Martin Walde

Siamese Shadow, 2003 (work in progress) 2008

The sails mounted on tilt-poles make us think of the windsurfers in the nearby bathing lake. They sway in the wind yet are not able to move away. What initially seems to be a representation of summer holiday fun in the field of art emerges instead as a reflection on the glorification of nature, landscape and leisure in relation to art. One insight offered by the work could be that the locations of art, such as this park, are not extended arms of the leisure industry, but instead are primarily places where one can reflect on such clichés. With its movement driven by the wind and its relation to the meadow, this work becomes both magical and poetic.

Martin Walde’s work focuses on art as a process-related potential of meanings in the form of materials and motifs that comprise both flexibility and convertibility. “Siamese Shadows“ reflects this intention and at the same time refers to the commercial environment of the sculpture park.


The sails mounted on flex poles are reminiscent of the surfers and sailors that populate the nearby artificial lake in summer. However, the sails are not just replicas of real leisure scenarios but also create a poetic-mysterious ambience that involves the wind and the sun on a very real level, making their movements visible in those of the sails, and in their reflections of light and shadow.


However, the sails are not just evocative of idyllic summer days, but also create a sense of alienation and melancholy: there is a certain element of Sisyphean labour about them – they flutter in the wind without being able to move anywhere. These are deadlocked sails, fused to the land that they would leave behind in their normal capacity as drive elements for maritime vessels.


The title of the work also suggests the influence of light – the shadows cast by the sails, also in a non-literal sense, should be seen as shadows of reality. As “Siamese shadows”, the sails are also reminiscent of Siamese twins, who, through their “fusion”, restrict each other’s freedom of movement and actually make a pitiful spectacle.


Upon closer inspection, what at first glance looks like an artistic representation of touristy summer fun turns out to be a reflection on the naïve glorification of nature, landscape and leisure time in relation to art. One possible insight offered by the restricted movements of the multi-coloured sails is that locations for exhibits such as the sculpture park are not simply extended arms of the leisure industry, but primarily places of reflection on clichés of this kind.

Author: Rainer Fuchs 
Plan & Overview: Position 62
Owner: [Property of the foundation]
Biography: Martin Walde  

Austrian Sculpture Park

Thalerhofstraße 85
8141 Premstätten, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9704


Opening Hours

April to August Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 8pm
September to October Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Office address:

Marienplatz 1/1, 8020 Graz
Mo-Fr 9am-5pm

Requests for
guided tours: T 0316/8017- 9200