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.