Simon Starling & Superflex
e.g. An Egg in the Attic, 2011
In connection with Simon Starling & Superflex. e.g.
A cross-departmental, pan-Styrian, polyphonic project directed by Simon Starling and Superflex, with Super Eggs by Piet Hein designed in light of a mathematical formula by Gabriel Lamé set within a museum founded by Arch Duke Johann of Austria following an elliptical epiphany by Johannes Kepler.
One of the nine Super Eggs to be deployed throughout the Universalmuseum finds itself somewhat hidden in the attic of Styria’s Landeszeughaus. Today the world’s largest historic armory, the Zeughaus in Graz’s Herrengasse was originally built between 1642 and 1645 as the principal military storehouse for the south-eastern part of the Habsburg Empire. Little of this vast array of arms and armour was ever used and remained as a community-building, symbolic deterrent, posited against the much-hyped dangers of an invasion from the Ottoman Empire.
While the hard, shiny aesthetic of the stainless steel Super Egg has much in common with the look and feel of the overly abundant collection of arms and armour housed on the Zeughaus’ four floors, its placement in the buildings attic owes more to one of the Universalmuseum’s other departments, the Volkskundemuseum, whose permanent display in part documents the role of superstition within the cultural and religious life of Styria. The Super Egg’s position in this dove infested, forgotten space, echoes the local tradition of placing an Antlasseie (an egg laid on what’s known as Covenant or Holy Thursday – the Thursday before Easter) in the roof. These Antlasseier, often painted red or marked with a ‘D’ for Donnerstag (Thursday), are believed to have the power to protect the home and its inhabitants.
Thus the resilient Super Egg finds itself caught between two obliquely connected belief systems – Its discrete attic location echoing the perceived protective qualities of both the religiously imbued eggs of Styrian folklore and the Zeughaus’ impressive military deterrent housed on the floors below.
Design by PIET HEIN © Piet Hein A/S Denmark
SUPERELLIPSE® Piet Hein A/S Denmark