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KunstGipfel - ArtSummit
To inaugurate the Kaolin Mining GeoPark, it was decided in 2000 to make ‘Monte Kaolino’, the white mountain at Hirschau, the setting for an unusual artistic event.
Twelve artists from Eastern Bavaria contributed works of art, music and lighting effects to the 1st ArtSummit. The site for this event was the wide plateau that forms the summit of Monte Kaolino, as well as the slopes of the mountain. Wolfgang Keuchl, a sculptor and painter, exhibited ‘A Nile Ship That Has Run Aground’, an old 6m-long iron ship; sculptor Toni Schaller constructed a wooden globe, 3 metres in diameter, and placed it on the edge of the plateau to make it look like a ball rolling downhill (‘Ball on the Precipice’). Ursula Merker, an artist who works with glass, constructed a 5m-high Noah’s Ark stranded on dry land, using concave and plane mirrors. (This exhibit is still on display nowadays.) Jörg Schemmann, another painter and sculptor, presented a ball, made of wood and six metres in diameter, with which music can be made. Painter and sculptor Paul Schinner exhibited an installation called ‘Distant View’, a 6m-high ‘ladder to heaven’ with 30 steps. This was intended to arouse expectations and promised an even better view. Light designer Klaus Zimmermann created an artificial summit for Monte Kaolino with three peaks in the primary colours, red, yellow and blue. His idea was that the 4m-tall artificial crystals would ‘complete’ the mountain.
On one side of Monte Kaolino, sculptor Helmut Langhammer created an installation ‘Traces Make Wings Grow’ or ‘The Flight of Icarus’, a 120m flight of steps made of black polythene sheeting. Theodor Sellner, another artist working with glass, built a ‘Wallband’, a staircase made of glass elements and a 7m-tall wooden scaffold with a balance beam, from which animals’ skulls made of glass broadcast ‘messages’ into the infinity of space. Raoul Kaufer, a painter and graphic artist, dyed a section of the plateau blue, thus creating a ‘Lake on Monte Kaolino’. Finally, artist and designer Wilhelm Koch created an enormous installation on the slopes of ‘Monte Kaolino’, using the letters of the word ‘ALSO’.
The musical accompaniment to the opening of the exhibition was provided by Hans Grobmaier’s group, the Chaolinos, and by the Allgäu Alphorn Players. Two camels – ships of the desert – were also to be seen on the quartz sands of Monte Kaolino that first evening. As darkness fell, Christian Havlicek used abstract light effects to transform the slopes into fantasy worlds that, seemingly irresistibly, inspired the spectators to walk up the side of the mountain, just like so many tiny ants.

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In the Valley of White Earth
Art in the Mine
An event entitled ‘Art in the Mine’ took place on July 30 - 31 at the Hirschau-West Pit which belongs to the Amberg Kaolin Works. It was another feature on the programme of events organised by the Hirschau-Schnaittenbach Kaolin Mine GeoPark. A natural 20-by-40m rockface in the pit functioned as a projection screen for a multi-slide performance by Wolfgang Michl and Adelbert Fust, and for light installations by Christian Havlicek, as well as for short films shown by the Regensburg Film Workshop. The evening ended with an art performance entitled ‘Firewater’, composed by Wilhelm Koch and Klaus Welz, with light installations and a musical accompaniment. They were assisted by the junior members of the Hirschau and Schnaittenbach fire brigades, who created fountains of water. The music for the event was played by Heinz Grobmeier with his ‘Kaolinos’, the Hirschau-Schnaittenbach Kaolin Band, and a brass band from Nová Role in the Czech Republic. In order to unite art and technology, pieces of mining equipment, such as excavators and dumper trucks,  were presented as illuminated ‘exhibits’ by the Amberg Kaolin Works. One day after the event, mining went on at the pit site just as usual.

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