8 September 2019 marks the opening of FOR FOREST – The Unending Attraction of Nature, a temporary art intervention by Klaus Littmann and Austria’s largest public art installation to date. Bringing together art, nature and architecture in an unprecedented way, this monumental art intervention sees the transformation of Wörthersee football Stadium in Klagenfurt into a native central European forest, with almost 300 trees, some weighing up to six tons each, carefully installed on the existing pitch. FOR FOREST is open daily, free to access and on view until 27 October 2019.
Inspired by The Unending Attraction of Nature, a dystopian drawing by Austrian artist and architect Max Peintner (b. 1937) that Littmann discovered almost thirty years ago, FOR FOREST finally brings that vision to life. Rallying in support of today’s most pressing issues on climate change and deforestation, FOR FOREST aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future. It seeks to become a memorial, reminding us that nature, which we so often take for granted, may someday only be found in specially designated spaces, as is already the case with animals in zoos.
Overseen by Enea Landscape Architecture, the forest is composed of a diverse range of species such as silver birch, alder, aspen, white willow, hornbeam, field maple and common oak. Once transplanted the forest will take on a life of its own, changing colours as the season turns and attract wildlife.
Seating up to 30,000 spectators, the surroundings of Wörthersee Stadium will dramatically shape the visitor experience. From 10am until 10pm daily, audiences will experience a unique panorama of trees, day and night, under natural light or by floodlight. Encountering FOR FOREST will trigger a multiplicity of responses and emotions, and depending on the time of day or night the trees will form an ever-changing landscape. This captivating panorama will pave the way for a whole new perspective and understanding of forests.
After the free art intervention at the stadium ends on 27 October 2019, the forest will be carefully replanted on a public site in close proximity to Wörthersee Stadium at a scale of 1:1 and remain as a living ‘forest sculpture’. Parallel to this, a pavilion is planned in order to document the project for the long-term.
FOR FOREST is the trigger for a vibrant programme of related satellite events and exhibitions across the city of Klagenfurt. One of the highlights is the joint exhibition Touch Wood at the Museum of Modern Art in Carinthia (MMKK) and at the Stadtgalerie. The Wulfenia Cinema and CineCity have organised a specially curated film programme which explores the themes of nature and the environment, and includes screenings of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, Werner Boote’s Plastic Planet and Jan Haft’s The Green Planet. Entry to the film screenings is free for the duration of FOR FOREST. Further art projects are planned for public urban spaces, including exhibitions by the Lendhauer Association and performances by Vada, the smallest theatre in the world. Wörthersee football Stadium will also become the backdrop for performances and rehearsals by world-renowned Vienna Burgtheater.
About Klaus Littmann
Born in 1951, Klaus Littmann lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. Littmann studied at Düsseldorf Art Academy with Joseph Beuys and established himself as a mediator of contemporary art. He made his name through unique solo and group exhibitions positioned in diverse contexts. After many years working within gallery and museum spaces, he started presenting theme oriented art exhibitions in the public arena. Underlying each of his complex and unique projects is a dichotic tension highlighting the artist’s preoccupation with everyday culture and the confrontation between contemporary art and urban spaces. Littmann's ability to discover previously unknown creative talent as well as collaborating with internationally known artists is the determinant quality factor in every project delivered by Littmann Culture Projects.
Over eighty art projects realized by Littmann have been documented in catalogues and books, including the acclaimed selective public space projects City Sky, 2008: Daniel Buren, Renate Buser, Nathan Carter, Subodh Gupta, Peter Kogler, etc; Engel 2002: Tazro Niscino, Strassenbilder, 2003, Skultur, 2000, Frontside, 2001, Kulturgüterwagen, 1991, Move for Life (Basel, Lyon, Paris, 2006-2011) Public Viewing (Shanghai, 2007): Robert Rauschenberg, Daniele Buetti, Ben Vautier et al. A selection of internationally renowned artists Littmann has worked with include: Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Tony Cragg, Guillaume Bijl, César, Jean Tinguely, Dieter Roth, Leon Golub, Keith Haring, Michel Blazy, Job Koelewijn, Daniel Buren, Subodh Gupta, Daniel Spoerri, Niki de Saint Phalle, Peter Kogler, Katharina Sieverding, among many others.
