Ein Tag in tausend Jahren - Kunst und Archäologie 

One day in thousand years - Art and Archaeology 

Elke Maier und Georg Planer

One day in thousand years - Art and Archaeology
Church Cloister Wilten in Innsbruck, Austria                      Temporary Art Intervention
Exhibition dates: 6th and 7th January 2006
realization phase: christmas 2005 to saturday, 7th January 2006 Materials: very thin white threads (Elke Maier) soil, debris, bone fragments, water (Georg Planer)
Proportions of the room: length 65 m, bright 20 m, hight 18 m (12 m superior gallery) Extension: 20 m (= length of the threads, from the highest ledges and balustrades down to the soil of bottom) Extension of the earth-field: 100 m

The wish of the Abbot of the monastery Wilten, Mag. Raimund Schreier, to accompany the three-year restoration phase of the Collegiate Church with artistic interventions, resulted in intensive discussions with the artist couple Elke Maier and Georg Planer and representatives of the Working Group KunstRaum Church (Dr. Elisabeth and Univ.Prof.Dr. Gerhard Larcher).
Elke Maier and Georg Planer have developed a through elaborate concept, whose first section was implemented at the beginning of 2006 in the Collegiate Church in the middle of the nearly 2000-year history of this place, which has been brought to the light by the archaeologists, before the excavation site had to be filled from mid-January probably for centuries back.
"With bare hands" shaped Georg Planer in the depths of the opened ground of the collegiate church life-size human bodies of earth. His figures of earth, lying on the back and their faces looking to the sky, seem archaic and alive at the same time, as if they could rise up from the earth, of which they are created, and simultaneously plunge back into it / re-immerse in it.
At the same level with the earth-figures three individual life-size archaic figures seems to be levitating weightlessly above the lower base of the disclosed apse.
From each of the earth-people on the ground arise or spring / originate light beams, consisting of very thin white threads - tensioned by Elke Maier - which pervade / interweave the whole church.
These rays of light reach from the top down to the depths, where the graves are: on this previously invisible space, which was not bared / lied open before the archaeological excavations, the heavenly light shone for the first time.
The artist Elke Maier has woven several thousand meters of finest white silk yarn for this artistic project in the Collegiate Church of the monastery Wilten.

Univ. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Larcher, Director of the Institute of Fundamental Theology at the Karl-Franzens Universität Graz

Elke Maier und Georg Planer

Ein Tag in tausend Jahren - Kunst und Archäologie
Stiftskirche Wilten in Innsbruck                                                    Temporäre künstlerische Intervention                                            Ausstellungszeitraum: 7. bis 8. Januar 2006
Realisierung: von Weihnachten 2005 bis Sa, 7. Januar 2006 Material: feinstes weißes Garn (mehrere tausend Meter) und Erde, Knochenfragmente, Wasser                                         Raummaße: Länge 65 m, Breite 20 m, Höhe 18 m (12 m obere Empore) Grabungstiefe 3,5 - 1,5 m
Fadenlänge ca. 15 m                                                                       Erdfeld: 100 m

Der Wunsch des Abtes von Stift Wilten, Mag. Raimund Schreier, die dreijährige Restaurierungsphase der Stiftskirche mit künstlerischen Interventionen zu begleiten, führte zu intensiven Gesprächen mit dem Künstlerpaar Elke Maier und Georg Planer und Vertretern des Arbeitskreises Kunstraum Kirche (Dr. Elisabeth und Dr. Gerhard Larcher). Elke Maier und Georg Planer haben ein sorgfältig ausgearbeitetes Konzept erarbeitet, dessen erster Abschnitt zu Anfang 2006 in der Stiftskirche inmitten der von den Archäologen offengelegten, fast 2000-jährigen Geschichte dieses Ortes realisiert wurde, bevor die Ausgrabungsstätte ab Mitte Jänner wohl für Jahrhunderte wieder zugeschüttet werden musste.
"Mit bloßen Händen" formte Georg Planer in den Tiefen des offenen Erdbodens der Stiftskirche lebensgroße, menschliche Körper aus Erde. Seine am "Rücken liegenden, mit dem Gesicht zum Himmel schauenden" Erdmenschen wirken archaisch und lebendig zugleich, als könnten sie sich aus der Erde, aus der sie geschaffen sind, erheben und gleichzeitig wieder in sie eintauchen. Auf gleicher Ebene mit den Erdfiguren "schweben" über dem tieferliegenden Boden der freigelegten Apsis drei einzelne, lebensgroße archaische Gestalten scheinbar schwerelos im Raum.
Aus jedem der Erdmenschen am Boden "erwachsen" bzw. "entspringen" Lichtstrahlen aus hauchdünnen, von Elke Maier gespannten weißen Fäden, die den gesamten Kirchenraum durchwirken. Von ganz oben reichen diese "Lichtstrahlen" bis hinunter in die Tiefe, wo die Gräber liegen: auf diesen bisher unsichtbaren Raum, der erst durch die archäologischen Grabungen freigelegt wurde, strahlte erstmals das ́himmlische ́ Licht. Mehrere tausend Meter feinstes weißes Seidengarn hat die Künstlerin Elke Maier für dieses Projekt in der Stiftskirche Wilten verwoben.

Univ. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Larcher
, Leiter des Instituts für Fundamentaltheologie an der Karl-Franzens Universität Graz

Fast forward to December 2005, when the artists Elke Maier and Georg Planer were intruding into the archaeologists' excavation work in the sacred halls of the Wilten Church., a favorite visiting place for citizens and tourists alike.

Some meters beyond the church entrance, a huge hole is gaping, because archaeologists used the opportunity of a two-year church renovation to dig for graves and traces of ancient buildings in the deepest layers of the church, to peak down into the very intestines of history.

In the centre of church, the cave reveals its secret: far down into the abyss, human-like figurines are lying, one next to the other, just like mummies. Their bodies form a circle around the excavation hill. The sculptor Georg Planer created them from the excavations of the archaeologists with soil, debris, and bone fragments. They are one part of this artistic intervention.

Now, as the sun enters the stage, it makes yet the other component of the spectacle visible: thousands of thin white threads, all the way down to the mysterious abyss, running from the highest ledges and balustrades of the church down to the sunken mummies at the bottom. An ordered web, filling the whole space of the church like a three-dimensional veil waiting to breathe some new life into this gigantic space.

This process is ushered in by the sun. The first rays dance through the upper windows, meeting the threads and enlightening parts of them. Every minute, the picture changes. The higher the sun climbs, the deeper the light flows into the church. The space of the church, usually just a void between the floor and the ceiling, is full of cascading waterfalls.

This spectacle is an airy installation, created by the artist Elke Maier, which spreads a quiet variation of magic.

The light flows even deeper into the cave; it finds new threads, leaves drops, and old constellations are dropped to form new ones.

Together with, Georg Planer, Elke Maier created a prism that is breaking the secrets of life and Earth,the sunlight enabling a multilayered conversation about human existence.

Floo Weissmann, in: airline magazine "welcome air"

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