Ona B., Helga Cmelka, Simon Goritschnig, Ina Loitzl, Claudia Maria Luenig, Pia Mayer
Originally, the word Baroque derives from the Portuguese language, in which the term barroco indicates an irregular or asymmetric shaped pearl. Through the Italian (barocco) and the French (baroque, documented for the first time in 1701, meaning “bizarre”), the term got used as adjective in the German language as well. Essential design element for both Baroque and Rococo is the obsessive use of stucco (to give a plastic dimension to walls and ceilings) in order to define opulent and sculptural shapes. Baroque designates in the current linguistic usage something sensual/festive/opulent, the good-life and the enjoyment and being the owner if a well-rounded figure.
The Catholic Church and the then reigning sovereigns used to patronize the Baroque art as tool to point out their richness and their power. They were anxious to surpass each other what concerned the display of their splendour. Catholics created the term „Baroque“. They loved plump and corpulent shapes, which should not easily and rectilinearly go along, but rather swing with plenty of pictures, angels and colourful processions. The baroque absolutism shows itself through the striving towards the creation of a Gesamtkunstwerk (“total art work”). This is here achieved through the use of several and different art forms; in fact, for example, we can still enjoy the opera, with its unity of word, music, plot and scenery.
The Baroque art found its maximum expression in the architecture. The strict Reinassance order is dissolved; vibrant, concave and convex shapes, cupolas, groups of columns, gables and windows’ finials richly decorated evoke in the observer’s eye the impression of power and movement, increasing the artistic impact of the baroque buildings. To architecture are subordinated the other arts and painting and sculpture are all included within the architectonic frame. The landscape design followed the architecture of the surrounding residences as well. In front of the castle’s garden façade is situated the parterre. The terraced surfaces next to the castle are splendidly decorated and designed to enjoy the top view from the beletage. Ornamental lawns, flowers’ borders, cut box trees and water gardens create baroque shapes and figures. Surfaces are sprinkled with colourful gravel and imitate fine embroideries: the so-called “Broderieparterres” are in fact the artistic culminating point of the baroque gardens.
Central theme of the baroque church is the sky, in which the believer can perceive the Holy though the mystic intuition. The painting has to transport to the observer the Sacred History and the Acts of the Saints in the most suggestive way. To pursue this task, the baroque style develops a strong tension between the contents transcending the reality and the way of representing them, which is often on the extreme edge of naturalism. Of course, a pleasing to God life was the “good life” which should have been adopted, appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. The catholic culture created the so-called „classical baroque“, which realised itself with ease and profusion: the life in sensual pleasure, with enjoyment for eyes, ears and noses represent both secular and clerical princes through ostentatious and decorated buildings, celebrations and processions in profusion.
The exhibition’s artists dealt with the most significant aspects of the baroque attitude and every single art work is so communicating and interacting with the others that we decided to create a single Gesamtkunstwerk.
[In the text one can find partial quotes from Wikipedia]