«No god, no hero, us» 

The Relation of Goethes drama »Faust» to Stephan Balkenhol’s visual artwork «Sempre piú»  

An Approach by Thomas Oberender 



Gudrun Weinzierl: Balkenhol’s torso Sempre piú (which, prior to coming to Salzburg, was at the Forum Cæsaris in Rome, surrounded by a sea of coun- terfeit money) broaches the aspects of the ‘Faustian man’. The torso refers to supratemporality and ‘Never enough’ is not limited solely to material greed.

Thomas Oberender: What is remarkable about Balkenhol’s colossal torso is that it does not make an overpowering, but a gentle impression and seems strangely different depending on the perspective it is observed from. It was fash- ioned from a single cedar log. Balkenhol placed it at the Forum Cæsaris, surround- ed by metal discs representing oversized coins, with the note that this was once ‘the Wall Street of antiquity’. But what Balkenhol shows is first a young man free of any narrative gesture whatsoever. He is an eye-catcher and draws our glances. And there is no doubt that he transforms the space that surrounds him in a stage, the auratic centre of which he represents.