First Salzburg Art Project
Anselm Kiefer | A.E.I.O.U.

Public Sculpture Project
Furtwänglerpark, Salzburg

The first artist selected by the Salzburg Foundation was Anselm Kiefer, who currently resides in Barjac, South France. Kiefer’s work, titled “A.E.I.O.U.”, is a walk-in installation containing a large-format painting, a shelf of books made of lead, and a wall inscription.

The house in Furtwänglerpark was built and furnished exactly to the artist’s stipulations. The shelf holds sixty lead volumes from which branches of Moroccan thornbushes seem to grow. These enter a dialogue with the painting opposite, “Awake in the Gypsy Camp.” The painting quotes a strophe from Ingeborg Bachmann’s poem “Das Spiel ist aus” (The Game is Over). It shows clay bricks set out to dry – an allusion to Sumerian cuneiform tablets – and is partially strung with NATO wire. The inscription translates: “Awake in the gypsy camp and awake in the desert tent, the sand runs out of our hair, your age and mine and the age of the world are not measured in years.” Gypsy camp and desert tent – words that evoke the nomadic character of our contemporary lives, between forms of existence and states of time, but also alluding to the fleetingness of time, something Kiefer finds especially relevant to the city of Salzburg.