COLLEGE Poechlarn
Public Art Project: Concept for a Vocational College, Poechlarn
Architecture: Heinrich Strixner
Procedure: Invited art contest, 1. price
Realisation: 2002

For the student hostel of the Poechlarn vocational college, where woodwork skills are taught, Katarina Matiasek has created a ruptured panorama of a forest scene running like bars over all levels. Photographic prints on narrow strips cover the interior walls, running from the floor to the ceiling of each level. These are excerpts of photographs taken in the Neuwald forest nature reserve. In the foyer are the roots and trunks, the branches and foliage are on the upper storeys. The tips of the trees are in the multipurpose zone on the top floor.

The artist explores wood as a theme in all directions. She deals with her central themes of memory and visual space analytically and poetically at the same time. She alludes to the forest as the primeval site of human culture in a primordial landscape of memory. At the same time she gently incites the viewer to dream while playing on their sense of time. In her work she has pre-empted Franz Kafka's notion that in the forest there are things you could spend years lying in moss thinking about. Large green cushions for sitting on in the niches for relaxation are reminiscent of Kafka's moss, and invite the viewer to embark on an imaginary stroll through the forest, the fragmentary nature of which challenges them to close the gaps.

Cornelia Offergeld, 2002
photos © Christian Wachter/ public art lower austria