Posts tagged ‘Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger’

May 22, 2011

Feel That

What do I love? Embodiment of invisible things. That feeling when you walk into an old library, being in the presence of immense beauty, all the knowledge of the world, a sanctuary for thought itself: a space where it can condense, take shape, become palpable.

You can see then why I would love the idea of this project from back in 2005 by Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger. The art installation, called Soul Warmer, was set in the Abbey Library of St.Gall, one of the oldest and most important monastic collections.

Part of the accompanying text reads: “For a long time, the library was able to capture the emotions of stunned visitors. Some emotions remained stuck to the grilles in front of the books, or trickled away down the gaps in the parquet flooring…”

And then towards the end of the text “At a stroke, all stored emotions were set free. Natural powers and higher forces sprang forth; memories swung their arms and legs; the animalistic instinct was liberated; fragmented souls were warmed, put together afresh, and life breathed into them.”

I discovered this project via hila shachar who blogs at le projet d’amour. She was compelled to blog about the project when, in her words: “i was sitting in the library this morning, when a particularly moving passage from a book i was reading caught in my throat, like an unspoken sob. i wanted to tell someone about it, maybe the person sitting next to me, but the very nature of a library means silence.” After introducing the art installation she continues: “this is exactly what i wanted this morning: to capture the emotion i felt, and to literalise it.”

(note the reproduction of Holbein’s Christ at the top)