Nationalpark Room "A passion for Nature"
An exhibition project staged jointly by Gesäuse National Park and Admont Abbey
The entrance to Gesäuse National Park is sited just 7 km from the Natural History Museum at Admont Abbey. In his day, Father Gabriel Strobl was able to benefit from the geographical location of Admont as it gave him the opportunity to take extensive hiking tours. He was the originator of a local tradition of exploration of the natural world that is now continued in the form of the research undertaken by Gesäuse National Park as a public body. The passion with which Father Strobl botanised and studied insects can also be found in the researchers working at the National Park.
So, in view of this affinity, what could be more appropriate than for us to get together in active collaboration? A small permanent exhibition in the Natural History Museum of Admont Abbey attempts, by demonstrating the passion for their topic shown by naturalists, to stimulate the interest of visitors in the world of nature and specifically encourage them to visit the nearby Gesäuse National Park.
The intention of the exhibition is not to describe the various flora and fauna to be found in the National Park ‒ there is simply not enough space available for that. What it does is profile naturalists currently working in the field and showcase a selection of small but fascinating natural wonders. “It is remarkable how many creatures live wild and free though secret in the woods…” (H.D. Thoreau in Walden).
‘A passion for Nature’ concentrates on a small number of aspects that are not so immediately apparent in their natural habitat. It is the responsibility of the exhibition team to omit and abbreviate ‒ no easy task. In addition to dealing with research into the natural world, the exhibition makes reference to another feature to be found at Admont Abbey, its ‘Beyond Seeing’ collection, and is the venue for an acoustic work.
The composer Thomas Gorbach, a native of the nearby Grosses Walsertal (now a UNESCO biosphere reserve), has devised an ‘Acousmonium’, a spatial-acoustic piece that integrates sounds recorded in Gesäuse National Park. The unique feature of this soundscape is that it reacts to the presence and movement of visitors, making the sounds into a fourth dimension of experience in the room.
The team has here come up with a quite innovative concept ‒ the combination of outstanding visual impressions and the original sound experience will doubtless remain long in the memories of the visitors.