Adam Malysz and the unique art of ski jumping
Last updated on 28.02.2019
In collaboration with the Innsbruck based artist Stephan Pirker and the TIROL PANORAMA & Kaiserjäger Museum, Innsbruck Tourism organised a live performance during the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships bringing together the worlds of creative art and ski jumping. The main actors of this one of a kind event: former ski jumping champion Adam Małysz from Poland invited by the Tirol Tourism Board, former professional rock climber Anna Stöhr from Austria, a pair of ski jumping skies, a specially developed ski jumping simulator and lots of colour.
Stephan “Schuale” Pirker has a passion for ski jumping. Although the local artist has given up on his ambition of taking to the skies himself, he continues to live the ski jumping dream through his art. As part of the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, Pirker has been giving VIP guests the chance to experience what it is like to soar through the air themselves. Thanks to a specially designed ski jumping simulator, those brave enough are invited to strap on a pair of skis covered with paint and take to the skies before creating their own unique work on art on the canvas below as they come back down to earth.
One of the guests to try out the eye-catching apparatus was none other than four-time individual world champion and four-time overall winner of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Adam Małysz from Poland, who unsurprisingly looked right at home on the ski jumping simulator: “On a real ski-jumping hill I do feel a lot more comfortable, but I think art like this only exists here in Innsbruck. I have never seen something like this before. In general I really like to be in Innsbruck. It´s a very special place for me; as I won my first competition here in Austria.”
Among the other familiar faces able to muster the courage to take on this unique challenge was Anna Stöhr, former professional rock climber from Austria and two-time boulder world champion, who left her mark on the canvas: “In climbing we also do have artistic elements, like using normal archticture for a bouldering session for example. I have never been part in an art performance like this before. To say it frankly I think something like this is only possible in Innsbruck: sports and art in one place.”
The artist himself was delighted to have so many well-known personalities involved in his project and enjoyed the opportunity to showcase his work as part of 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld and Innsbruck. “Of course, it’s a dream come true for me to present my own personal passion, ski jumping art, here at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Innsbruck is the perfect setting for my work. The city combines alpine adventure with urban lifestyle – it is a symbiosis of nature, winter sport and art, which can also be felt in my art,” explains Stephan Pirker. “To have a ski jumping legend like Adam Małysz involved in my project makes me proud – and speechless. I always had wanted to conquer the Bergisel ski-jumping-hill. Landing with my art at the doorstep of the TIROL PANORAMA & Kaiserjäger Museum is the icing on the cake.”
What is ski jumping art?
Ski jumping simulator + skis + paint + jump = ski jumping art!
Participants assume the classic ski jumping position using a specially developed ski jumping simulator. From around two metres above the ground, they aim for a white canvas spread out on the floor below. As they land, acrylic paint applied to the bottom of the skis leaves a unique print on the canvas which reflects their own personal landing style – classic telemark, parallel landing or even a crash.
The special exhibition on show in the TIROL PANORAMA & Kaiserjäger Museum displays works of art created by ski jumping legends, former professional athletes and artists (20.2.-4. 3. 2019, opening hours: Wed-Mon 9:00-17:00)
About Stephan Pirker (“Schuale”)
Stephan Pirker is the “inventor” of ski jumping art. Born in 1971 in Innsbruck, he trained as a machine engineer and a care assistant before studying sculpture and transmedial space at the Linz University of Art (2002-09) and later switching to experimental design (2009-13). Pirker’s work is inspired by his close personal connection to nature and winter sports. During his time at the University of Rovaniemi (Finland) in 2006/07 Pirker was finally able to realise his lifelong dream of learning how to ski jump. Since then this sport has played a major role in much of his artistic work.