Stiegen Stairs Scale Stopnisce Lestnica   Austria   1998

Heidemarie SEBLATNIG  

The meaning of stairs has continuously changed in the last century and stairways, stairs, step, etc. have been discussed within architectural theory for as long as stairs have existed. The term "scalalogy" even exists, which is defined, among other things, as the examination and measurement different stairs.

In the video "Stiegen Stairs Scale Stopnisce Lestnica" Seblatnig would like to add an aspect to the research of the history of stairs: "The deconstruction of a manly demonstration of power through stairs: "Progress has allowed men to proudly ascend the stairs. Everything seemed deceivingly simple. Now we are gazing upon patriarchic architecture just as in a cemetery landscape for heroes." (Taken from: Ria Endres, Arriving at the End.) One did not walk over massive stairs, one commenced climbing the stairs and when one arrived at the top, one gazed down with reverence. To be straightforward, most of the time monuments to impressive men were placed at the top. The discovery of escalators seems to have principally changed the attitude to stairs. Escalators are no longer used for the promotion of one's public image; they are used to transport as many people as quickly as possible.

Seblating expects that men will loose power along with current changes in society, viagra being an adequate solution for a transitional age. Her video begins underwater, where a computer generated penis squirts drops of sperm into the water, which with the help of the steps climb out of the water. Following these scenes, the camera sizes up stairs in Vienna, Odessa, Rome, Fiuggi, Ljubljana, London, records famous historical and architectural monuments as well as anonymous paths between above and below, between here and there. (Suess)


25min mono color PAL

Technical protocol

Sony Digital Video Camera (recording); Apple Power Mac 8500 AV (3-D computer animation); Media 100 (editing and post production); Beta SP (master)

Produced together with

Computer animation: Peter Ferschin; Music: I-Tsen Lu; Artistic Contribution: Christian Smretschnig, Dagmar Bever.

Post production

Institut für EDV-gestützte Methoden, TU Wien


Bundeskuratorin für Kunst Lioba Reddecker


Basis Wien


Heidemarie Seblatnig

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Basis Wien, Kunst, Information und Archiv, Wien