Past projects in public spaces include Jardin des Planètes (Basel, 2018); Real Fiction Cinema (Switzerland, 2010-2012); Real Fiction Cinema (Shanghai, 2015); Real Fiction Cinema (Dongguan, China, 2016); Move for Life (Paris, 2011); Move for Life (Biennale de Lyon, 2011); Public Viewing (Shanghai, 2007); Senteurs et couleurs du Maroc (Marrakech, Foundation Dar Bellarj, 2000) and Un mois de lecture des Bâlois with César (Basel, 1996).
Past exhibitions and installations include: Paris Sans Fin (Cecina, Italy, 2018); Faces of Football (Vigo & La Coruña, Spain, 2008); Kultort Stadion (Basel, 2003 & Barcelona, 2008); Christo & Jeanne-Claude (Madrid, 2006); Keith Haring Editions on Paper (Madrid, Vitoria & Valencia, Spain, 2005-2006); Neuer Supermarkt with Guillaume Bijl (Basel, 1998); China Now (1996) and Keith Haring Editions on Paper (Hiroshima, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Japan, 1994); Fussball in der Vitrine (Switzerland, 1982 & Vienna, 1993) and Drogen – Welt in Trance (Switzerland, 1991 & Austria, 1993); Unnatural Bodies, Jim Whiting installation (Basel, Zürich, Köln, 1988 & Berlin, 1989); and Das Auto in der Vitrine (Basel, 2005-2006, Frankfurt, 1983 & Thun, 1985).
In 2002, Klaus Littmann was awarded the Cultural Award of the City of Basel.
About Max Peintner
Max Peintner was born in 1937 in Hall in Tirol (Austria) and lives and works in Vienna. Peintner studied civil engineering at the Technical University of Vienna and architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
In 1964, with Heinz Geretsegger, he published the monograph Otto Wagner 1841–1918, Unbegrenzte Großstadt, Beginn der modernen Architektur (Otto Wagner 1841-1918, The Expanding City, The Beginning of Modern Architecture) in the Residenz Verlag and in 1969, published his first drawings under the title Sechs Beiträge zur Zukunft: Technik- und Zivilisationskritik unter den Deckmantel der Utopie. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions at museums internationally including, among others, the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2006 and 1997), the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp (1998), the Ludwig Kortárs Múvészeti Múzeum in Budapest (1996/1997), the Museion in Bolzano (1989), the Rupertinum in Salzburg (1985/1986), the Galleria D’Arte Moderna in Bologna (1984), and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1982). In 2000 the Neue Galerie Graz dedicated a retrospective to him entitled Max Peintner: Take off Perception in the Technological Era.
He has additionally appeared in major international exhibitions including documenta 6 (1977) and he was chosen to be Austria’s representative at the Biennale di Venezia in 1986.
A drawing by Peintner from 1974 is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and he has been featured in several exhibitions at the museum including 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design (2012-2013) and The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection (2002-2003).
About Enzo Enea
Enzo Enea is a trained industrial designer. He studied landscape architecture in London and founded Enea Landscape Architecture in 1993. The company, with its more than 200 employees, is headquartered in Rapperswil-Jona and has further branches in Miami and New York. Enea Landscape Architecture works with numerous leading architectural firms such as Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Christoph Ingenhoven, Rem Koolhaas and Tadao Andō.
The Swiss office for landscape architecture designs and implements projects worldwide for private builders, real estate developers, companies and international clients in the public domain. The portfolio includes private gardens and terraces, parks and gardens for hotels and restaurants, as well as holiday resorts and outdoor facilities of corporate offices. The company develops complex solutions for the design of green and open spaces in major cities worldwide, such as Beijing, Sao Paulo and Miami. Its design concept incorporates the fusion of outdoor and indoor space.
About Wörthersee Stadium
Wörthersee Stadium is Austria’s most modern stadium, and was officially opened in Klagenfurt in September 2007. The home of the SK Austria Klagenfurt club, the stadium has a capacity of 30,000. In 2008 it played a role in the European Football Championship, and has since hosted other important matches including the 2018 International Champions Cup match between FC Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. In addition to football matches, the multifunctional arena has been host to special events including an outdoor ice hockey derby, several major concerts, as well as the United World Games and the “Herzschlag 2014” Special Olympics.
The stadium, which complies with all UEFA and FIFA guidelines, is a compact structure which sits comfortably within its surrounding landscape. The architecture of the structure is particularly striking thanks to the dynamic elevation of the roof above the east stand. Further striking features include the close proximity of the tribunes to the football field to create a unique live experience, in addition to the slightly increasing West ramp going towards the stadium, and several stairways that allow access to the stadium on the cornerstones of the platform.