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le sommet des philosophes

catalogue number: hdv 2017.111.7
date created: (2014) 2016-2017
classification: installations
work type: installation
medium: the names of philosophers engraved in rock with gold leaf. The names of the philosophers are: gassendi | bruno | takuan | janis joplin | basho | wittgenstein | huxley | lao tseu | thoreau | eckhart | pratyagatmananda | herclite, all around the word 'reau' (real)
dimensions: variable
signature and inscriptions: uninscribed
current repository: collection Musée Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains, situated in the promontory of the Dourbes, from the village of Villard des Dourbes
current repository number:
collecting history:
related works:
photo/scan: Musée Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains/Anne Perier and Eva & Wolfgang Aull, Eschenau
rights & reproduction: herman de vries
object label

For the work 'le sommet des philosophes', the artist uses this principle with the intention of engraving the word 'reau' ('real' in Provençal) on stones located on the summit of the Dourbes (20 km south-east of Digne-les-Bains). All around these central cores, other stones of different sizes, located at different distances, will bear the names of several philosophers engraved with gold leaf. Their position in space and the distance from the central stone corresponds to the relationship between their philosophical thought and the concept of reality. This installation, which unfolds in the space open to a unique mountainous landscape, reveals to the walker an archipelago of human thought and its relationship to sensitive reality.

This permanent installation is part of the 'traces' project, a series of interventions carried out regularly since 1999 and continued on several sites chosen by the artist on the territory of the Géoparc de Haute Provence. The 'traces' evoke more than describe the place and attract the attention of the walker to orient him towards a new interpretation of the context that unfolds around him, in the present moment. Taking up an ancient lineage of writings engraved on stone, these discreet traces, dense in meaning, make the viewer the active explorer of nature.

source: Musée Gassendi, Digne-les-Bains]

published references
monograph Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, herman de vries. le sommet des philosophes (Fage Editions : Paris 2020).