spuren [= traces]

catalogue number: hdv 2005.11.
date created: 2005
classification: public art
dimensions: variable
signature and inscriptions: [uninscribed]
current location: Steigerwald
collecting history:
related works:
photo/scan: Lilian Seegers, Amsterdam/Katharina Winterhalter/Bruno Schneyer, Zeil am Main (2005-2012)
rights & reproduction: herman de vries
extended description

Recently de vries has created traces of the same kind [as around Digne-les-Bains] in the woods and quarries around Eschenau, thus making an invisible bond between the spirit of his home landscape and that of the other landscape of his heart, in Haute Provence. In the sacred woods, and the ruins, rocks and quarries in either place, the observant walker may chance upon ambulo ergo sum, or the Sanskrit saying that adorns the capping of the circular sanctuarium at Münster. On rock faces in both the Steigerwald and the Réserve Géologique de vries has placed the mysterious gnomic Latin inscription discovered at various locations across the Roman empire, including Herculaneum and Pompeii, and sometimes referred to as the satorquadrat. It can be read left to right, right to left, top to bottom and bottom to top and may be interpreted to mean (by the implication of its palindromic form) 'what goes round comes round'. de vries's own reading is 'the sower (or originator)/no work/keeps/the work/going round', working from his assumption that the cryptic 'arepo' is merely 'opera' rendered backwards and thus signifies 'no-work' - analogous to the Tao principle of wu-wei (non-action) or the the Zen mushin (no thought).

Elsewhere there may be found the sign for infinity, the ourobouros (the circular symbol of a snake eating its own tail), the Hindu sign for om, and other characteristic de vries texts and quotations: chance and change; to be to be; veritas existentiae ('the truth of existence' - a quotation from Gassendi); natura numquam errat ('nature never makes a mistake'- a quotation from the Italian philosopher, Giordano Bruno, 1548-1600); ars vivens ('the art of living'); was wieso vonwo wohin ('what why whence whither') in the Steigerwald, and quoi pourquoi d'où vers où in the Réserve Géologique ('what why whence whither').

passage from Mel Gooding, herman de vries : chance and change (Thames and Hudson : London 2006) 135-138.

2005-00-00-111Bambulo ergo sum
2005-00-00-1112kein anfang / kein ende
2005-00-00-1119infini rotas
2005-00-00-1116sator / arepo / tenet / opera / rotas
2005-00-00-1115this / no thing
2005-00-00-1118ich bin in allen was lebt
2005-00-00-1111ars vivens
2005-00-00-111Kchance & change
2005-00-00-111Dhere & everywhere
2005-00-00-111Gall in one / one in all
2005-00-00-111Snatura numquam errat
2005-00-00-111Lpantha rei
2005-00-00-111Fperfect [sanskrit]
2005-00-00-111Owas, wieso, vonwo, wohin
2005-00-00-111Eto be / to be / all / to be / all ways / to be
2005-00-00-1113veritas existentiae
2005-00-00-111Nwu wei [chinese]
2005-00-00-1117this is perfect. that is perfect. perfect comes from perfect. take perfect from perfect, perfect remains
2005-00-00-111Jes war eimal
emptyaum [sanskrit]
emptynatura artis magistra (2011)
2005-00-00-1114be here now
2005-00-00-111Mevery thing is significant to all