Belgian artists Studio Job have produced a space “filled with frivolous expression” for the newly expanded Swarovski Kristallwelten attraction in Austria (+ movie).
Studio Job’s Wunderkammer at the theme park in Wattens was created as part of the crystal-cutting and jewellery brand’s 120th anniversary celebrations this year.
Modelled on a room of wonders – or cabinet of curiosities – developed by Medieval castle owners to demonstrate off exotic acquisitions, the domed area involves a model of a mountain that was cast in bronze and covered in Swarovski crystals.
“This Renaissance ‘Room of Wonders’ is an elaborate, complete perform of artwork, the type that you can only generate a couple of of during your bodily existence,” stated studio co-founder Occupation Smeets. “As was typical in ancient utilized arts it combines a host of elements. It is a operate of adore filled with frivolous expression and achieved handicraft.”
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The mountain’s slopes are peppered with miniature structures, from standard Alpine chalets to landmarks like London’s Huge Ben clock tower and New York’s Statue of Liberty.
The colourful turrets of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and a fairytale castle are also set onto the sides of the peak. Each of the factors are gilded and hand-painted.
A golden railway track that spirals around the structure is loaded with model freight trains carrying gold in their wagons, and a gap in the “rockface” reveals a subterranean train station.
Above the model, which is raised on a circular table, mirrored panels are set into the domed ceiling that resembles the roof of the Pantheon in Rome.
Stained-glass windows in the walls are surrounded by colourful patterns of musical instruments that proceed on the central carpet.
The space is one of sixteen developed inside the Giant, a large grass mound made by multimedia artist André Heller that has the encounter of a man on its front, with a waterfall pouring out of his mouth.
One of the first sights created on the Kristallwelten web site, which opened in 1995, the interior has been up to date this 12 months as portion of the theme park’s growth.
Photography is by Bernhard Aichner.
Read on for Work Smeet’s explanation of the project:
Studio Task Wunderkammer
The term Wunderkammer is a generic phrase that originated in the early Middle Ages when wealthy folks, dignitaries and royal homes in England, Germany, Italy, France and Austria extra a particular wing to their castles to show rarities and gifts. These have been usually unusual and bizarre objects from the arts and crafts and the early sciences and medicine.
In fact, these were the first expressions of what we now phone “the museum”. The variation, of course, was that these Wunderkammer had been shown only to the upper-class guests to the castles. These miniature private museums came about as a pastime and as a way to impress their visitors.
The early Wunderkammer had been “merely decorated” elements of existing rooms in which the so-named curiosity cabinets were placed. As time passed, the phenomenon developed and the total area (walls, floors, cabinets) was decorated totally in fashion.
As the sciences produced a lot more autonomously from the 19th century and distanced themselves from the visual professions, the Wunderkammer grew to become far more connected with excessive expressions of craftsmanship and the visual arts.
A present-day Wunderkammer is a total knowledge. As in a knitted fabric, all factors in the Wunderkammer are linked with each other. Every little thing is about the encounter. A distinct world, you are stunned when you walk inside. The architectural symmetry, the monumental centrepiece, the countless detail, the excessive use of materials, graphics and dimensions: macro, micro.
The Swarovski museum is a labyrinth of types and influences. Including a new dimension to this labyrinth was an interesting challenge. We determined – as normal – to continue to be close to ourselves, simply because personality produces originality.
The beginning point for our operate is a classical-architectural approach, in which symmetry and grid are self-evident. The seemingly stringent context in fact offers us the freedom to shape our suggestions with complete expression.
Coming into through a stunning double door, you come into an expansive circular room 9 metres across. You immediately see that the whole space is element of a total set up. You see monumental paneling and big, round stained-glass windows with daylight shining behind them, so it looks like the windows open onto an outdoor region. In a kaleidoscopic vogue, the stained glass portrays the views of a tremendously enlarged diamond.
The surfaces in the classical panels are covered with specially developed wallpaper. All around the area are bronze wall lights that are each classical and modern in layout. Almost everything is polychrome, lustrous and glistening. There is a surreal, monumental and colourful atmosphere.
In the middle is a large, round paper table. This table has polished bronze elements, and surrounding it is a wonderful cast railing with rope that keeps the proper distance amongst the viewer and the big sculpture that is positioned centrally on the table.
This mega centrepiece portrays a large-scale mountain-and-train landscape. The object is composed entirely of bronze aspects that are gilded silvered, hand-painted and polished.
The jagged mountain peaks are dusted in light snow in the form of inlaid crystal. Just under is a castle inspired by the well-known Neuschwanstein castle that was developed by the “Michael Jackson of the 19th century,” Ludwig II.
This magnificent developing is also really varied and set apart by the use of resources and colour. In the mountains of this intense sculpture, several routines and sights can be noticed. For example, there are train tracks that wind down over the rocks of the mountain and forest landscape. A bizarre steam locomotive that resembles the renowned Flying Scotsman from the early 20th century rides above the rails. But the landscape also incorporates local homes, a Swarovski factory, castle Neuschwanstein, the Kremlin, the Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, a statue of Napoleon, a statue of David, the Antwerp Central Station, a mine shaft, tunnels and bridges.
The landscape is even adorned with a helicopter platform in between the trees, the place a Chinook helicopter has just landed. As if the president of the USA has come to visit.
The total is reminiscent of the life’s perform of an eccentric model builder who, with angelic persistence, has created an immense venture in his attic. The remarkable difference is that this is the most severe and expressive form of the phenomenon: a cottage craft that has taken on supernatural proportions. In that sense, this gold-plated, polished, painted, inlaid and magnificent landscape seems to be more like a masterpiece from the bizarre workshops of Johan Melchior Dinglinger, who furnished the Wunderkammer for Augustus II the Strong. To date, these works are still decisive for the background of the utilized arts.