“Signs” – Stephanie Risse

Photo: Samira Mosca

A new appointment for exploring the artist Matt Mullican’s artwork “102 Signs for a Museum Fence at Museion Passage. A talk by the linguist, Stephanie Risse

The talk will be available from Tuesday 23th February onwards on the Museion YouTube channel “MUSEIONbz”


This Museion initiative that features five online interviews inspired by the American artist, Matt Mullican’s artwork “102 Signs for a Museum Fence” seeks to weave a conversation between art and various other disciplines, such as neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, literature and design. The installation, which has been on display on the ground floor of Museion since last November, marks the opening of a new format at Passage, in which works from the museum collection will be exhibited independently of the other exhibitions on display.

The guest at the third appointment on Tuesday 23th February will be Stephanie Risse. A lecturer at the Free University of Bolzano, Risse will examine Matt Mullican’s work as a linguist. From her point of view, Mullican’s pictograms are part of a universal world language that, today, is seen most clearly in large international airports. Pictograms are for the most part self-explanatory, but they assume the viewer has a clear knowledge of a certain civilisation and era. Signs based on images have existed throughout the ages and in very different cultures. In fact, they may well have been the impulse behind the development of the alphabet we use today.


Stephanie Risse will give her talk in German. Versions of the video with Italian and English subtitles will be available on the Museion YouTube channel.


Watch the video interview


Stephanie Risse is a linguist and lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences at unibz. Born in Munich, she has worked in Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia and the Balkans as a journalist, project manager and researcher. Her studies have earned her the titles of Magister Artium (1994) and Dr. Phil. (2013) at the LMU in Munich and National Scientific Qualification (2017). Before joining unibz in 2008, she worked at the European Academy in Bolzano, for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit giz, the Osteuropa-Institut in Munich and the German Bundestag. Her three professional focuses are summarized in the acronyms: EUJAL (European Journal of Applied Linguistics), LRI (Language-Region-Identity) and KoKu (Bachelor of Sciences in Communication and Culture)


In the coming weeks there will be more discussions with the philosopher, Paola Giacomoni, and the designer, Antonino Benincasa.