Sei immer du | 2019 – english

(Always be yourself)

A Community-Art project by Sonja Mayerhofer in cooperation with Bridging Arts Salzburg

„Sei immer du
und sei es ganz
früh stirbt die Blume
nie der Kranz“

F. Grillparzer (1781-1872)


Franz Grillparzer’s aphorism led me to the next Community Project of Bridging Arts Salzburg. ‘Sei immer du’ is an artistic exploration of how words influence us, create us, and define us.

We have often heard them, often even said them ourselves; sayings and life philosophies such as Practice makes perfect or The early bird catches the worm.

But do these guiding principles, aphorisms, affirmations – these life slogans – form a fundamental moral concept of our society? Are there variations between generations and within population groups. Are there sayings or quotes that have survived generations and populations that still serve as moral guidelines? How do these phrases shape our personality? Are we moulded by a linguistic and cultural heritage, an “oral double helix” passed down from generation to generation? – And if so, does it change, as does our genetic code, which is subject to constant change?

These are the key questions I shall be exploring in this project.


In phase one of the project, we will be collecting and analyzing phrases, sayings and aphorisms from all over the world. This will form the first pillar of the project.

In the next phase, certain texts will be selected and will become part of a creative transformation, in the literal sense language will become paper. The words and phrases will be formed from paper. Paper thus becomes the material of thoughts, and the words and phrases become visually tangible.

In keeping with Bridging Arts’ philosophy, we will be reaching out to the community to become part of this project. In addition to the online collection, ‚Life-wisdom trees‘ will be displayed around the city and the people of Salzburg will be invited to write down their personal phrases and sayings and to add their ‚leaf‘ to the life wisdom tree.


This site documents the progress of the individual phases. The findings of the project will later be presented in an exhibition.

Thank you!
Sonja Mayerhofer

About Sonja Mayerhofer (german) ➝


Send us an Email!