Linz / St. Martin´s Church
In Linz / St. Martin´s Church a man enters a church of the same name and takes a look around. Edith Stauber´s animation film lasts three minutes and presents a more or less symmetrically structured and realistic depiction of atmosphere. The drawings are colorful, unpretentious and direct. It is Spring. Trees standing in front of the church are in bloom; birds flit from branch to branch and chirp away. The man takes a picture with his smart phone. Before entering what is one of Austria´s oldest churches, he walks by a car, past a placard for the Austrian People´s Party (ÖVP) and a historical monument preservation plaque. It is dark inside and behind the entrance door there stands another door that is locked. One sign points to the option of making a donation, another indicates a light switch. The man activates the light switch, the interior of the church becomes visible, his gaze glides over frescoes and stained glass windows. He takes a second picture. The light attached to a timer switches off, the man makes a charitable donation and disappears.
In fact the highpoint should be the perception/presentation of everything that can be seen in this historically very significant building. We are all familiar with such presentations of churches and their interiors from film or television – staged with import, exalted, and solemn. The situation presented to us in Linz / St. Martin´s Church stands in bold contrast. The gaze of the man is unresponsive: the birds, the political placard, and the signs inside the church are lent as much significance as frescoes and stained glass windows that are hundreds of years old. Historical significance does not equate with a hierarchy of relevance. In the age of digital reproducibility, not only of artworks but also reality, one picture is rowed next to or even over another. The church and the picture of the church differ only as to framing. Everything is equally valid and also equally shallow, without depth. The first image mirrors the last, an exterior of Martin´s Church in Spring, but also its own reproduction. (Sylvia Szely)
Translation: Eve Heller
Linz / Martinskirche