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All things of value are truly defenceless - Lucebert

Garden of Words II

  • GARDEN OF WORDS II 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 supports Hermes Trismegistus and his classified texts of creation spells in Egyptian cosmogony.


    Both these myths follow a perversely 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 - the 'mother idea' - is followed by an ectype, an externalising of the mental image. The ectype is exercised as a spoken 'language': "Let there be light." In Genesis Adam is asked to retrieve this 'language', but in the Egyptian myth Hermes locks 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 begins to procreate and duplicate itself, the subsequent features become known as stereotypes.


    The installation GARDEN OF WORDS II follows Adam in his impossible infralapsarian task of reviewing the prototypal world by identifying living things. Adam's fascinating and apparently foredoomed 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. The installation also plagiarises the bold attempt of Carl Linnæus and a long line of scholars who walk in his shoes in their quest to find the key that will unlock the impenetrable vaults of Hermes Trismegistus, an attempt both daunted and enriched by the new revised