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28 November 2015

Manfred Erjautz' 'Belvedere Christmas Tree' accompanied by snowman and #snowmanvienna images

The first images with hashtag #snowmanvienna have been uploaded already via Social Media online. The interactive snowman side-project was introduced yesterday evening in attendance of Belvedere Director Agnes Husslein-Arco and Austrian artist Manfred Erjautz on occasion of the presentation of the 6th 'Belvedere Christmas Tree' at the Sala Terrena of Upper Belvedere in Vienna.

From today until 2 February 2016, Manfred Erjautz' Christmas tree 'Under the Weight of Light' enlightens with fluorescent tubes the 1720ies Baroque space, once created by architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt for Prince Eugene of Savoy.

Manfred Erjautz' Christmas tree combines religious as well as secular thoughts. Christmas time, Advent is strongly associated with 'light' in the meaning of 'inspiration' in context with the remembrance of the birth of Jesus who wasn't only the religious messiah but a rule changer and saviour of people at his times. The 'Under the Weight of Light' Christmas tree by Erjautz looks like hovering without gravity magically above the ground. In the arrangement with the four male figures, the atlases who stem with all their power the ceiling, the idea can evoke that such anti-gravity lightness is only possible through humans' efforts.

For the first time of the annual art Christmas tree series since 2010, the indoor project is extended to the garden and the internet. The marble snowman sculpture with the title 'Trapped in the Present' references evanescence and - as it's formed of marble, the infinity of existence. The snowman's marble face is made of a classical carrot (in steel) for the nose and black lacquered pieces in the form of coals for the eyes and the friendly smile. On his head, he wears a usual sauce pan.

On the opening day outside at the palace garden, it seemed as if the guests weren't so much affected by the artist's existentialist thoughts, but rather by the snowman's bright smile which acted like a trap for joyful living in the here and now! Manfred Erjautz' tree and snowman will be on view until 2 February 2016. Visitors of the garden can join the online snowman photo project via #snowmanvienna.

fig.: Belvedere Director Agnes Husslein-Arco and 'Belvedere Christmas Tree 2015' artist Manfred Erjautz in front of the art installation 'Under the Weight of Light' at the Sala Terrena of the Upper Belvedere on 27 November 2015 in Vienna. Image right: The tree consists of moisture-proof battens with fluorescent tubes, electric cables, rope and metal and is 6.4 meters high. Image below: Manfred Erjautz' snowman 'Trapped in the Present' (2015, Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska) in the dimensions 173 x 91 x 91 cm is made of Laas marble, stainless steel, varnish.

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