Stephanie Winter & Salon Hybrid
n late June, an unidentified object appeared at Vienna’s Danube Canal. A sort of heap aglow with mysterious colours lay there on the canal bank. Researchers began to investigate the find. What was behind this amorphous entity? And where did it come from?
As part of the series The Earth’s Psyche is a Luminous Pudding, Stephanie Winter & Salon Hybrid have been researching the terrestrial subconscious for a number of years now, i.e. the parallel world of thoughts, dreams and deeds inherent to our planet. As they explore social, ecological and political structures in-depth, they analyse the psyche of the Earth in eco-feminist, amicable and humorous experimental set-ups. As they do so, they address the contemporary and future existence of humanity itself. In what direction are we seeking to evolve? What new forms of coexistence are likely to sustainably strengthen our communities? And how do we want to retell our history?
The object Terrestrial Stage, created especially for the exhibition, is an earth altar made of ceramic material with glazed drawings, engravings and coloured surfaces. A sculpture and a place of encounter both, it invites passers-by to linger and explore while encouraging them also to take action. Participatory Erdfühlungen, i.e. ‘earth tactilities, address the interplay between human bodies and terrestrial material and the connection between human beings and their immediate surroundings. Fashioning narrative clay bowls invites people to tell and collect stories from a multiplicity of perspectives. Borrowing from Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘carrier bag theory of fiction’, an alternative perspective on human history is suggested, one in which the vessel serves as an existential and pivotal symbol of communality, exchange and collective care. Terrestrial Stage is indeed an earthly stage, a place of rituals and a fertile soil, as it were, for collective reflection.
* 1978 in Salzburg, lives and works in Vienna. Founder of Salon Hybrid, the Office for Performative and Experimental Matters.
Stephanie Winter has been researching the terrestrial subconscious for several years as part of her series "The Earth's Psyche is a Luminous Pudding," delving into the depths of social, ecological, and political structures. For CLOSE/D she positions the object Terrestrial Stage at the Danube Canal, a sculptural amorphous earth altar or stage, which she places in public space as a ritual place for shared earth sensations and earth tastings.