santuary stuttgart, 1993

santuary stuttgart

executed: 1993
object/work type: outdoor project
dimensions: Ø12.0 m and height 2.65 m.
photo: Edzard Klapp, Stuttgart
rights & reproduction: herman de vries


descriptive notes:The first [sanctuary] (1993) is situated on a grassy knoll of unused ground at a busy road junction in Stuttgart, the rich city of Mercedes and the motor car, and consists of a circular enclosure of pointed steel stakes, each resembling a Roman spear with a gold spearhead. ln this protected space the ground is safe from the city maintenance department whose task it is to tidy up and destroy 'weeds'. Such plants and wild flowers as will colonise the little sanctuary will be leÍt in peace, such trees as will seed themselves there will grow to the height that natural circumstances will determine. What happens in this untouchable little domain is visible to all who cross the road and care to look; to those speeding by it will be as insignificant as any other piece of waste ground glimpsed from a carwindow. It is a tiny nature sanctuary, an exemplary demarcation and protection of what de vries calls terrain vague. In a 1999 text with that title, de vries has summarised one important aspect of the philosophy that underlies his concept of the sanctuarium; a sanctuary not for humans to escape to but within which nature itself, untroubled by human intervention might renew itself, and in doing so - visibly - present the reality and the image of its cycles and successions. The text presents a vision of the modern city that is continuous in certain respects with that of the mechanised farmland of Eschenau and the deserted hamlet of Roche-Rousse.
[source: Mel Gooding, herman de vries. chance and change (Thames & Huson : London 2006) 124]
signature and inscriptions:
current location:Stuttgart
collecting history:

published references

[publication] herman de vries. chance and change (Thames & Hudson : London 2006) image repr. on page 125.