: mitte | centre
dazwischen | in between
GUSTAV TROGER Altar und Ambo / Altar and ambo, 1996, Eisenplatten, Messing, Kleidungsstücke / Iron panels, brass, pieces of clothing Pfarrkirche Hl. Laurentius, Übelbach | Diözese Graz-Seckau/Nikola Milatovic
GUSTAV TROGER Altar und Ambo / Altar and ambo, 1996 Eisenplatten, Messing, Kleidungsstücke / Iron panels, brass, pieces of clothing Pfarrkirche Hl. Laurentius, Übelbach
How can a connection between a classic high altar piece and the contemporary design of a celebration altar be established? The late Gothic parish church in Übelbach, a church space full of light, covered by a rib vault, and with an inviting atmosphere, is a convincing example for this. At first, one’s attention is drawn to the classicist high altar with Hans Adam Weissenkircher’s impressive painting “The Martyry of Saint Lawrence” from 1680. The Roman deacon Lawrence is sitting as a light figure bending backward in clear contrast to the dark ground, held by executioners and almost naked over a glowing gridiron. The undressing of the saint and the gridiron were taken up by Gustav Troger (*1951) in his altar design of 1996. The artist layered three-centimetre-thick iron panels with slightly wave-shaped cuts on the margins to form a strict cuboid. The surface of the panels are brass-brushed, thus obtaining a matte golden sheen. Various pieces of clothing of the population of Übelbach were inserted between the panels, which, viewed from above, remind of huge picture postcards. They are only visible from the side, as thin, compressed colour strips. With these representative textiles (children’s clothes, everyday clothes, the uniform of a policeman who had recently died, a piece of workman gear and a wedding dress, a priest’s robe, and much more), a fantastic symbolic integration of the people living in this village has been achieved. The textile ensemble depicts the church, the new body which can be experienced in the celebration of the Holy Mass, and connects many existential moments and situations of everyday life with the events at the altar. Moreover, the cast-off clothes are a clear gesture of dying and/or an image of the transformation of life analogous to a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The apostle Paul wrote, “And we will be changed. For what is decaying must be clothed with what cannot decay, and what is dying must be clothed with what cannot die.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53) The ambo is not located within the choir, but on the floor level of the main nave. For this reason, the place of annunciation was led close to the celebrating congregation. Troger built up basic geometrical forms such as circle, triangle, square, and cross from the iron panels of the altar in a layered manner. This creative intervention links the table of the Holy Communion with the table of the word to form an inner spiritual context. It is a communion with God that is constituted by hearing the word of God and receiving the Eucharistic body. And it would not be complete if it did not lead to the communion with the needy of our time, as set as an example by Saint Lawrence.
Text aus |Text from: Sakral: Kunst, Innovative Bildorte seit dem II. Vatikanischen Konzil in der Diözese Graz-Seckau | Sacred Art Innovative Pictorial Sites in the Diocese of Graz-Seckau since the Second Vatican Council. Ausgewählt und mit Texten erläutert von | Selected and explained with texts by Hermann Glettler, Heimo Kaindl, Alois Kölbl, Miriam Porta, Johannes Rauchenberger, Eva Tangl. Mit einem Einleitungsessay von | with an introductory essay (German only) by Johannes Rauchenberger, Regensburg 2015, S. | p.274-277.