Soul Warmer by Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

soul warmer by gerda steiner & jörg lenzlinger

I was sitting in the library this morning, when a particularly moving passage from a book I was reading caught in my throat, like an unspoken sob. I wanted to tell someone about it, maybe the person sitting next to me, but the very nature of a library means silence. At this moment, the passage I read made me think of Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger's amazing art installation, "Soul Warmer", made within the confines of the Abbey Library of St.Gall in 2005.

Steiner and Lenzlinger describe this installation as a manifestation and literalisation of emotion 'captured' in books and within the library over the years. This is exactly what I wanted this morning: to capture the emotion I felt, and to literalise it. I suppose that's why I wanted to speak to someone; in a way, I wanted to record the way I felt. I wish Steiner and Lenzlinger's project was extended into other libraries. I often wonder what books would look like if the emotion, history and ideas of the people who read them were literally inscribed on their pages. To me, that's where the meaning of a book lies: somewhere between the author's words and the reader's response.

And it has to be said: how amazing is Steiner and Lenzlinger's art? It would be fascinating to peek inside their minds. What is most spectacular about their work is not simply that it's grand in dimension and conception, but that it also seeks to probe intangible things we often take for granted.

All images copyright Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger. Click here to view more.

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28 comments:

mnemonique said...

thanks to you I visited the site of Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger. Opening site is awesome! But I don't like the soul warmer itself! there is too much of everything for me - I am rather minimalistic person.
Hugs to you
http://efektnimbu.blogspot.com/

P R I M O E Z A said...

interesting concept, amazing looking installation.

Felix Curds said...

...oh, we really must catch up with Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger and arrange a time where we can invade their minds haha! Strange fantasies aside, this is breathtaking. Thanks for sharing:)

If Jane said...

very whimsical and intresting...

andrea despot said...

i love this: "to me, that's where the meaning of a book lies: somewhere between the author's words and the reader's response."

Olga said...

I really adore it when a certain realized artistic project, which seems more like a dream, remains in reality. Even the project by Jeffrey "Jeff" Koons in Versailles - even though I don't feel connection to his work - feels like a significant event.

Tana said...

it`s amazing that installation!

thea said...

oh but what is the passage???????????

nikaela marie said...

i fell in love with my husband partly through books. i lent him some of my favourites, he lent me his. he would say that he got to know me from the feeling he had while holding and reading my books, the underlined parts, the bus tickets and notes forgotten between pages. evidence of wear, of reading and re-reading. i like to think that books are also, plainly, their pysical selves. we forget because they are mostly, absolutely so much more. xxx

nikaela marie said...

ps. i am half way through cold mountain. on your recomendation. i adore it.

Hope Adela Pasztor said...

i loooooooooooove these photos soo much!!! i want to live here!! =)

http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

the dizzle said...

sooo pretty, i want my room to look like this.

Galit said...

Their art is beyond words. I was sure happy to see their art in our local library although it might be the right setting... too ordinary I believe.

tywo said...

You inspire me to read more.
The photos are beautiful!


LOVE!

Luci said...

I know very well this feeling you describe about reading a moving passage. Have you read Perfume? This concept reminds me of Grenouille's intense need to capture and record scents that emotionally affected him.

Sally said...

Love your thoughts and these images. Branches made of bones...incredible.

ARIELA WONDERS said...

wow! spectacular!

Ellinor Forje said...

It's amazing. The photos evoke so many different ideas and sentiments at the same time. Thanks for sharing the photos and drop by me too, soon.

Cheers.

Rambling Tart said...

I am so completely in awe of this. This is my second day returning to linger over these pictures. :-)

Tracey said...

An amazing installation ... it feels like an exploration of another world.

Emily Vanessa said...

This installation is simply breathtaking and I agree it would be great to get inside the artists' minds and follow them on their journey. Often I'm struck by such moments when reading, that I'd love to share them with others but it's normally in the train or when I'm alone and I can't.

Principia said...

just curious, you never mentioned the book you were reading :)

Christine said...

How beautifully put! I love the idea behind this installation. Wish I could have seen it in person.

Rhônya Holman said...

Beautiful thoughts and images Hila! You words are always so inspiring and intelligent - that can touches people's hearts!

Have a beautiful day and a sunny weekend! =(^.^)=

PS: Please check out this blog I think you might like it:

http://detlev.bluelf.me/ especially this post: Warriors of the Rainbow

hila said...

mnemonique: ah that's a shame, I really love this :)

elizabeth: yep, it's pretty amazing.

felix curds: yes, it's a deal!

if jane: yes, I agree.

andrea: thanks!

olga: I only wish more of these projects existed.

tana: agreed!

thea: it was a passage from 'requiem for the east' by andrei makine - a great novel.

nikaela marie: I totally agree, I couldn't have put it better myself.

hope: i'd like to visit, but perhaps not live there.

the dizzle: ha, if only we could all create such rooms!

galit: yes, it is beyond words.

tywo: aren't they just?

luci: yep, I've read that book - to be honest, it kind of freaked me out, although it was very well-written.

sally: incredible, and I imagine, time-consuming!

ariela: wow is the word!

ellinor: thanks for dropping by yourself.

rambling tart: glad you like it :)

rhonya: thank you!

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Wow, this looks really amazing. I agree with your perception of the meaning of a book being somewhere between the author's words and the reader's response. So many possibilities...

hila said...

denise: yes, I've always thought that.

hila said...

looks like blogger has recovered some lost comments!

tracey: me too, that's exactly what I felt like looking at these images.

emily vanessa: this happens to me a lot too, and it's a bit frustrating :)

principia: yes, sorry :) It was a passage from 'requiem for the east' by andrei makine.

Christine: thanks!