cairns into cubes



Vent, Ötztal/Tyrol, 1996.

The intention is already very clear from the title: "cairns into cubes". I transformed a cairn near the Rofenhöfe in the deepest Ötztal, of which the origin and meaning were unknown, into a cube, by rearranging the tower of stones and finally covering it with concrete, which in its relatively precise execution, strengthened through the addition of a monochrome black colour pigment, using iron oxide, causes a passing hiker to unsuspectingly recognize a work of art. The symbol was, so to say, disguised by itself, a new meaning emerges. An iconographic art monument is created from the orientation marking or triumph symbol. A last tip of the transformed cairn sticks out against the mountain sky from the black cube, with dimensions 1,30 m x 1,30 m x 1,30 m, a gentle reminder of something which can no longer be seen, which obtained an even more distinctive presence through the disguise. The small broken patches here and there, which hint at the content of the object, gives the black cube an almost sculptural character. The appropriation and alienation of landscape, through which human presence was clearly identifiable at this spot, gains, by means of the broken patches the chance of a creative compensation by nature, within a time span comprehensible for man.


Wilhelm K. Essler, "Was Zeichen zeigen und was sie verhüllen", extract from an essay about Toni Kleinlerchers Mountainworks.

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© 2012 Toni Kleinlercher