Resident: Andreas Macheiner
Photographer Bernhard Müller in conversation with farmer Andreas Macheiner. He was born in Lungau in 1995, lives and works in Lintsching near St. Andrä and is resident for Sundial and Shapes of Rain.
“It’s just a little more comfortable here.”
What was your career like?
I went to elementary school in Maria Pfarr, secondary school in Maria Pfarr and then I went to agricultural school in Tamsweg. After the agricultural school I learned to be a carpenter, and I worked for the company Holzbau Mauterndorf until the barn burned down. Since last year by the stable building and the hay making I have remained fixed at home and also work on machine construction sites, a neighbor is also building his stable and I help and otherwise I still have a lot of work at home. That is my career so far.
You are the young farmer here on the farm?
Yes, everything is already in my hands, I am already the owner and the manager, my dad is retired and my mom still works at Billa, she is a bit younger than my dad. We have a dairy farm, currently 12 dairy cows and a little offspring, 20 to 25 young cattle. We don’t cultivate anything anymore, just pure grassland to feed the dairy cows, silage mainly.
Are you still a bachelor?
No, I have a partner who is an elementary school teacher in Tamsweg. We’ve been together for four years now and it’s a good fit. She also works quite normally on the farm, in the morning and at night in the stable, we actually help together. If I don’t come home from work in the evening, then dad and mom do the work. We are a pretty good family business.
How would you explain the Lungau to a stranger and what makes the Lungau special?
It seems to me that here in the Lungau it is simply more relaxed. It’s quiet, a beautiful landscape and you can simply relax there, because it’s quieter here in the country than in the city, where it’s often more hectic. There are many places where you have peace and quiet, where not many people come, and where you can gather energy. We have many forests where you can go for a walk, the mountains, skiing in winter and mountain walking in summer, that’s what I appreciate. Here it is just a little bit more comfortable.
What distinguishes the people of Lungau for you?
The people here in Lungau have a good sense of togetherness. Sometimes they are quite stubborn, but in the end it is still the cohesion, in the clubs and when there are festivals, everyone helps everyone.
What do you see as the great cultural asset of the Lungau?
The customs. That a lot of customs are preserved and passed on, that they simply don’t disappear. There are some very special things, like the Samson or the Kaasmandl walk in the fall.
Are you yourself active in associations?
I play the trumpet in St. Andrä and I also became a baton leader. You also live for that and then you are happy when you meet people, then you can exchange ideas again. Often it is very time-consuming, because you have rehearsals every Friday, in winter we have a 2-month break from rehearsals and in summer 1 month. But that can all be arranged. In most communities there is a brass band.
How is the general art offer, theater, concerts or exhibitions in the Lungau?
That’s hard to say, because I’ve never really been that interested in it and haven’t read up on it yet. We have seen something like the theater in St. Margarethen, but I have no relationship to art.
How did you come to Supergau?
Manfred, the husband of Santner Theresa, came by our house, but only Mom and Dad were home, and then he said that they had chosen my reason for a project, but Dad said it was none of his business. Then Manfred called me, came by and explained to me what they wanted to do and that there was the art festival, the super disaster, and that something would be set up there. He said that the slope and the sunlight from the southern exposure would fit exactly. I then said that I am not the one who says no immediately. There are just certain points with me, which I said, it must be just afterwards immediately again back-built and therefore I am also no opponent of the festival. You can set it up, if nothing is broken or soiled, then that’s fine with me. Besides, it is also good that something happens for the whole society and that is why I have also agreed. If people make an effort and I think that is not a little work, then I am not the person who says look for someone else.
Have you already come into contact with the artists?
Manfred called me to let me know when they were doing something over in the field, that they were now digging in the tree and inserting the small tree trunks, and then I drove over briefly. But we didn’t talk that much, because I’m not the best in English. I have more contact with the ladies through Manfred. And what is done in the forest over there, Heike Posch came by more often and asked me if the artists could do that in the forest. And I also said that if nothing is damaged by the trees, it’s no problem for me. I think they want to make a hut or a house out of round things, but I don’t know what exactly and I don’t know when they want to start. The maypole of the ladies, I cut in our forest. I’m not someone who reads into the art so purely, what sense and purpose the whole thing has, but if something is to help, then I’m already doing it. And when the festival is then I will already look over and there will certainly be someone who explains that and what that means.
Do you plan to look at other projects of the Supergaufestival?
I do intend to, but it is often difficult for me in terms of time, you know with work and then in the evening also the stable. But if it works out, then I would already look at something. In our alpine pasture inside, that’s a cooperative alpine pasture, they also do such a project and I will certainly look at that. I just have to see what else is going on.
The Supergau invites a wide variety of international artist groups to the Lungau. What do you think about that?
It’s actually fitting that they often say about the Lungau that it’s a bit behind, that’s what I’ve heard, just behind the Tauern, I think it’s really good that something like this is happening here and that they’re doing it. That the older generations also see what else is happening in terms of art, and for the Lungau this is also an enhancement. Many people have already approached me because they have seen that something is being created over there and I have tried to explain to people what they have told me about it. I don’t know exactly how it works with the sundial and what the little tree trunks mean, but you can probably lie down and enjoy the sunlight, and if you want to know more, then I say you have to walk by the festival and find out what it means. I’m excited when it really gets going.