This project, both public and performative has two sides: one reflective and the other discursive. I strive to honour each of the 66,000 Viennese Jews murdered with a stitch of human hair pricked into a yellow cloth Star of David, the identifying badge Jews were forced to wear in public under the Nazi regime. The "counter" (Sharon Yan) witnesses each stitch or “soul” and records it in a book – 66,000 strokes. As we focus our attention on threading needles with hair, stitching and counting, the "actor" (Marcus Miller) engages passersbyes in discussions on the project, historical events, personal accounts and hands out pamphlets with contemporary accounts of Jews who experienced the Holocaust. He begins by talking and ends by listening – stories of family histories, Holocaust research networks, past and present political climates in Austria, nazification, denazification and ultimately whether Austria is safe today for Jews and Others.
"Six Million Stitches" began in front of Gallery 12-14 as part of “Dopust Days of Open Performance Vienna” organized by Denise Parizek, Michaela Stock and Marko Marovic and continued onto various art and Jewish sites. I found that we got the most response when we worked at the Rachel Whiteread Memorial at Judenplatz.
June 29 – July 8, 2017
Photo Credit: Marcus Miller