Peter Weibel

Expulsion of Reason

From a container, European panels run out like a ramp. A row of screens runs from the ramp into the container. The container is illuminated in blue.
Peter Weibel
Expulsion of Reason
Medium / Material / Technic
computer based video installation; 14 monitors, computers, sound, wooden pallets, sea container
Size / Duration
dimensions variable

The media installation »Die Vertreibung der Vernunft« [The Expulsion of Reason] is the result of Peter Weibel’s investigation of the expulsion of academics, researchers, artists, and intellectuals from Austria between 1933 and 1945. Fourteen monitors on a ramp made of wooden pallets form a line that ends in a shipping container that resembles railway wagons. The container breaks through the museum wall and protrudes into the room behind it. Short biographies of Austrians forced to emigrate and victims of the Nazi regime from the fields of science and art appear on the screens. Each short biography moves from one monitor to the next until it arrives in the container and disappears. Every person’s name is spoken out loud. A cultural exodus, an acoustic and visual funeral march. The installation was first realized in 1993 at the Venice Biennale, and included 5000 short biographies. The extensive database of this cultural exodus from Austria was successively expanded in the following years, and exhibited at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles amongst other places.

mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, acquired 2001