freud Park in Vienna.
Tarpaulin banners with text snippets from Ingeborg Bachmann's story will be attached to the 210-meter-long water pipe that currently runs through the park due to the construction of the subway extension. The steel pipes divert the groundwater so that it cannot seep into the tunnel construction site. The installation will be free to view for a year and is supported by various organizations and sponsors, in particular the Wiener Linien. The water pipe symbolize not only the water element of the Undine story, but also a trumpet to make women's voices heard. Photo: © Petra Stelzmüller.

On the website of the association 'L'art pour l'art', founded by Petra Stelzmüller in 2022, more information is published, e.g. that after the end of the project, all the tarpaulin parts will be reused and sewn into shoulder bags etc. by a socially run women's association and auctioned for the benefit of women's projects.

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