Stigma is an artwork by missing icons which was completed in June 2022. It evokes the history of the Stadthaus as a centre of National Socialist terror and points to the consequences and repression of this history. Under the National Socialists, the Stadthaus (now the Stadthöfe) housed Hamburg’s police headquarters and the main offices of the Gestapo and criminal investigation department until 1943. It was here that the police organized and conducted their campaign of systematic persecution and terror.
For decades, the only indication of the site’s history was a plaque located at the entrance to Stadthausbrücke 8, the headquarters of the Hamburg Building Authority at the time. Following public debates about the sale of the building complex and Hamburg’s obligation to deal appropriately with its National Socialist past, the Stadthaus Remembrance Site was established in 2018 to recall these crimes and commemorate their victims. In 2019, the Hamburg Cultural Authority held a design competition for creating a visible reminder of the building’s past.
In front of the striking building with its domed roof on the corner of Stadthausbrücke and Neuer Wall, the artists Andrea Knobloch and Ute Vorkoeper (missing icons) installed a sculpture in the ground. The ruptured pavement was filled to its fractured edges with red rubber granulate. Stigma is a scar in the urban space. The artwork is a testimony to past violence and injury, to destruction and subsequent repair. It signifies the terror that occurred in this place and the repression of this history later on, as well as the very belated attempts to make amends, which continue to the present day.
The artists documented the creation of their artwork in a short film.
Behörde für Kultur und Medien