"Considering ourselves, us sculptors, what happened was that our experiences in St. Margarethen, this emergence into an open space - into the quarry, into the meadows - made us free again. This release or mental liberation in a very broad sense was the crux. For us sculptors, stone is the means of achieving this mental liberation - this release from many obligations, constraints and taboos.

 

The education we received at our schools and academies led to egotism, which is, in consequence, a restriction. To open up again from that point, that was why we sought those close to us and called upon our colleagues to make this joint effort, and many came.

We worked in very simple conditions. It was possible to live and work with great intensity, and that was all we wanted.

The stones should stay where they were created and be there for everyone. It is not like in a museum: encountering a stone like this in the countryside produces a different form of experience: the tree, the grass, the moss and the clouds are experienced too. I see, albeit in my own way, that humanity should share in all Creation, that we should feel responsible for everything that surrounds us.

Art is help, and equating art with help is the fulfilment of what my work has engendered, especially during the symposia. At the time I had not yet foreseen this help as it was to become, although I undoubtedly felt it, which was presumably why I made the effort to launch this European symposium. We, the sculptors, were suffering a dearth, intellectual and material in nature, of kindred spirits. Not as young as we once were, we lacked specific tasks. Furthermore, we considered it time that humanity remembered humaneness. Art can perform part of this task. It should not do so with words alone, but also in practice. In the form of a stone, for example, since stone connotes resistance. Resistance as a form of expression in the face of our lethargic society.

 For us sculptors, stone was a vehicle to communicate among ourselves, as well as with the outside world. Our intellectual and human crisis is global; that means it applies to the whole world. The idea we started out with - establishing communication between artists the world over - was an idea whose effect has been felt from Prague to Tokyo, from New York to Berlin. The increasing importance of the symposia now held all over the world proves how right the initial idea was.

So let the sculpture symposia be a purely spiritual exercise: practice sessions, preparations for tasks that lie before us and can only be performed by combined efforts - by working on behalf of our fellow men."

Karl Prantl, 1976