43. Symposion at [kunstwerk]krastal 2010
11.7 - 31.7.2010

„keen on experimenting“

Boulders - cuddly stones

The title of the 43rd Symposium at [kunstwerk]krastal already implies a bodyconscious and emotionally charged approach to the subject. While stone sculpture is usually strongly defined by formal concerns, by mass, composition, scale and balance, the boulder offers a diferent spectrum of possibilites for approaching the nature of a stone.

Traditionally, an idea for stone sculpture is already constrained in its development phase by the industrial processes of cutting and rough shaping, whereas the boulder – whether it was brought to the surface in a quarry or taken from the river as a waterwashed rock – possesses its own independent identity, its own authorship, thereby acting as a correspondent being, in a formal and a philosophical sense. The Boulder also stands for a pre-conscious, untouched and invisible landscape. Its tactile, velvety, natural surface or "skin" makes it a "thing in itself", it reveals narratively expansive aspects as well as a complex but homogenous reality. But no matter how cosy and cuddly its appearance may be, it is difficult to import it into into a contemporary context of art made in stone. The task of the symposium's participants will be to confront these parameters on site, and to decide how many, or which particular stones they are willing to enter into a kind of symbiotic co-authorship with. In this case, processes using installation, setting-in-place, extending the object, and working the stone in a classical sense are all seen as equally valid.

The boulder as an entity is almost totally absent from hierarchies of accepted materials in European visual culture (excepting the garden(gnome)-arrangements which have lately been taking over), but has been part of a broad basis of folk cults which have grown over centuries in eastern Asia. This cult has been developed equally in priate gardens as a sign for inner peace and strength in one's own home, and also within the landscape - to remember and honour the ancestors - and, not last, as a kind of "Suiseki"-stock exchange with a function in contemporary society. We would like to use the 43rd Symposium at Krastal to counteract this existing imbalance, and apply a symbiotic and integrated approach to pay the boulder the attention it deserves!

(Egon Straszer)

concept and implementation::

Ulrich Plieschnig
Egon Straszer


Rosa Brunner
Barbara Höller
Dusan Kirbis
Bojana Krizanec
Brigitte Sasshofer
Tanja Zimmermann