Signal vom Dachstein

Signal vom Dachstein 2021 - 2024
Signal vom Dachstein is a long-term community art project in the Dachstein region in which numerous artistic threads are linked together. In 2021, the project was kicked-off on the day of the summer solstice: the Dutch artist duo Strijbos & Van Rijswijk, together with local artists, created a landscape opera whose overtures began in the valleys around the Dachstein. This prelude created space for joint reflection on the future of the climate-sensitive Alpine region.
Five of these local artists - Marie-Theres Härtel, Christoph Huber, Katharina Pfennich, Christoph Szalay and Stefanie Weberhofer - will work intensively on the further development of their work in the context of climate change until 2024. With mentors at their side. The five experienced artists, Toni Burger, Barbara Frischmuth, Peter Gruber, Bodo Hell and Ernst Huber, who, like the Signal-artists, are closely connected to the region, will enter into an exchange in the course of 2023 and finally also participate in the exhibition and event series in the region again in 2024.
Dates and developments 2023
Marie-Theres Härtel rehearses with her ensemble of 7 members at the Frienerhof in Ramsau at the end of May and once again deals with the sound of the Dachstein in her composition. Christoph Szalay is researching and writing for his new book with the working title "Vom schönen Leben" (Of the Beautiful Life), and engages intensively with the living and housing realities of the people in the Dachstein region. In addition, the Danish choreographer and dancer Nana-Francisca Schottländer will come to the region for a residency to cross the Dachstein massif at the beginning of July 2023. The artist will engage intensively and in a very physical way with the natural space and landscape, on and around the Dachstein. The Dutch artist duo Strijbos & Van Rijswijk will also return to the Dachstein Glacier in summer 2023. This time for film recordings for the next step in their landscape opera project.
Interdisciplinary cooperation
Through the interdisciplinary cooperation of artists, experts, scientists and representatives from tourism and regional development, a cultural project was created that deals with the current living environment and cultural identity of the people in the region. The exchange with cultural institutions and departments of the municipalities and the continuous cooperation with artists from the region will continue to develop until 2024.
"Site-related Artists"
The local artists already involved in the Landscape Opera by Strijbos & Van Rijswijk in 2021 – Marie-Theres Härtel, Christoph Huber, Katharina Pfennich, Christoph Szalay and Stefanie Weberhofer – are closely related to the region around the Dachstein. The five of them share a particularly sensitive artistic way of dealing with the relationship between man and nature and of bringing the issues specific to the region to the centre of attention. Until 2024, they will be supported by La Strada as "site-related artists" and accompanied in the further development of their artistic work. The examination of current social developments, cultural history and the effects of climate change in the Dachstein region remain central motifs.
Long-term cooperations
On an international level, Signal vom Dachstein marks the start of a series of projects that deal with the topic of humankind and nature in connection with climate change in an artistic way. Long-term collaborations, such as those being pursued in the region around the Dachstein, are also the focus of the IN SITU network co-founded by La Strada and funded by the European Union. Until 2024, artists will address issues of social change and processes of change throughout Europe. For many years, La Strada has focused on such community art projects, bringing together international networks with regional initiatives to jointly broaden horizons and shift perspectives. After all, creativity belongs not only on stage or in the lecture hall, but also in everyday life.

The Site-Related Artists



Stefanie Weberhofer
... born in Schladming, she lives and works in Vienna as a film and media artist. Nevertheless, her native region has never let go of her thematically. She is involved in the wide-ranging field of experimental, independent handmade film. Her works are performed in the cinema as well as in exhibition contexts or performatively. In the context of Signal vom Dachstein, her work is concentrated around the Super8-camera. In a documentary, essayistic and experimental style, she deals with topics of the region such as snow farming, alpine herbs, the work of artists and writers active in the region. The special quality of the Super8-camera is that its technical characteristics always determine the formal framework of the works. Thus, there is a film cassette available for each topic - a series of films about the region is created, which can stand on their own as well as together showing a comprehensive picture of the region around the Dachstein.


