Public Art Installation

Take a Seat, Make a Stand!

In densely populated urban areas, there are recurring controversial debates about who is allowed to use the city and how. The high level of acceptance among the population towards a policy of segregation and exclusion is striking. At a local level, this becomes clear, for example, in connection with no-sleeping and begging zones or the accommodation of refugees. However, displacement also takes place when people are forced to move from the centre to the periphery due to rising rents or when there are fewer spaces for young people that do not require them to consume.

In political discourse, there are voices that play these marginalised people and groups off against each other, blaming one group for the displacement of another. In view of the lack of opportunities for marginalised groups to shape society, however, this argument is contradictory and passes on responsibility.
Responsibility can only be claimed where power exists. It is not only in the hands of political decision-makers, but also arises through the accumulation of income and wealth, partly detached from democratic political mechanisms.

The art installation "Take a Seat, Make a Stand!" characterises the massive inequality in the distribution of power and resources as the primary social cause of segregation phenomena. Analogous to the feminist metaphor of the glass ceiling, these structural (and infrastructural) barriers contribute to the stabilisation of a hierarchy that runs counter to the idea of equal opportunities for all.

The intervention makes these invisible boundaries perceptible and aims to encourage people to take a critical stance in the discussion. It presents freely accessible public space as a valuable resource and reveals a dystopia in which the park bench as a place and symbol of participation in urban life only exists as an inaccessible and museum-like object in a display case.

Thank you:
Kevin Brown, Valentin Dander, Elisabeth Medicus, Michael Gassebner, Tiroler Glasmalerei, Myriam Kraml

stainless steel, laminated safety glass, park bench

Financed by: Land Tirol
Selected by: Kunst im öffentlichen Raum (KÖR)

Year: 2016

Download: Master's thesis "Bänke lesen" (engl.: Reading Benches) by Brigitte Anna Egger

Take a seat, make a stand! Take a seat, make a stand! Take a seat, make a stand! Take a seat, make a stand! Take a seat, make a stand!
Kurze Nacht des Protests Petra-Gerschner - Foto by Daniel Jarosch
↑ Foto by Daniel Jarosch
Kurze Nacht des Protests by Petra Gerschner

Take a seat, make a stand!
↑ Foto by Alexander Kopp

Take a seat, make a stand!