The woods come to town: For the voestalpine Klangwolke 2015, director Hubert Lepka and his company Lawine Torrèn (AT) have taken their inspiration from Aldabert Stifter’s romantic tale “Hochwald.” The forest is the chief protagonist in both the original and Joey Wimplinger’s new text version. For Stifter, the woods still constituted a secure place of refuge for two young women during a time of troubles and war, whereas the current production scrutinizes the forest’s future prospects as a “natural landscape.” After all, in the wake of countless clear-cuts and the subsequent reforestation that’s gone on since Stifter’s day in the 19th century, practically all European forests are landscapes shaped by human intervention.
The Nature of the Future
In contrast to the development of humankind’s urban habitat, there’s no master plan for the near-term future of our forests. Whereas Stifter’s Bohemian Woods are primarily a source of wood products today, gigantic old-growth trees are no longer to be found in now-nonexistent primeval forests, but rather in downtown parks and city gardens. With this as our current state of affairs, how will we go about configuring nature as a future habitat fit for human beings? This is the question that *Hochwald* seeks to answer at the 2015 Voestalpine Klangwolke in Donaupark.