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Excursus #12

The addendum to the exhibition Here Comes Bart! Simpsons Cartoon Art from the Collection of William Heeter and Kristi Correa gathers together vestiges of the illustrated histories surrounding the controversial large-scale Zwentendorf nuclear power plant project.

“No” to Zwentendorf—hardly any other issue galvanized Austria in the late 1970s as much as the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant. The first campaigns opposing the nuclear power plant in Lower Austria formed as soon as the groundbreaking ceremony took place in 1972. The referendum on November 5, 1978 had historic implications: with a narrow majority of 50.47%, Austria decided against putting the already completed nuclear power plant into operation.

The Zwentendorf nuclear power plant in caricature
Some twenty caricatures by Manfred Deix, Bruno Haberzettl, IRONIMUS, Erich Sokol, and Rudolf Angerer are featured in the exhibition. Rudolf Angerer imagines the nuclear power station adorned with art and surrounded by plants in his Zwentendorf – alternativ. Bruno Kreisky is a name inextricably tied to the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant: Austria’s longest-serving Chancellor is the focus of many of the works on display. Hellmuth Macheck depicts Kreisky and the enormous responsibility he must shoulder with the nuclear power plant. Dieter Zehntmayr shows politicians passing the buck on nuclear waste disposal. Pietro R. Hausn, in turn, portrays the politician caught in the crossfire of experts. Erich Sokol compares the construction of the controversial large-scale project with the building of the town hall by fools.

Curators: Gottfried Gusenbauer, artistic director of the Karikaturmuseum Krems, and Anna Steinmair, curator of the Karikaturmuseum Krems

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