vegetation and art (1999)

  • living things should be treated with respect for their own message
  • nature is our primary reality. the experience of nature is a universal human value. vegetation is the basis of our existence.
  • in art, nature becomes revolution.
  • bonsai, constricted and malformed trees or plants are not art. they are perversion.
  • in dealing with vegetation or plants in art, the artist needs in-depth knowledge about what he is working with.
  • to bring plants and art together is a challenge for art.
  • art in nature is totally superfluous. art can add nothing of significance to nature. the statements of nature are perfect.
  • the restoration of natural relationships can be an artistic act.
  • in view of what we imagine nature would do without human intervention. a park is, generally speaking, culturally impoverished nature.
  • the ideals of the zen garden - asymmetry, simplicity, spontaneity, the absence of formalism , are nowhere as clearly accessible to visual experience as in naturally flourishing vegetation.
    what wonderful things are 'abandoned lots', terrain vague, where mugwort, blackberries, thistles and wasteland take over.

herman de vries, 1999

source: herman de vries, 'vegetation and art. 10 theses', in exhibition catalogue trans'plant. Living Vegetation in Contemporary Art (Hatje Cantz : Ostfildern 2000) 130-131 (ill.). Published in German in catalogue rosegarden. Verlorene Orte (Rosenheim 1999) 19 and in French in in herman de vries (Anthèse : Arcueil 2000) 14.