Shadow Object Clock Tower (model) Markus Wilfling, 2003 (2016)

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A Shadow of the Past?

Graz was “European Capital of Culture” in 2003. “Shadow Object Clock Tower“ by Markus Wilfling was one of the catchiest art projects. The artist doubled the Graz Clock Tower by means of an object-like black shadow that appeared paradoxical against the blue sky. Since then the landmark of Graz has appeared somewhat different; the materialised shadow has virtually left its mark in many people’s memory as an after-image. Its interpretation of a “shadow of the past”, which the artist has not intended at all, will resonate further after the memorial has been “dumped” of all things in the shopping mall of a surrounding community.

3D print, plastic
24 × 40 × 30 cm
Graz Museum / Photo: Lena Prehal

Spatial Alienation

Markus Wilfling (*1966) challenges the viewer’s perception with his works. The alienation of space, of perspectives or of the appearance of everyday objects is his typical strategy. The patterns of perception are preferably irritated where they are automated: in the everyday environment. In this respect, the public space is an ideal field of activity for the artist. In the late 1990s, Wilfling made an appearance with shadow objects. Everyday objects such as clothes racks are staged with their black doppelgangers, materialized shadows, often attracting the viewer’s attention, in a new way, only at a second glance. The Shadow of the Graz Clocktower was the climax and had the broadest public impact of this group of works.