A hollow, a wall on a green lawn in a courtyard.
A wall set up in a room, photos on two walls of the inside room.
Summer 2000 in the south of Burgenland.
A hole in the lawn, a square, about the size of a grave, perfectly cut out of the loam, a wall made of the same loam, stands along its length. It is an analog. Its height measures the same at the depth of the hole.
Hole and wall belong to each other. They are volume and emptiness; being and non-being; a picture puzzle despite obvious knowledge of its becoming and the becoming as it was in the past. And the conditions of this have passed through rule-based, cryptic and mutually inter-nesting simplicity and esthetic.
The coming into being and the vanishing, the height and the depth are the mystery, which lets us read the history of earth; the wonder of layers of time as in an open book.
The lowest element becomes the upper-most during the course of the work and as the abyss threatens, so the wall protects.
The layers of dug up earth show evidence of earth history and human history. The interior is sculpted outwardly. In time and through its being deprived of air and light, the clay becomes heavy, the earth becomes discolored and compacted, yet it is shoveled upward (into the open).
Layer after layer of dormant matter, the differing shades of color that once lay hidden to the inner eye, now reveals truth (in the sense of Heidegger’s truth revealed. A revelation of hidden meaning.)
The wall stands firmly on the earth, the danger that it might collapse is, despite the chasm at its foot, not visible, yet somehow perceptible “Where there is danger, rescue is growing too” (Friedrich Hölerlin)
The architecture’s sharp edges of the wall and the hole are most fascinating. Their highly polished surface, their varying shades of brown between light and dark and when the sun moves over the courtyard, aspects of the loam and the green grass circle about with the sun. There are razor sharp shadings which show the lines of the wall again – a little shorter – thrown onto the earth. Land-art of the earth from Burgenland, a border area of history.
Some steps away from the wall-hollow-sculpture a zinc-covered door (by Walter Pichler) leads to the bar with its connected room, which –still empty – was meant to be the library.
Peter Pilz built into this Bar-interior room another clay wall, a free standing wall parallel to the door, dividing the space of the room and reaching through the doorless opening on the right side towards the library.
Left and right are photographs mounted on the walls, with a strip on its length touching the broadside of the room .
For the observer, this results in a lengthening of perspective from differing standpoints and a seeming continuation of surfaces that differentiates the quality of the material and the material’s esthetic quality.
The photos in the library reflect the clay tomb of the interior courtyard in measurements that are true to nature 1:1.
We, from the outside are in a position to see things from a bird’s eye view, for we can see into the deep. The sense of the vertical widens into a vertical stage.
Once more, they reflect the energy and colorfulness of the working process, and are literally Light-images from the deep layers of the loam.
Nature which is indifferent to life itself turns a space into a room which is lit for a mere moment and becomes full of meaning.
The secret of this room is that the lines of the free hanging images combined with the lines of the wall’s construct perfectly match ground and horizon.
Due to the angled edges of the photos, what emerges is the idea of a cave of light.
Room and adjoining room grow together and in relation to one another become more spacious. The profile of the surface gains in length and depth; perception and memory and permits knowledge and memory.
Height has no narrowness. It shows the way to the outside and to the light.
The structure of the surface of the inside wall is different from the clay wall of the courtyard.
The layering reveals its origin of formed loam bricks, roughly cut, unpolished.
The pattern of time lost all too swiftly, of earth’s history, shows the precise, careful workmanship of the geometrical interior construction.
(Usually it would have been reversed: neatly concealed plaster inside, rough exterior, but the converse makes things more clear.)
But also here, inside as outside, the area shows signs, writings of a book to be read about the relationship of matter and form, idea and shape, infinity and the finite. At first glance, it seems like wrinkled note papers.
How remarkable is the strength, with which the hand-hewn ruins, according to what has been deciphered, long for and demand to draw out and read the mystery within. But the images on the walls in the adjoining room give only a hint, not a complete answer, as would have been the fate of books on shelves like a certain page in an open book. Here as well are stories of color, stories of the earth.
A space defines itself by its walls. A wall, set alone free standing in a room, loses its practical function.
But this wall gains clarity. It makes one aware the lack of reflection and unconsciousness of the room .
The staged production of an open pro cultural idea, makes it visible, touchable and measurable and detectible by smell. It is a theatrical event made of matter and geometry.
The extension of the horizon of human experience within the knowledge of relativity, exists between the material (clay) and the construction (loam bricks)
The sustainability of form as well as the material comforts and compensates us in our world full of liability. The walls no longer exist. The hole in the courtyard is filled up again. Rain made the loam go down irregularly. Fresh grass grows on the diagonal slope of the sunken earth.
The artwork became invisible.
It was just a short glimpse of history when it became visible. The culture of the courtyard just closed above the visible wound and the artificial grass covered what art had made out of it.
Paris, in October 2000