We, Nathalie Bresch, Julia Neudorfer and Anna Neuner, are three exhibition design students. In the beginning of March, we were standing in the Austrian Sculpture Park Graz in front of “In Then Out” – a sculpture by Tobias Rehberger and his students from the Städelschule Frankfurt – and were listening to the background of Jun Yang’s artwork next door: cultural transfer – China – ice. At the sight of the orange glowing bars of the sculpture, the idea was already in our heads: fire. But what does fire communicate? What does it look like? What does it do? And how can it be implemented?
Officially defined, fire is a form of combustion with flame formation, in which light and heat are generated. We understand this combustion as a metaphor for all ephemera. For the ephemerality and transience of all being. And here, too, we refer to Jun Yang: he conserves ice, prevents it from becoming water again – and thus stands up against transience and the heat that also arises from fire.
In purely visual terms, fire is associated with the colours red, orange and yellow. These are the colours we wanted to incorporate into our concept:
A corner mark – a candle – and wax. Lots of wax. But why? A candle gives light in the dark, which was already known in China half a millennium before Christ. It was the Chinese who developed candles for the first time, simultaneously with the Romans. With the candles – as well as with the ice that Jun Yang addresses in his installation – a cultural exchange took place across the Silk Road between Asia and Europe. But transience is also a theme here. A candle provides light only as long as the wax has not been used up and the wick has not burned down. Each candle has a life span – and each candle goes out one day, like all life.
In our installation, the wax has long burned out and the wick has almost faded. But it was unexpected that wind and rain would come and extinguish the candle before its actual time. Everything passes, sooner or later. And unfortunately we can hardly influence that.
We implemented the whole thing directly in the Austrian Sculpture Park Graz, with the help of four pots, a stove top and a lot of patience. After all, 70 kilograms of wax do not reach the framework alone.
During the spring festival in May 2019, the sculpture “Dripping” was opened together with Jun Yang’s “Das Eis des Kaisers von China”. The sculpture can be seen in the Austrian Sculpture Park Graz until the end of October 2019.
Concept: Nathalie Bresch, Julia Neudorfer, Anna Neuner
Drawing: Nathalie Bresch
Realization: Nathalie Bresch, Julia Neudorfer, Anna Neuner, Goran Sudar, Leon Ruf
Austrian Sculpture Park: Elisabeth Fiedler, Birgit Bauernfeind, Tina, Franz
Supervision: Anke Strittmatter, Erika Thümmel, Sigrid Bürstmayr, Tomislav Bobinec, Jochen Martin, Karl Stocker
Text: Nathalie Bresch, Julia Neudorfer, Anna Neuner
Photography: Anna Neuner, Goran Sudar, Laura Ruggenthaler