Ideas & Aims
Since 2002, the Salzburg Foundation, in collaboration with the Foundation for Art and CultureBonn, has furthered outdoor sculpture projects by renowned international artists in Salzburg. Our ambitious aim is to supplement the city’s long-standing cultural tradition by contemporary artistic statements, and to offer the publican opportunity for a direct involvement with this form of art as well.
The Salzburg Foundation annually invites an artist of international reputation to visit thecity, familiarize themselves with it, and finally to execute a work in the public space. The selection of participants is made by an international, independent team of experts under the artistic direction of Walter Smerling.
Alongside the long-established institutions in the fields of music and theater, the Salzburg Art Project provides a contribution to the city’s cultural diversity. Eachyear, the public space is enriched by a new work by a different artist, cessible to everyone and at all times. The special nature of the project liesin the fact that, while the works are passed on to the city, they are financed solely by private means.
Our aim is to establish, over the course of ten ars, an art and sculpture circuit on the highest level of quality. At this writing, six art projects have been executed. In 2002, in Furtwängler Park,Anselm Kiefer erected his art house, “A.E.I.O.U.,” furnished with lead shelving and a painting. Kiefer was followed, in 2003, by Mario Merz, who installed neon-blue lighted “Numerals in the Woods,” in his signature igloo form. In 2004, Marina Abramovic traced “The Spirit of Mozart” in an interactive installation of chairs in the midst of the busy traffic on the Staatsbrücke. Markus Lüpertz, with a controversial sculpture of 2005 on Ursulinenplatz,erected his own very personal “Hommage à Mozart,” and James Turrell, in his “SKY-SPACE,” built in 2006 on Mönchsberg, made the sky an integral part of his artistic statement. In 2007, Stephan Balkenhol installed the large bronze sculpture “Sphaera” (Kapitelplatz) and the smaller wooden sculpture “Woman in the rock” (Toscaninihof). In 2008, Anthony Cragg realized his sculpture “Caldera” on Makartplatz. He conceives of this walkable sculpture as a ‘mental landscape’, which can be experienced even within the interior of the “cauldron”. In 2009, under the title “Vanitas”, the internationally acclaimed French artist Christian Boltanski (*1944) has staged a shadow play in the crypt of Salzburg Cathedral. For the Ninth Salzburg Art Project in 2010, the Catalan artist Jaume Plensa has created a sculpture for the “Dietrichsruh” in the University of Salzburg: Bearing the title “Awilda”, it is a monumental 5-metre-high bust of a young girl with Caribbean facial features, fashioned from white Spanish marble. The figure suggests distance and proximity simultaneously and exudes a preternatural tranquillity and an enigmatic aura.
In homage to the country hosting the Salzburg Art Project, three internationally-acclaimed Austrian artists have been invited to take part in the10th and final project: Brigitte Kowanz, Manfred Wakolbinger and Erwin Wurm.