Werner Feiersinger: The Way of the Water

Tangente – Festival for Contemporary Culture, St. Pölten, Austria, 01.05.–06.10.2024

Werner Feiersinger: The Way of the Water

Werner Feiersinger (Collaboration with Eva Grubinger), Two Friends, 2010, rafting boat, steel, concrete

For Tangente festival, Joanna Warsza, curator for fine arts, and Lorena Moreno Vera, associated curator for fine arts, are developing an exhibition in collaboration with the river. From 1 May to 6 October, the work of twentythree artists can be seen along the waters of St. Pölten.

You can see the locations of the artworks on Google Maps.

The existence of all living organisms de­pends on water. When we drink a glass of water, this water flows through us back into the world. With every sip, we enter into a cross-species exchange with various living beings, but also with meteorological, cultural, ecological and geophysical technologies. Our bodies are largely made up of water; it is both a source of life and a deadly element, bringing both salvation and danger. It can also mark a border or be a sign of pollution, a carrier of time, memory and change, of colonial exploitation or indigenous struggles. Water is transnational, transcorporeal and political. Most human settlements were built along rivers. Rivers are the backbone, lungs, legs and head of urban development. They cut through invisible and visible walls and fences and serve as both a means of transport and a barrier. This is also the case in St. Pölten, which was once founded on the Traisen in Roman times. 

The starting point for the exhibition “The Way of the Water” was a series of fundamental questions for the artists: What does it mean to you to enter into a collaboration with the river? How can art be created in interaction with the river, its seasonal changes, the sun, the drought, the rainfall, its artificial forms and changing shapes? How can we convey our humanity as part of a “hypersea” of myriad bodies of water? Can we design interventions or conceptual gestures that not only talk about environmental personhood, but subtly connect with it? Talking to the river, sitting in the river, floating with the river? 

The route starts at the Mühlbach at Solektiv, the selforganised initiative for art, culture and nature, and then follows the course of the Traisen and the Mühlbach from south to north. On our way along the riverside promenade of the government quarter, we pass under numerous bridges where artistic interventions deal with themes such as ecological humanness or the ecological footprint of so-called green energy.

We come across the untold stories of the flood­ed labour camp at the Viehofner Lakes. On the way back to the Mühlbach we pass the water towers of the former Glanzstoff factory and the fountain of the Mevlana mosque. We follow the leafy paths along the Mühlbach stream and end up at a former snack stand that was brought to St. Pölten from Vienna in the late 1970s.


Tangente Sankt Pölten


Kategorie: Exhibitions

Tags: Feiersinger