Christoph Szalay
... was born in Graz and grew up in Upper Styria. From the dream of being a world champion and Olympic medalist in Nordic combination, he found his way to the arts. He studied first in Graz, later in Berlin, only to come back to Graz and finally to the Enns Valley. His artistic practice includes transdisciplinary work in different constellations and contexts. Currently, the focus is on the examination of endurance sports as both a practical and discursive framework for thinking about action in terms of empowerment, sustainability, softness, body awareness and landscape. In the context of Signal vom Dachstein, his focus is primarily on an examination of the concepts and realities of living and housing in the Enns Valley, or in other words: to whom do these landscapes and the supposedly good life in the countryside belong and apply? How can life be shaped and how can one afford it at all in a region between hyper-tourism, tradition, second homes and the attempt at sustainability?


Katharina Pfennich
... grew up in Ramsau am Dachstein, but is also at home in France, Great Britain and recently in Switzerland. She creates new sound worlds by exploring and manipulating her acoustic environment. She loves to capture the sounds of unusual environments. Among these unusual sound worlds is the Dachstein with its glacier, crevasses, caves and glacial streams. The awareness that we are probably the last generation to experience this glacier land- and soundscape in this form has inspired the idea of an acoustic glacier archive. Working closely at the interface of science and ecology, Katharina Pfennich explores the melting of glaciers and the changes in our natural sound space. From the collected recordings - from the surface of the glacier, from its crevasses and caves, but also from the interior of the mountain itself - she in turn composes new soundscapes that can be experienced as acoustic installations.


Christoph Huber
... is a photographer, but also an amateur musician, a certified social worker and a trained letterpress printer. He lives in St. Martin/Grimming, over the summer on the Königreichalm on the Dachstein plateau. This environment, the region around the Dachstein, is his home, with which he is concerned in his artistic work - which concerns him. As part of Signal vom Dachstein, he is getting to the bottom of "Why?" and "How?" until 2024. Why does his homeland still move him, although he has already spent his whole life in it? How does the romanticized "ideal" world around the Dachstein present itself, how and why could it tip over into disaster? How are "Steinmandln" (stone arrangements for marking routes), the Dachstein mountains, tourism, the relationship between people and nature connected with this?


Marie-Theres Härtel
… grew up in Styria as a musician's child next to the dance floor, where she spent countless nights sleeping and absorbing Alpine folk music. As one of the pioneers of "new folk music", she frequently combines traditional Alpine music with jazz and other, international musical dialects. Until 2024, she will create a musical link between the musical dialects, localities and valleys of the Dachstein region as part of the project - inspired by hikes around the Dachstein and her family relationship with the region. Her compositions set individual stages of these hikes to music; musicians who themselves have a close connection to the region will make these compositions sound together with Marie-Theres. And thus also make the Dachstein sound again.

The Landscape Opera

& its Ouvertures 2021

At 2,995 meters, the Dachstein is the highest mountain in the regions of Styria and Upper Austria. And its glaciers will not disappear sometime in the distant future, but within the lifetime of our children. For these glaciers, a very special opera has been composed, the sounds of which will resonate deep into this unique archive of cultural and natural history. A unique event for the opening of La Strada 2021. At the summer solstice. At sunrise. The spatial sound installation by Jeroen Strijbos and Rob Van Rijswijk formed the climax of the landscape opera, but its overtures already began in the valleys. Several rope teams made their way from the valley to the glacier. Artists, scientists, alpinists and experts exchanged views on topics such as biodiversity, natural and cultural history, glaciers, climate change and geology.

The project "Signal vom Dachstein" thrives on the interaction of all participants and partners from the entire region.


Sustainability is important to us. The printed La Strada products are produced climate neutrally by Medienfabrik Graz and together with ClimatePartner we support sustainable development in the Alpine region.

La Strada

26. Juli - 4. August 2024

Opernring 12 / A-8010 Graz

Telefon: +43 316 26 97 89

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