Martin Rehrl and Daniel Ronacher used the Corona crisis to get creative. Ronacher’s documentary reports on Salzburg artists in lockdown – including Martin Rehrl. Over a year and a half he created a 9-meter-high monument made of metal struts. The clasped hands stand for solidarity and unity.
The Gollinger metal artist Martin Rehrl uses social distancing to get inspiration. It took a year and a half and a total of 6 tons of stainless steel were needed to complete his work of art. Now the statue rises a proud 9 meters high on the grounds of the ORF state studio.
Unity, union, solidarity, Gollinger wanted to depict all of this in the most “banal” way, namely in the form of two tightly clasping hands. “I wanted to show solidarity, we need that now, but that will remain topical even after Corona.” – says Martin Rehrl.
In order to be able to implement this work of art, the 23-year-old quartered himself in a huge warehouse. With the help of a self-made lifting platform and cable winch, he came up to a height of six meters. “For the remaining one and a half meters I had to put the work of art down and turn it around its own axis,” he describes. There are 16 kilometers of welds in this object. From the inside, the work of art, nine meters high with a base, looks even bigger. On his At its widest point it is 2.55 meters in diameter. “I still remember very well how I lay on the concrete floor for two and a half days at the very beginning, welding the bottom 30 centimeters. I already knew then that I would butter for many hours. “Says Martine Rehrl. At the beginning of November – five months after the start and a full 1500 working hours later -” Unitatis “was ready.
A trip around the world is planned
On 7.7. In 2021, the monument was unveiled in front of the ORF regional studio in Salzburg.
However, it should only be installed there for 1 year before it begins its journey into the world. Because Martin Rehrl has a vision.
Unitatis where there is no unity.
In the next few decades, the work of art is to travel the world. Rehrl’s idea is: “That ‘Unitatis’ should be set up where cohesion is needed”. The 23-year-old already knows where the work of art should be in a year from now, but does not want to reveal any more details. The work of art should still be standing after 5000 years. A work of art for eternity. “When everything we know is gone, this sculpture will still be there. That fascinates me. ”Says Martin.
Film project “Salzburg. A history of art “
The director and filmmaker Daniel Ronacher recorded the entire history of the creation of the sculpture. In his film “Salzburg. Eine Kunstgeschichte” he asks himself “whether we need art in times of crisis and also how art changes when it is moved to the internet”.
25 other artists from Salzburg, including Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler, opera singer Rolando Villazón and hairdresser Mario Krankl, will be accompanied through the crisis. The main story, however, remains Martin Rehrl with his Unitatis. The premiere of the documentary took place on July 15, 2021 in the Mozartkino Salzburg with over 200 guests and ended with a thunderous standing ovation.
These two projects were supported by Kunsthilfe Salzburg. The main sponsor of the work was Albert Schmidbauer, CEO and owner of the Biogena Group, who was responsible for the production of the documentary “Salzburg. Eine Kunstgeschichte ”and the creation of the monument made a total of around € 100,000 available.