A huge fasting cloth in a rather unusual shape is supposed to stimulate thought in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna:

Well Cardinal Schönborn has hosted Conchita Wurst appearing in the Cathedral, so I guess another unusual exhibit (or several) were to be expected:
PS Do not forget to click to see the other exhibits on display shown on the article picture carousel!
English translation of article below original link:

Giant sweater by Erwin Wurm as a fasting cloth

A huge fasting cloth in a rather unusual shape is supposed to stimulate thought in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna: a purple sweater covers the high altar until Easter. It was designed by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm.


The 80-square-meter sweater is not the only worm exhibit in the cathedral. Some of his sculptures can also be seen in the church or in front of the cathedral, mainly in disfigured or deformed form, such as a boxing glove, deformed houses, a body without a head, hands and feet, and bags on legs. At the Singertor there is a large hot water bottle on its feet, called “Big Mother”. Originally, it was planned to be placed in front of the main entrance, but the district administration did not want the public space to be used for it, it said. Now the object stands on the church’s own ground.
A Sign of Warming Charity

The sculptures are said to be “an indication of the deformities of our lives,” said pastor Toni Faber, explaining the background. At the same time, the Easter penitence could also be the prelude to a liberation from these deformities, the dominance of consumption was mentioned here as an example. The works of art should invite you to “think about your own limitations”. The sweater as a fasting cloth is intended to remind of the “priority of warming charity” before Easter.

During the presentation of the fasting cloth and the sculpture installation, the artist himself said that he had a strong connection to St. Stephen’s Cathedral: he regularly went to the cathedral, but “unfortunately” not so much to pray, but rather to concentrate on the architectural and historical art to please the church. With regard to his attitude towards religion, Wurm revealed that he had left the church a long time ago, but has now returned.
40 days of Lent and art

The fasting cloth in the cathedral has been designed by local artists since 2013. These included Peter Baldinger, Victoria Coeln and Eva Petric. Faber emphasized that Wurm had foregone the artistic fee for his work - only the material costs were covered. The fasting cloth will be removed on Holy Saturday, April 11th. The sculptures, however, can still be seen until Pentecost and in the Long Night of the Churches on June 5.

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days. In the Catholic faith, it serves as a preparation time for Easter. “Fasting, praying, giving alms”, Faber listed the essential steps of the faithful during this time.

That’s insanity. I don’t know why that would even be allowed.
What is a fasting cloth, btw?


This picture is now going around social media even on the sites that usually aren’t complaining about this sort of thing. Even the non-traditionalists seem to think it’s quite silly. I must say I agree. At first glance, I thought it was just a big drapery that was somehow giving the optical illusion of being a sweater when viewed from a distance…nope, it’s meant to look like a sweater. Ugh.

LifeSite has an article in English.

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Mental note to self: The Vienna Dom appears to put up some weird “art” for this purpose every year according to the article, so do not visit Vienna during Lent.


:man_facepalming:… reminds me of the quote-

“All novelty in faith is a sure mark of heresy.”
St. Vincent of Lerins


I’ve seen many ugly Christmas sweaters, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen or heard of an ugly Lenten sweater!


Fine an art gallery, rather inappropriate in the Church. It looks darned silly. Pun intended.


This is a great example of the problem with modern art and its disregard of tradition. It seems the artist has good intentions for this art that seem grounded in good concepts.

The problem is the genre of modern art itself. Whereas traditionally, art (especially sacred art) sought to convey an objective beauty or truth through traditional and culturally ingrained symbols and forms, modern art seeks to convey a personal or subjective expression of a truth. Thus, not everyone will “get” the artist’s intention–in fact, most people won’t. It’s like speaking a unique, personal, made up language. You may be intending to express a beautiful truth, but most people are just going to hear nonsensical gobbledygook.

In this case, most are just going to see a big stupid sweater, rather than have the principles of Lent brought to mind. Giant, novelty sized sweaters simply have no meaning in our common language.

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I have a friend who’s an artist, and I asked him once about modern art like this that seems not meaningful to many. His opinion is that if you need a written explanation of the piece, then the piece just becomes an illustrated example for the written part. So it doesn’t stand alone as an artwork.

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Info on fasting cloth:

Good info, until ol’ Bert called our Church teaching “irrational”. Guess ol’ Bert thinks he’s sin-free. God give me patience, but hurry.

He claims to have good intentions. But I see no sign of appropriate lenten humility.

This strikes me as emperor’s new clothes stuff. I went to an exhibition earlier today about Troy. The second half of it was about how Troy and the Trojan war are represented in art over the centuries. So we had a range of pictures by some fantastic artists and then you had a painting called ‘Achille’s Rage’ which was awful, a load of scribbly pencil lines and a wodge of red paint, accompanied by a load of waffle on the text next to it about the ‘dynamic an vital energy’ etc. etc.

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Hi MarkJ, welcome to the CAF community.
I had to laugh at your remark, it’s on the mark.

You might be onto to something though.
What if the Church could offer an ugly Lenten sweater for donations to the poor and down-trodden, or for vocations, etc.?
We could get our sweaters blessed and wear them (at home) as a reminder to do our penance. It could be made out of the itchiest wool and recycled plastic and have internal pockets to hold our daily prayer card, a little bottle of holy water, and the monies we give up for the day.

LOL :rofl: :rofl: :joy: :rofl: :rofl: :performing_arts: :framed_picture: :art: :man_artist: :woman_artist:

I guess it’s like a hair shirt, as well.

Better than this broken crucifix which was hung up in Innsbruck :


Where’s that guy who stole the pachamama? We need him Get him to Austria!

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Tschuguel is Austrian…

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