Lois Weinberger

Mauer, 1992 [Mural]

The sculpture consists of an arrangement of numbered stones of different sizes, overwriting the simple accumulation through the addition count. The artist becomes an epitechnician (who, in the second act, makes use of techniques that have always been part of nature) encoding the material with a logos. Instead of being labelled with high numbers, which could reveal the stones’ age, they are designated in a way that is similar to the instructions for a game of toy building bricks. The stones are arranged compactly on a plinth, placed as a memorial in the landscape, which is incapable of enfolding them. 

 

First there were the “cairns” in the Alps, the stupa-shaped stone towers on the Tibetan plateau, and the landscape-dominating stone walls around multi-levelled gardens. The wall is all-embracing, but at the same time seceding, and therefore organises the space: a sculpture in the true sense of the word.

 

Here a wall, there a garden: this is true for paradise, too. There can be no yearning for this “nature” to transform itself into art or to merge into it, given that nature itself possesses enough power of shape, organicity, structural design, structures and the capacity to improve its approach. It is a techno-artist, delivering its sculptures to the world in live form. It is at work with the Earth’s elements, which is the reason why the human sculptor often feels small when faced with its material.


Weinberger has taken the analysis of the “garden” – including the plants and living things which exist within it – as the theme of his artwork, and in doing so has relocated the gallery walls, to an extent. The “outside” is restricted by a cultural “inside area”, an area of description, mapping and identification. This theme leads to the “outdoor sculpture” being a commensurate task.


A “wall” exists as an ordering of stones of varying sizes, whereby the addition or counting of these numbered stones exceeds their simple stacking up. The artist becomes an epi-technician who uses technology – which nature has controlled for an eternity – second of all, and who codifies the material with a logos.

 

Instead of using a million numbers which would remind us of the age of the stones, they are identified as if in an instruction manual for a building block game. All the stones are piled up onto a plinth as a memorial, placed facing the landscape which they cannot surround, although the title suggests this. This “wall” does not enclose the landscape: rather it excludes it, by being found within it.

Author: Elisabeth von Samsonow 
Plan & Overview: Position 22
Owner: [Austrian Sculpture Park, Universalmuseum Joanneum]
Biography: Lois Weinberger

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