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Richard Wagner, 2013

Sculptural project featuring 500 Wagner multiples to commemorate the bicentennial celebrations of Richard Wagner's birth, set up in the city of Bayreuth

The festivities to commemorate Richard Wagner‘s 200th birthday inspired the City of Bayreuth to invite conceptual artist Ottmar Hörl to contribute to the Bayreuth Festival. In 2004, Ottmar Hörl’s  W a g n e r  D o g s  had already taken over the city. This year, it will be Richard Wagner himself "conducting" Bayreuth. 

"His posture, that’s him not just conducting. Wagner wants to set the tone, wants to define the city. This is my design idea behind the Wagner concept. You can see Wagner’s creative act and you can see the determination radiating from him. Clustering in one location, or scattered over the entire city, my sculptural projects become visual as well as tangible obstacles. They are meant to make people think, to make them pause for a moment. In this way, I would like to trigger social communication." (Ottmar Hörl)

Thinking of Richard Wagner in terms of colour may not readily come to mind. Although his aesthetic idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or synthesis of the arts, did explicitly include visual arts, his own view of colour, which colours he preferred, or the way he dealt with them in his immediate surroundings, does not easily reveal itself. Ottmar Hörl selected night blue, claret violet and purple violet for his sculptural project, colours that the artist Hörl perceives to be a reference to Wagner's favourite colours.

Photos: Simeon Johnke

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