Stage sculpture takes shape
Bregenz, 14 Feb. 17. It was thumbs up last Friday when the monumental sculpture of a hand was hoisted into position next to the lake stage. The hand is part of the set for the coming summer's production of Carmen.
The forearm and wrist had already been put in place, and they were joined on Friday by the next segment – the hand with an erect thumb. Today and tomorrow the remaining digits will be attached to the sculpture which, when finished, will weigh a total of 20 tonnes and tower about 17 metres above the waters of Lake Constance.
By truck, crane and barge
The hand and forearm were first cut into segments and transported by truck from the workshop to the water's edge on the plaza beside the Festspielhaus. There a powerful mobile crane lifted the segments slowly into the air and carefully offloaded them, like porcelain, onto a barge named "Rhein". After a very short boat trip to the right side of the stage the cargo was hoisted into position by a floating crane and a tower crane. The little finger and the ring finger were attached to the hand as well, with the index and middle fingers due to follow today and tomorrow.
Joints plastered, nails polished
The larger-than-life right hand of a woman, known as the Bregenz hand, will be joined in about four weeks' time by its counterpart, the Lindau hand on the opposite side of the stage. That one will be fully two metres higher. Then the reassembled hands will be given the finishing touch: the joints will be plastered over, the coating will be improved and the nail polish might need touching up. The hands are made of steel, wood and synthetic fibre and are manufactured by the Vorarlberg firm Vonbank+Witwer.