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sanctuary stuttgart

catalogue number: hdv 1993.112.1
date created: 1993 (2018)
classification: installations
work type: environment
medium: steel and gold leaf (manufactured by Fred Schmalz, Eschenau)
the first [sanctuary] (1993) is situated on a grassy knoll of unused ground at a busy road junction in Stuttgart and consists of a circular enclosure of pointed steel stakes, each resembling a Roman spear with a gold spearhead. In this protected space the ground is safe from the city maintenance department whose task it is to tidy up and destroy 'weeds' [sic!]. 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 [source: Mel Gooding, herman de vries. chance and change (Thames & Huson : London 2006) 124]
dimensions: Ø 12 m and height 2.65 m
signature and inscriptions:
current repository: Leibfriedschen Garten, Stuttgart (click to see the map with location)
current repository number:
collecting history:
related works:
comment: in March 2018 the sanctuary was (partly) destroyed by the City of Stuttgart. All vegetation was cut short to the bottom. In the meantime the plants grow again, but 25 years are lost
photo/scan: Edzard Klapp, Stuttgart/Isabella Geiger, Konstanz/Uli Klopp, Stuttgart, Wolfgang & Eva Aull, Eschenau
rights & reproduction: herman de vries
published references
contribution herman de vries, 'sanctuarium', in catalogue Kunst, Natur, Schauspiel / Frank Werner (AV Edition : Stuttgart 1993) [41-45] (ill.). Reprinted in herman de vries. to be : texte - textarbeiten - textbilder (Stuttgart 1995) 174-178.
exhibition catalogue herman de vries. meine poesie ist die welt - aus der heimat/von den pflanzen (Städtische Sammlungen Schweinfurt : Schweinfurt etc. 1993) image repr. on page 77.
monograph herman de vries (Galerie Aline Vidal/Anthése : Paris 2000) image repr. on page 85.
article Arnon Ben-Dro, 'Nature in Context: A Situated Study of herman de vries’s Sanctuaries', in OBOE Journal 2, no. 1 (2021) 22-39.
monograph James Nisbet, Second Site (Princeton University Press : Princeton [2021] 49-51 (ill.)