Christian Helwing
Free Visit

The Academic Church of the Holy Saviour
Ash Wednesday – Easter 2016

Vernissage: 10 February 2016 at cca 20:30




foto © Petr Neubert


For this year’s Lent intervention we approached the German artist Christian Helwing. The reason was simple: we liked his transformation of The Gallery of Contemporary Art and Architecture in The House of Art in České Budějovice at the end of 2014. So we decided to invite him to do a project for our Academic church.

The art of Christian Helwing is fundamentaly spatial. He is interested in altering perceptions, changing the atmosphere of existing architecture, creating specific experimental instruments, creating an imaginary mirror that allows him to study contemporary historical and social layers of the given space. This will be also happening in the church by the Charles bridge. His immersive installation will intersect this ancient temple, a leading intellectual laboratory of the Czech land, and its history, not only touching the dominican roots but also the barock Jesuit glory.

This project could be summarised using the notions of body, movement, and space. The viewers (parishioners, visitors and tourists) are in a unique position as Helwing’s art is not merely about observing some artistic object. Christian Helwing says: „My work opens forms of intuitive and reflective perception that are not opposed to each other hierarchically, but actually connect. The audience is an integral part of my art.“

It is important to note that, in Helwing’s work, the liturgy will not be secondary or cast aside: on the contrary, the celebrant will be central to the art and also every participant of the holy mass entering the temple will engage with it. Isn’t the very motive of revision, the theme of perceptual change, and the courage to radical laboratory cuts what Lent time is also about?

Norbert Schmidt, curator



The project will be accompanied by a serie of „Lent reflections“ to which we yet again invited many inspirational guests.

A debate with Christian Helwing and other worthy guests is scheduled for Tuesday the 13th of March in the sacristy of the church after the 7pm mass.


Lent interventions in the church of St. Salvator are already traditional. They start on Ash Wednesday with „The Ash Wednesday of Artists“, where the figures of the faith and art worlds meet. Along with the mass opening Lent, there is a music and literature series, as well as a meeting over an art work that has been specifically designed for the student church. In previous years the commission for this art installation has been accepted by the following artists: Adriena Šimotová, Václav Cigler, Stanislav Kolíbal, Patrik Hábl, Jaromír Novotný, and Michal Škoda. The ful list of art interventions can be seen at the ctu website.


Martin Staněk

Pavel Šimáček, Marta M. Mills, Anna Stárková

Michal Škoda, Dům umění /České Budějovice (The house of art České Budějovice)

Contact for the media:
Norbert Schmidt, tel.: 777 00 50 13, e.mail:


Christian Helwing’s installation is open from the 10th of February to the 24th of March around mass times and every Tuesday to Friday from 1pm to 4.30pm and Sundays from 3pm to 8pm. Should you wish to visit the installation at a different time contact the parish assistant Marta M. Mills at, 222 221 339, 724 367 681.


Project organizer:
Academic parish Prague and Centre for Theology and Arts

Project support:
Česko-německý fond budoucnosti / Magistrát Hlavního města Praha / Verein Ausstellungshaus für christliche Kunst e. V. München / Goethe-Institut Tschechien / Dominikánská 8 Prague


foto © Martin Staněk


Christian Helwing (* 1969) studied arts at universities in Hannover and Brehmen and, as a part of a scholarship DAAD, attended university in Horshima, Japan. In 2010 he gained residency at univeristy in New York. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked as an architect of scenic design at Riga Art Space in Latvia. His orginal installations include projects such as EAT.project, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen (2009), A crystal lives on, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover (2010), Sleeping, Pilot Projekt für Kunst, Düsseldorf (2011) Roter Teppich, Stadtgalerie Kiel (2013), Stargate, Arsenals, National Museum of Art, Riga (2014), Center No Center, Haus der Kunst, České Budějovice (2014), Marcks und das Museum, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen (2015). For more information visit his website.






Press coverage:

facebooková událost

Christian Helwing: Free Visit
Arcibiskupství pražské, 4. února 2016

Christian Helwing
Artalk, 6. února 2016

Aschermittwoch mit Künstlern findet in der Prager Salvatorkirche statt
Radio Prag, 10. února 2016

Christian Helwing – postní intervence u Nejsv. Salvátora
Fotoreport Martina Fryče, 11. února 2016

Annette Kraus: Intervention! St. Salvator feiert den Aschermittwoch der Künstler
Radio Prag, 11. února 2016

Popelec umělců 2016
fotoreport, Akademická farnost Praha 11. února 2016

Štěpán Havlíček: Všimli jsme si: Christian Helwing u Salvátora
Radio Proglas, 12. února 2016, 35:35

Popelec umělců – setkání světa víry a umění
Host: kurátor uměleckých intervencí v salvátorském kostele architekt Norbert Schmidt.
Moderuje Terezie Bečková.
Český rozhlas Plus, 14. února 2016

Studenti začali půst s umělci
Katolický týdeník 8/2016, s.1

Štěpán Havlíček: Postní instalace Christiana Helwinga
TVreport Radia Proglas, 18. února 2016

Jak to vidí…
Host: Norbert Schmidt. Moderuje sestra Angelika.
Český rozhlas Dvojka, 21. února 2016

Karolina Jirkalová: Koberec i baldachýn. Christian Helwing v kostele Nejsv. Salvátora.
Art & Antiques 2016/3, s. 89-90.

Debatní setkání s Christianem Helwingem,
Karolinou Jirkalovou a Mariusem Winzelerem
sakristie akademického kostela Nejsv. Salvátora
úterý 15. března 2016 v cca 20:00 hodin
(bohoslužba začíná v 19:00 hodin)

Ondřej Šmíd: Velikonoce u Nejsv. Salvátora
Psalterium 2016/1 s. 10.

Popelec umělců 2016
Artmix, Česká televize 22. března 2016, 40:00.

Výtvarné panorama s Janem Skřivánkem: salvatorské postní intervence (Christian Helwing)
Český rozhlas Vltava, Mozaika, 22. března 2016, 51:10