Garden of Love and Fire


This quiet meditation garden is laid out in the ‘town without a history` of Almere, The Netherlands. The Garden of Love and Fire constitutes itself as a sign of a new city – a place that emblematically and physically marks a moment of spirituality in space. It makes visible the trace of an apparently invisible conversion: light into object, poetry into number, thought into landscape. It is an expression that the garden is only the number of our existence made audible to the soul. The garden consists of an observation platform, three narrow water canals, and a fourth dry channel on which an oblong volume is resting. These lines direct themselves toward three particular locations: Salamanca, Paris, and Almere. They signify a world location in which love (Juan de la Cruz) and fire (Paul Celan) intersect in Almere`s future. The inscribed ciphers refer to the encounter between Juan de la Cruz and Paul Celan in the newly reclaimed land. They become readable at precisely those times when the materiality of forms dissolves into oblivion. The meditation garden is formed by a prism supporting a number, an empty wedge, and a transparent plane. On the occasion of humidity change (fog), the garden projects light through the transparent plane, which is inscribed with a graphic “anniversary” image. The light illuminating the surface becomes a trace of “lost light,” as well as the manifestation of nature and construction. The entire ensemble is governed by a column of light, sometimes visible, sometimes not, which gives boy to itself through fog. The shape, function, mechanism, and character of the garden seek to reveal that we are surrounded by a world full of amazing and powerful signs, the laws of which are intimated but cannot be unraveled. the meanings that reach us are those of an accidental encounter with fragments of our own awareness. The displacement between form and function opens a gap in the text, date, and atmosphere, which transforms the notion of space from that of domination to that.

Installed, 1992