Helga Vockenhuber: Belonging, 15 May 2023 — 26 Nov 2023

Helga Vockenhuber: Belonging

The sacred space and its ecstasy.
In the historic Palladio - Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. A direct examination of the architecture of the abbey, one of the most important monasteries of the order.

Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 2, 30124

Levitated sculptures
The first impression is almost breathtaking: A wide basin of nine meters in diameter has settled around the crosspoint of the church space. No colors, only deep black. Above it, centrally under the dome of the cathedral, sits the heart of the exhibition – an installation of seven bronze sculptures that together form a monumental crown of thorns. The sculptures seem to float and it seems as if they have fallen from the highest height to the ground.

Experience of sacred space
Something that can best be described as an intense experience of sacred space becomes possible. The memory of the Passion and Death of Christ is thus evoked. But the crown, an iconic symbol of the Passion of Christ, is smashed into seven pieces. Despite all the justified and intentional memories of the Passion, however, the significance of the work goes far beyond the religious and spiritual one: “With my artistic work, I express my gratitude for creation, life, in general”; says Helga Vockenhuber.

Fragile connection
“Belonging is specifically about every form of connection and the challenge of connecting” says the artist. The value and importance of social connections could not be overestimated at a time when the number of new communication tools seems to be increasing just as exponentially as isolation and social isolation. The installation makes us experience this vulnerable fragility intensively through its force.
Benedicti Claustra Onlus
Belonging in the Basilica runs parallel to the Biennale and is a cooperation with the Benedictine monastic order. As part of the larger “Art saves Art” program, works of art of outstanding artistic and spiritual value are repeatedly shown in the impressive Palladio Basilica in Venice.



Contacts & Details


Tue – Sun 10am – 8pm

Free admission

T: +39 375 6323595
M: abbazia@abbaziasangiorgio.it

Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 2, 30124

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