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Interview by Kunigunde Weissenegger
Published in: franzmagazine on May 1, 2013 | Rosengartenstraße 7 | 39100 Bozen
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Dominik Stahlberg bei der Arbeit, 2013
Domink Stahlberg at work

Who are you?
Apart from the F.A.C.t that this question cannot be answered with absolute certainty, I am a male, 35 years old reflector of my strange environment. I have been living and working since about 2007 mainly in Carrara, which is famously located in Tuscany. Sculpture and installation are my favorite playgrounds, but I never quite got the stone-eater out of me, so the marble here in Carrara keeps me in chains and forces me to alienate selbigen as a medium of my thoughts purpose. This has the advantage of a continuous production of three-dimensional art objects, but the disadvantage of being absolutely brutal province. Carrara is beautiful and at the same time butt-ugly! But since I'm not an old resident, I don't have to deal with this in the very least. I have an escape perspective..

Thanks to the Internet, however, I manage to overcome this cultural wasteland and to accompany projects all around Europe, to exhibit and, above all, to travel.

What else am I? NO!art-Aktivist / stone sculptor / pirate / amateur astronomer / dog owner / doubter / tattooed / smoker and I love to gorge myself on the "finer things" in life. In the end, though, it's easier to approach this question by asking: what am I not? - I am not an asshole.

Why are you a Hole's Lover?
When I first heard about the Tree Fister project, I was excited from the start. The concept is so crazy that either no one will care or it will become a no-brainer. I have always liked these spontaneous ideas, in this case born from the thoughts of my Toast colleague Pierangelo Giacomuzzi (A.d.R.: Toast = workshop for young art initiatives in Carrara). Many of such inspirations unfortunately always remain trapped under the skullcap, all the more I pay respect to the work of Pier to bring together different people and see what you can elicit this theme roundabout around the "Baumfisterei" so.

Nature + Art + Void/Hole = ?
An experiment. - Nature and art vs. hole and emptiness, the eternal battle between good & bad, which we all carry within us. I think the art lies in setting priorities and never forgetting that we are part of nature, that the hole and the void will get us all soon enough and that the interim is to be filled with art in the broadest sense. Of course it depends on having enough to eat and a roof over the head, but there we Europeans belong (still) to the beneficiaries. Every dear day I move about 2.5 hours through the beautiful nature of the Apuan Alps (dog), see the seasons come and go, squirrels jump and hear the wild boars squeak. Unfortunately, however, I lack the German-romantic vein to glorify nature in all your splendor; I belong to it, take it as it is and take my dirt back with me when I visit. However, as a Nordic flatland child, I have discovered my affection for the mountains. Great! Mountains! Absolutely love the location of the Art Residence! ...even if it might still be freezing cold...

I learned quite a bit about the hole and the void during a three-month stay in the Old City of Jerusalem earlier this year; and I will try to work through that (at least in part) during the residency. Among other things, I had the dubious pleasure of participating in restoration work at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and am still under severe culture shock, so to speak. I did not expect this: If you are looking for hatred, lies, discord and, above all, craving for recognition, you have come to the right place. The situation in the holiest church of Christendom is worse than in the worst harbor bar and I am really not squeamish. Six denominations that don't give each other the butter on their bread. This religious tourism, the targeted paternalism of millions of people, scare me. Nothing against faith or misbelief or what-ever, only this industry, this profane money and envy machine has me but something in front of the head. At the grave of Jesus... - if he knew! Nevertheless I had the opportunity to realize some art projects there, among other things a photo series of believers at the anointing stone. These I will integrate during the Residence in an installation, which takes the said fetish as a model, only with changed signs. Quasi away from hole and emptiness -> Back to Nature!

Hole/void versus environment/nature: conducive or/and limiting to creativity?
Tricky. Personally I prefer to work indoors, I get my inspiration from our society. I'm not an abstract form junkie. The vastness of nature has a rather limiting effect on me, I can only guess at this system, but not understand it. Illustrate not at all, there you always lose. In addition, I always fall after longer viewing of this miracle in the search for meaning and that brings me no further. What pleases me, however, is the exchange with other creatives, everyone approaches such a topic differently, brings his experience and passion. So I then see similarities and differences, the latter always a little more, but that's another issue ....

If we can get through this week without camp fever and discord, we've already won a lot. Artists are known to be no simple-minded contemporaries. But I am a complete optimist! Among other things, I find it amusing how our concept is described to possible visitors / residents, how we get the hang of it, I'm curious ...

Keyword Treefister! I have participated in some sculpture symposiums and art projects, worldwide, and I must say that the most important thing about "working together" is to get a certain dynamic going. If this doesn't happen, if everyone just does their thing, a project has failed. The trick is to take your ego back and foster a dialogue so that you "come out" richer than you "went in." Unfortunately, this is not the rule, but an exception. But maybe that's where my romantic streak lies hidden, you never know. Since I belong with my 35 years under the Hole's Lovers already to the old iron (new German: Gammelfleisch), I will hold back with wisdoms, because I always hated it, if someone wanted to explain the world to me. Anyway... I'll do my best to have a lot of fun.

What gets in the way of your creative work?
Here it becomes difficult not to fall into platitudes. Only so much, when I feel "unloved", my works drift into an aggressive-destructive habitus, which is sometimes necessary, but in the long run ...oppresses me. I don't want to propagate a cuddle course here, ("No tail is as hard as life!" - H. Schimanski), but confirmation, in whatever way, is essential. The term "unloved" is also rather of a general nature with me.

What, on the other hand, promotes it?
My dear wife. Projects like this. Moderate alcohol consumption. Life-affirming attitude. Sex.

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Hole's Lovers Exhibition | 6. - 20.05.2013 | Trailer 9.55 min

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ABOUT KUNIGUNDE WEISSENEGGER: Managing editor + Creative direction. Quite simply: with, through, via franz, many things become more exciting, more genuine, purer, quieter, louder, faster.... I also love languages and language. People. Stories. literature. Nature. Sunglasses and sunshine. Water intus and extra. Music, musicians and singers. Live on and offline. Here and there and there. Fine and radical. Am sometimes away and much on the road. Also and mainly for franz. In the movement lies the power.