Wörthersee Stadium Project (AT)
Klagenfurt / Austria
Sep. / Oct. 2019
Inspired by Max Peintner’s Drawing
Temporary Art Intervention by Klaus Littmann (Littmann Kulturprojekte)
What is FOR FOREST all about?
The international art project by Swiss art mediator Klaus Littmann is going to transform the Wörthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, which holds up to 30,000 spectators, into a scene of contemporary art: The project FOR FOREST “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, conceptualised by Klaus Littmann, inspired by the drawing of Austrian artist Max Peintner, will put Austria’s most modern stadium at the centre of international attention, invoking a completely new perspective and an almost unprecedented dimension even within the art world. FOR FOREST is a monumental art project that will find its way into the collective memory. "Nature itself is the synthesis of the arts, and for precisely this reason, it is worthy of this small dedication." (Klaus Littmann)
An authentic forest will, quite literally, put down roots in the stadium. Inspired by the drawing, “The Unending Attraction of Nature” by Max Peintner (born 1937), Littmann Kulturprojekte (Basel) will invigorate the stadium field in September and October 2019. From the stadium terraces, visitors will be able to admire the spectacle of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight. The image created will possess raw expressiveness, surreal and hardly surpassable. On top of this, the project seeks to become a memorial, reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may some day only be found in specially designated vessels — as is already the case with some animals in zoos.
Max Peintner’s pencil drawing is not just a mirror of our human nightmare, although it is indeed exactly that. It is also the starting point for one of the largest art projects in public space in Austria. The entire stadium will become a Gesamtkunstwerk, with free admission, and will sensitise a wide audience to ecology, art, nature and artificiality. The confrontation of the seemingly self-evident will not only lead to the perhaps unfamiliar questioning of one’s own position, but also to discourse about such things as the question of being.
When will FOR FOREST take place and how much will it cost to get in?
Opening: 8th September 2019
Exhibition period: 9th September 2019 - 27th October 2019
Daily from 10:00 to 22:00
Where will FOR FOREST take place?
9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Why is it taking place in Klagenfurt precisely?
For Forest could have taken place anywhere! It was difficult to find a stadium that would allow the project to take place for nearly 2 months. The only reason why I am realizing it in Klagenfurt is that the stadium there is not used to its full capacity.
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Who initiated the project?
The project was initiated by the artist and international contemporary art mediator Klaus Littmann (Littmann Kulturprojekte: www.klauslittmann.com). Klaus Littmann first saw the pencil drawing “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, by Max Peintner (born 1937), over 30 years ago, and has since held on to the idea of turning this striking dystopia into a reality.
How is the project financed?
This project is entirely supported by private enablers, donators, foundations and corporations. The financing is based on three pillars:
• Tree sponsorships (€ 5000 each), acquired by private individuals and institutions
• Contributions in kind and manpower from companies helping to realise the project
• Patrons supporting the project financially
What exactly is a tree adoption?
Enablers who adopt a tree will receive an edition of “The Unending Attraction of Nature”, hand coloured by Klaus Littmann, from a series of unique prints of Max Peintner’s pencil drawing. These prints are limited to the number of trees, and are signed by Max Peintner and Klaus Littmann. In addition, supporters and enablers will be named on the FOR FOREST website, project documentation and donor plaques if they wish.
Will tax money or public funding be used?
Neither tax money, nor public funding, will be used in the realisation of the stadium installation.
What will happen to the trees and to the stadium after the project?
After the project, the stadium will be returned to its original state (as it was before the project). Any resulting costs will be borne by the project itself.
After the installation, the forest will be replanted on a site not far from the Wörthersee Stadion, at a scale of 1:1. This way, the stadium forest will remain in memory as a forest sculpture. Expenses for transplanting the forest are included in the project financing.
How is the stadium used?
The stadium will be made available for the project organiser by the City of Klagenfurt for the duration of the installation. The FOR FOREST project is another example of the multifunctionality of the sport park and fits into the diverse event calendar excellently.
For the first half of 2019, the stadium will be utilised for sporting events and during the second half, concerts and multifunctional events will take place. You can fiind further information about the Klagenfurt Sportpark here
How will the forest be assembled naturally?
Enea GmbH (Rapperswil / Switzerland) will be responsible for the trees in the stadium and the design of the forest. Enea Landscape Architecture is a prominent, world-renowned company that offers landscape architecture, specialising in custom-built gardens and parks for both private and public spaces. The forest will be modelled on the colours and textures of Carinthian mixed woodland. Around 299 trees, 8 - 14m tall, sourced from selected tree nurseries, will be held in a specially prepared storage location from spring 2019 and cared for professionally until they are needed. By growing in tree nurseries, the trees were transplanted every 4 to 5 years, and are therefore now specially prepared for the transplantation in the stadium.
How will the installation be implemented technically?
Before the installation is put into place, load distribution boards will be laid across the entire surface in order to protect the stadium turf. The trees will then be placed according to Enzo Enea’s design, the root bales will be tied to a wooden construction using securing straps. A forest floor will then be created between the trees.
What are the different types of trees that will come to the stadium?
Enzo Enea chose 16 diffrent types of trees for For Forest:
- Silver Fir (Abies alba)
- Field Maple (Acer campestre)
- Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
- Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
- Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)
- Hanging Birch (Betula pendula)
- European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
- European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
- European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
- Larch (Larix kaempferi)
- Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)
- Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
- European Aspen (Populus tremula)
- English Oak (Quercus robur)
- White Willow (Salix alba)
- Silver Lime (Tilia tomentosa)
Are any events taking place before the installation in the stadium?
Yes. Before the installation is in place, the Villa For Forest serves not only as the project headquarters, but also as a venue for concerts, readings, theatre performances and discussion forums. More information at www.forforest.net/events
What will the accompanying programme during FOR FOREST be like?
Beyond the stadium walls, there will be a variety of art activities expanding on the FOR FOREST theme: among others, a thematically coordinated exhibition will be held at the Museum of Modern Art in Carinthia (MMKK) and the Stadtgalerie. The Architekturhaus Kärnten will be getting involved by running an architecture competition. There will be a versatile literary programme for the duration of the installation. The Stadttheater will run a corresponding piece as part of their programme and the Klagenfurter Ensemble is planning a theatrical production in the Wörthersee Stadion. The Wulfenia Cinema and CineCity will join in with a film programme about nature and the environment. Furthermore, several various art projects are planned for the public urban space, such as an exhibition with the Lendhauer Association, performances by the smallest theatre in the world (Vada), etc. (as of July 2019)
For more information, check out the "Events" section on our website.
Will the forest in the stadium be accessible?
The idea behind Max Peitner's drawing does not allow it. The art installation with 299 trees, which Enzo Enea will compose on the football field of the Wörthersee stadium following the model of an archetypical mixed woodland, is not accessible. However, spectators can walk in the whole stadium and in the stands, so that they can have different perspectives of the forest.
Can the project be postponed?
No, For Forest will be Austria's largest art project in public space and it can simply not be postponed. The project is too advanced in its preparation phase and people around the world have been working to make it happen from the 9th of September to the 27th of October.
I would really like to congratulate the WAC football club for their success. However, we have signed contracts years ago. These contracts are there to assure that both parties, the stadium and myself, will follow the obligations they imply.
Villa FOR FOREST
Viktringer Ring 21
A-9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Photo: © Johannes Puch