symposion/exhibition of visual arts
07. 08. – 21. 08. 2004

Raum I+II
art langauge sound

Raum I

Space can mean many things: the concrete, the environment, the architecture, the location, the interior as well as the exterior space. However, space refers also always to something far more abstract, such as free space, period or linguistic space, to name but a few associations. Even the conventional sculpture always marked the space itself, the place where it was erected or exhibited being in the architectural public space or the museum white cube. "The Dream of Space", an exhibition in the Museum of the 20th Century in Vienna, documented for the first time in the mid-80s the aspects of spatial art and its tendencies in the domains of the sculpture, objects and even in painting, which made perfect sense that even the painting sought for leaving the two-dimensional plane. In the conquest of the space, the sculpture was far more radical and expansive, which subsequently led to the inclusion of other media and concepts such as light sculpture or video sculpture. The movement to a modern, contemporary sculpture took place in Austria only after 1945 and not without friction; some remembers to the sometimes fierce arguments of Fritz Wotruba with his students who went new ways. He referred to the works created by Roland Goeschl after his stopover in London and the wonderful constructions of Oswald Stimm, which emerged under the impression of constructivists such as Tatlin or Naum Gabo and the Argentine avant-garde, as "paltry surrogates". Although this path of sculpture from 1945 to the present day is a very exciting and interesting one, I would like to return to the theme of space.

Site specifity - the site-related nature of works of art - became in the sixties a central theme in art discourse and, in particular, an expanded notion of sculpture, as an expression of a refusal to adhere to the mobility of art or its arbitrary composition. The site-related art was no longer created for a museum or its adjoining sculpture areas, but sought a specific situation, in the context of the real place and its circumstances. To this day, this encompasses a wide field of interventions in public art and the exploitation of landscape and geological formations in the area of Land Art. The connection of the sculpture with its surrounding space and its deliberate inclusion as part of the installation increasingly became a fact. Richard Serra's "Splashing" of 1968 was in this tendency one of the first and thus probably the most legendary work that inseparably connected the artwork with space. In her essay "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," published in 1978, the art historian Rosalind Krauss said that the artists' attention focuses on the very limits of the term sculpture through its connection to specific places, such as architecture and landscape. In other words, the sculpture's content-related intention is derived from the location, and is often understood as a social interaction, as a mediator between several systems. In addition, the tendency to combine art and landscape became stronger. In his lecture published as Yale Lecture in 1990, Richard Serra emphasized the dialogue situation between site-specific works and their surroundings as well as - and with regard to the works of the artists presented here for me this also seems to be essential - the concomitant overcoming of generic boundaries. In this sketched field of reference Richard Serra, the genres do not lose importance, but their claim to autonomy. However, this does not mean a combination of painting, sculpture and architecture in the historical sense of a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, but rather a crossover of the media, which results according to the intention of the project and is usually bound to a specific spatial situation. The pedestal was obsolete, as well as the restriction to the previously prevailing materials stone, metal and wood. Materials from applied fields such as textiles or ceramics have become increasingly interesting, as have products from industry, the consumer and goods world. To undergo this artistic transformation has many intentions. Whether it is through the material itself, a statement is transported, or this was used purely for formal reasons by the artist, by the artist. The materials used in the work of this year's symposium are also very diverse and include paper, stone, metal, industrial waste products, finds as well as, of course, the marble from the Krastal quarry. The stone itself, so to speak the traditional source material, is chosen by the artists as well as the most diverse aspects, ranging from the foundling, which as such already becomes part of the spatial installation, to the block from which the form must first be extracted.

(Silvie Aigner)


Heliane Wiesauer-Reiterer


Christof Aigner
Ingrid Cerny
Peter Dörflinger
Tim Eiag
Werner Hollunder
Richard G. Künz
Norbert Maringer
Uli Scherer