Wörthersee Stadium Project (AT)
Klagenfurt / Austria
Sep. / Oct. 2019
Inspired by Max Peintner’s Drawing
Temporary Art Intervention by Klaus Littmann (Littmann Kulturprojekte)
What was the art installation FOR FOREST all about?
The international art project by Swiss art mediator Klaus Littmann transformed the Wörthersee Stadium 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, 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 was a monumental art project that found 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)
From the stadium stands, visitors were be able to admire the spectacle of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight. The images thus created were somewhat surreal. On top of this, the project seeked 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 only a mirror of our human nightmare. It was also the starting point for one of the largest art projects in public space in Austria. The entire stadium became a Gesamtkunstwerk and made a wide audience more aware of ecology, art, nature and artificiality. This confrontation with what can be self-evident not only lead to the questioning of our own position, but also to discussions about topics such as the meaning of humanity, of forests, of trees and of the environment.
What will happen to the trees after the project?
After the installation, the trees will go dormant for the winter: about two thirds of the trees (nearly 200) will spend the winter at the famous Praskac nursery in Tulln (upper Austria), where they will be taken care of by experts. They will then finally be planted in the Tullnerfeld at the gates of Vienna, at the centre of the future "FOR FOREST Campus". An international architecture competition which will take place in the next couple months will then tell us what the "FOR FOREST Campus" will look like.
Nearly 100 trees will stay in Klagenfurt over the winter. They will be part of a new project in Carinthia, that will be presented in 2020.
Are any events taking place after the installation in the stadium?
The Villa For Forest serves not only as a headquarters for the project, but also as a venue for concerts, readings, theatre performances and discussion forums.
For more information, visit our events page www.forforest.com/events
When did the art intervention take place and how much did 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 did FOR FOREST take place?
9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Why did it take 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 main reason why Klaus Littmann realized it in Klagenfurt is that the stadium there was not used to its full capacity.
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.
Did other events take place during the installation?
Over 40 organizers were #partofforforest with close to 150 events that attracted over 40.000 visitors. Exhibitions, literature programme, cinema programme with free admission, theatre, poetry slam, opera, conferences, architectural events, art in public space, concerts... The cultural programme about forests, nature and the environment was very diverse. We would like to thank all institutions very warmly for having lit Klagenfurt up with the FOR FOREST satellite programme!
• • Architektur Haus Kärnten with Raffaela Lackner
• • Scribaria Autorinnenverein with Dagmar Cechak
• • Burgtheater Wien with Martin Kušej
• • CineCity Klagenfurt with Elisabeth Laas
• • Dark City - Raum8 with Gerhard Fresacher
• • European Forum Alpbach
• • Galerie de la Tour von der Diakonie de La Tour
• • Galerie3
• • Grazer Autorinnen Autorenversammlung - GAV
• • Gustav-Mahler-Komponierhäuschen
• • IG Autorinnen Autoren Kärnten
• • Innenhofkultur with Raimund Spoeck
• • Jeunesse-Kärnten
• • Kärntner Schriftsteller und Schriftstellerinnen Verband
• • Klagenfurter Ensemble with Melanie Markovic and Peter Wagner
• • Klassik im Burghof
• • Kulturinitiative text:art
• • Kulturverein Slam if you can
• • Kunsthaus : Kollitsch
• • Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt Kunstverein Kärnten
• • Lendhauer (Lendspiel - Brücke zur Welt) with Robert Schabus
• • MINI MED Studium with Lena Denk
• • MMKK - Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten unter der Leitung von Christine Wetzlinger-Grundnig with Nora Leitgeb
• • Musikverein Kärnten e.V.
• • Raum für Fotografie with Gerhard Maurer and Gudrun Zacharias
• • Robert Musil-Institut/Kärntner Literaturarchiv with Edith Bernhofer
• • Robert-Musil-Literatur-Museum with Heimo Strempfl
• • Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt with Beatrix Obernosterer
• • Stadttheater Klagenfurt OG
• • Universitäts.club Wissenschaftsverein Kärnten
• • VADA Verein zur Anregung des dramatischen Appetits with Yulia Izmaylova and Felix Strasser
• • Wulfenia Kino with Elisabeth Laas
• • Abteilung Gesundheit, Jugend und Familie Klagenfurt with Beate Weidlitsch
• • Abteilung Klima- und Umweltschutz Klagenfurt with Stefan Guggenberger
• • Abteilung Kultur Klagenfurt (Kultur Klagenfurt) with Manuela Tertschnig
How was the project financed?
This project was entirely supported by private enablers, donators, foundations and corporations. The financing was based on three pillars:
• Tree adoptions (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 adopted a tree received 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 were limited to the number of trees, and are signed by Max Peintner and Klaus Littmann. In addition, supporters and enablers were named on the FOR FOREST website and donor plaques if they so wished.
Were tax money or public funding used to finance the project?
Neither tax money, nor public funding, were used in the realisation of the stadium installation.
How is the stadium usually used?
The stadium was made available for the project 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 perfectly.
For the first half of 2019, the stadium was used for sporting events and during the second half, concerts and multifunctional events took place there. You can find further information about the Klagenfurt Sportpark here
How was the forest assembled naturally?
Enea GmbH (Rapperswil / Switzerland) was 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, specialised in custom-built gardens and parks for both private and public spaces. The forest was modelled on the colours and textures of a European mixed woodland. 299 trees, 8 - 14m tall, sourced from selected tree nurseries, were held in a specially prepared storage location from spring 2019 and cared for professionally until they were needed.
By growing in tree nurseries, the trees were transplanted every 4 to 5 years, and were therefore prepared for the transplantation in the stadium.
How was the installation implemented technically?
Before the installation was put into place, load distribution boards were laid across the entire surface in order to protect the stadium turf. The trees were then placed according to Enzo Enea’s design, the root bales were tied to a wooden construction using securing straps. A forest floor was then created between the trees.
What different types of trees were in the stadium?
Enzo Enea chose 16 different 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)
Was the forest in the stadium accessible?
The idea behind Max Peitner's drawing did not allow it. However, spectators could walk in the whole stadium and in the stands, so that they could have different perspectives of the forest.
Villa FOR FOREST
Viktringer Ring 21
A-9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Photo: © Johannes Puch