Lithopuncture “La stella alpina–Edelweiss”, 1997
Slovenian artist Marko Pogačnik (Kranj, 1944) was a co-founder of OHO Group, one of the foremost artist collectives in former Yugoslavia, and participated for it in exhibitions at the MoMA in New York (1970), at the trigon Biennale in Graz (1977) and at the Venice Biennale (1978). In 1971, he founded the Family of Šempas art commune, which existed in the eponymous village (where Pogačnik still lives and works) until 1979.
The artwork in Meran/Merano dates back to 1995, and is part of a series of works begun by Pogačnik in the Eighties and titled Lithopuncture: a kind of acupuncture of specific “energy points” in the ground that are similar to the chakras in the human body. This approach is based on the assumption that human interventions and processes like deforestation and industrialization harm the powers of Nature, and that art can help to restore the landscape’s original purity.
The five-part Stella Alpina or Edelweiss project forms a coherent artwork uniting five Alpine areas in four countries: Austria (Villach), Italy (Meran), Germany (Gstaad am Chiemsee) and Slovenia (Bohinj and Maribor). It created a network to foster the relations and the cultural exchange between these areas. Each of the five monoliths offers a “cosmogram” and consists of material excavated in a nearby quarry–in this case of marble from Laas/Lasa.