42. international sculptors' symposion 2009 [kunstwerk]krastal
04. 07. - 24. 07. 2009

THE OTHER HALF - Focus on sculptresses
thinking in stone | sculptures in the landscape | on the Dobratsch

A look at the 42 years of history of what is now [kunstwerk] krastal shows that the contemporary generation of sculptors also regards stone as an adequate means of expression for its artistic intentions. The Krastal Association has established itself as an important centre of excellence, through its continuing activity in running symposia as well as through the commitment of the sculptors, including women, who were active at [kunstwerk] krastal. Stone sculpture is often viewed as a male domain to the present day, but a large number of international women sculptors have worked in Krastal since 1967. Not only the list of female members of the association, but also the list of invited artists of [kunstwerk] krastal is evidence of the number of women internationally who work with the medium of stone, and there by contribute to the development of contemporary stone sculpture, even though the use of a multiplicity of media is characteristic for the artists who are and have been active at Krastal. This is an aspect which the Krastal Symposion has endeavoured to include since its inception. Since the ’seventies, it has invited artists both male and female who work with other materials, or who use the stone as a departure point for performances, photographic works, installations, etc., or whose work focussed on the place, the quarry itself, as a central subject. Here, too, the proportion of women is substantial. Those who are members of the Krastal Association, such as Heliane Wiesauer-Reiterer, Erika Inger, Meina Schellander, Sibylle von Halem, Katja Natascha Busse or Christiane Neckritz, also work across several media. The goal of this year’s summer programme was to show a comprehensive overview of these two aspects – the large proportion of women sculptors as well as the multiplicity of media they employ.

To this end, the 42nd sculptors' symposion in July 2009 invited exclusively women sculptors. Initially, work on the stones began in the Lauster quarry at Krastal, and on 18th July the half-finished marble sculptures were transported to the Rosstratte car park on the Dobratsch mountain, there to be completed by the artists. In this respect, the symposion continued the tradition of working in two different places, which was begun in the early ’nineties. The St. Paul Monastery, the Austrian cities of Villach, Klagenfurt, Wolfsberg, and Öhringen in Germany, have acted as partners over previous years. 1999 saw the first symposion on a mountain – the imposing landscape of the Grossglockner provided an impressive backdrop for the sculptures that year. In 2009, it was the mountainous landscape around the Dobratsch which the artists incorporated into their work. Since the beginning of August, the finished marble sculptures have been exhibited at car park No. 10 along the Dobratsch Alpine Road, below the Rosstratte, under the title „sculpture island [kunstwerk] krastal “. In accordance with the leading title of the symposion, the sculptures enter into a dialogue with the landscape and allow visitors to experience the surrounding natural environment from a new perspective.

As an ancillary programme, a cooperation between the Galerie Freihausgasse in the nearby city of Villach and [kunstwerk] krastal presented an exhibition entitled „The Other Half“, which focussed on 15 women artists and their work. Alongside members of [kunstwerk] krastal, this showed works by women artists who had worked as invited guests to the symposia. The central emphasis was to show a plurality of media, and so the exhibition included photographic works, sculptures in paper and synthetic materials, as well as small sculptures in stone.

(Silvie Aigner)


Heliane Wiesauer-Reiterer
Erika Inger


Vivian El Batanoni
Shiiko Iwaki
Birgit Knappe
Carmen Tepsan
Li Zhao