A fashionable memorial

At the unveiling of the memorial at the Judenplatz in Vienna, Simon Wiesenthal allegedly said that "This monument shouldn't be beautiful, it must hurt." The monument was designed by Rachel Whiteread to portray the horrors of the holocaust. The inverted bookshelves - engraved with words stating that the monument was meant to commemorate the 65.000 Austrian Jews who were killed during the second world war.

But this didn't stop the high-end fashion brand Don Gil from using this memorial as part of a fashion campaign. The photos show a young, beautiful male model, casually leaning against the monument. The monument isn't depicted as a monument, but as a clean and smooth background for an advertisement. Oddly enough, there wasn't too much discussion about this. True, the Viennese Jewish Committee made some fuss about it, and as a reaction Don Gil took the images from their website. They still distribute the magazine in which it is published, though. It's a clear indictation of the impotence of monuments as such. If people don't see the meaning, they just see a beautiful image, to use for whatever purpose they see fit...

I found this case thanks to An-architecture.com.

No comments: