Public Art Project: Concept for a Hospital Church, Psychiatric Clinic, Linz
Procedure: Invited art contest, 2. price
Head of Jury: Monika Leisch-Kiesl
Date: 2007

My concept for a redesign of the Psychiatric Hospital Church that is consecrated to St Mary focusses on the motive of her sheltering cloak. Referring to a Neo-Baroque ceiling fresco on site, my aim was to reinterpret the entire sanctuary as a protected zone beneath the imaginary cloak of St Mary, thus creating a continuous atmosphere of shelter and security for the psychiatric patients. This concept addresses the individual via his sensation as the centre of the assembled community. It also references Gilles Deleuze's concept of the fold as the central concept of the Baroque era to which the Neo-Baroque church architecture is inclined.

The suggested measures include a 3 part moiré stringed screen that unfolds beneath an existing plain figurine of St Mary, a new altar and ambo whose simple table shapes are contained in cubes of lacquered metal mesh, and a new organisation of an existing Via Dolorosa on a 7 part moiré stringed screen in the entrance zone. Due to their shared moiré effect construction, these interventions all vary in appearance according to the viewers position in the nave. Reflecting the dark ground of Baroque painting, the church floor is recast in black bitumen to include a walkable mirror in the central aisle that reflects the above ceiling fresco of St Mary. Looking down into this mirror, every entering visitor experiences himself visually as sheltered under her wide flowing cloak.

Katarina Matiasek, 2007