40. international sculptors' symposion and congress
09. 07. - 11. 08. 2007


For 40 years, international artists have met each summer for a symposium at [kunstwerk] krastal, which has become primarily identified with and renowned for art made in stone.
Forty years are a long time in art. Stone sculpture too has changed within this time-frame, both internally and in its public face. Its reputation, which in Austria had most lustre during the generation of the students of Fritz Wotruba, has since acquired thick layers of patina. The contemporary art world has scant interest in stone sculpture, its logistical problems and a limited circle of individual buyers contribute to persuading private galleries to concentrate on other media. Its previous role in public art or in monuments is rarely considered worth a mention, let alone worth a commission.
In contrast, we can observe a rising desire for stone in practical applications. Natural stone of high quality is increasingly employed in exterior surfacing, flooring, bathrooms, paving in public spaces, etc. The fascination it exercises as a material for artistic creation is also unbroken. What has changed in stone sculpture is its protagonists, and the manner of their approach. The classic approach with a hammer and chisel is now found equally as rarely as the once defining subject of the human figure. Even the repertoire of abstract form is no longer at the centre. Today, stone sculpture is characterised by spatial relationships, land-art placings, quotations from industrial processes, design solutions inherent in the material, by the boundaries set by tools and equipment, by conceptual and even interactive uses involving the viewer/user of the artwork. And its perhaps most refreshing impulses were gained by absorbing elements from object-based art.

It was primarily this state of affairs within stone sculpture that gave rise to the ”WORLDPOOL” project as the idea of a ”symposium of symposia” to celebrate Krastal’s anniversary year in 2007. The invitation extended to representatives of significant international stone sculpture symposia, to meet up together at Krastal for a session of communal work and for the first conference of this particular kind, was intended not only to announce a vigorous sign of life on the part of stone sculpture, but also to serve as an opportunity for direct exchange: exchange of information about the current situation, and to collectively define our position, to identify historical and contemporary references and differences, to evaluate one's own place in a wider context, and possibly also to facilitate future initiatives within new networks.

(Michael Kos)


Michael Kos
Max Seibald


Sibylle von Halem
Michael Kos
Max Seibald

in collaboration width:

Helmut Machhammer

participating symposia:

symposion Labin - Kroatien
Josip Diminic, Neven Bilic

symposion Horice - Tschechische Republik
Roman und Hana Rychtermoc

symposion Aswan - Ägypten
Hazem El Mestikawy

symposion Steine ohne Grenzen - Deutschland
Rudolf Kaltenbach

Iwate symposion - Japan
Hironori Katagiri

Rachana International Stone sculptors' symposion - Libanon
Anachar Basbous

symposion Øs - Norwegen
Arne Maeland

Simppetra - Portugal
José Antunes

Hualien Stone Sculpture Festival - Taiwan
Ho Huang

Indiana Limestone symposion - USA
Amy Brier

symposion [kunstwerk] krastal - Österreich
Sibylle von Halem, Michael Kos, Helmut Machhammer, Max Seibald