Ongoing Featured Artwork
GARDEN OF WORDS
1982 - PRESENT
GARDEN OF WORDS III
GARDEN OF WORDS I
Wooden blocks, printed paper, safety-glass
GARDEN OF WORDS I is born out of a romantic fascination with the use of language in various creation myths. It tracks down the enchantment Adam had with the names of living things in Genesis, and it identifies with Hermes Trismegistus and his texts of creation spells in Egyptian cosmogony.
Both these myths follow a Platonic order of events. They begin with an archetype, that is an apperceptive mental image of things intended for creation, - not unlike Kant's noumenon. In the Genesis myth this is a 'pre-ordination.' In both myths this idée mère or 'mother idea' is followed by an ectype, - an externalizing of the mental image. The ectype was exercised as a spoken language: "Let there be light." In Genesis Adam was asked to revive this language, but in the Egyptian myth Hermes locked it away, hermetically sealed as a covert script in his library of secret books. Concrete features such as the light, animals and plants created by the ectypal language are called prototypes, and, as the world began to procreate and duplicate itself, the subsequent features became known as stereotypes.
In the GARDEN OF WORDS I an ectypal language is made to rise from the flower-beds ground blades of words on labels. GARDEN OF WORDS I follows Adam in his impossible task of reviewing the prototypal world and his identifying of all living things. Adam's fascinating and apparently futile attempt at shaping language was made when he was alone, with no-one to talk to, - Eve had not yet been fabricated, and Lilith had absconded.
GARDEN OF WORDS I, in typical Adamic fashion, has concerned itself with almost 4,000 plants over a period of fifteen years in actual locations all over the world. The work is an ongoing seeding, or semination of their names, - the Latin for seed is semen. The seeding of words is committed to the earth under glass, a hot-house at the beginning of time.