About the Abbey Library 2021

Heribert Friedl


In 2007, the Admont Abbey museum hosted the exhibition “I feel something you don't see. Art to understand”. In the course of this exhibition, Heribert Friedl made a subtle intervention in the Admont library hall.

About the Abbey Library 2021

The library was restored at that time, but was still accessible to visitors. The existing scaffolding served the artist as a scaffolding on which support plates were mounted. The work should be reduced as much as possible, adapted to the construction site-like conditions. As little visual attention as possible should be achieved.


Heribert Friedl consistently and deliberately downplays optical effects in his works. Here, he was more concerned with what the visitors could smell ‒ the odour to which they were exposed ‒ rather than with what they could see. The mounted ‘blank’ boards were coated with an aromatic substance the scent of which was released when they were scratched.

Also provided as part of the installation were scratch-n-sniff cards with a printed scent on their gold-coloured side. The gold colour made reference to the location of the installation ‒ the Baroque Abbey library. The cards were designed so the scent would remind visitors of the work itself while the gold colour would invoke the effect of the magnificent room ‒ visitors were thus able to take a little bit of the original home with them.

The odour used was that of incense.