Excerpts from the "Construction Speech for the
Secret Gardens of Rolandswerth", 2002/03

The Image is the Model for the Garden as "Place of Action"

We consider the garden a rhetorical landscape that can be both a created, nature-oriented fragment of image or text and a place for a three-dimensional thought pattern a "passable image". And of course the garden represents a sphere of social communication, which we are examining with respect to its more contemplative options. It is our aim to conceive of the garden as a projection-area for artistic ideas.

Therefore we decided to turn the public space "Hentzenpark" in Rolandswerth, near Bonn and the river Rhine, into a projection-area for the essential statement against the "darkening of the idea of the whole". With the sentence from Novalis' "General Brouillon" (1798): "Accomplished Speculation leads back to Nature" we seize on an aphorism which apart from its many historical shades of meaning assigns to the park a principle of overriding importance as a thought-figure. The sentence is divided in three parts. The first part "Accomplished Speculation" (Speculation in this context meaning the pure process of cognition beyond experience, the sciences, but also philosophy) becomes a line of letters on a new gate of the former main-entrance of the park, that now invites the visitors to enter the garden via these words.

The second part of the sentence, the word "leads," is implanted in a concrete-tower of ten meters height together with plant-balconies, a roof planting and nesting-opportunities for bats. The word is only to be discovered through the plants covering the letters by walking around the tower. It will depend on the cultivating capacities of the gardener how readable the word will remain. He will become the mediator between the world of Nature (represented here by the plants as artistic material, developing shapes on their own) and the world of human culture (represented here by the tower and the word). The tower will not be constructed as a "point de vue" symbolising desolation and decay in order to idealize any past (the past of this park will be expressed by documenting words and photographs in the former greenhouse of the estate) but as a monument offering space for all kinds of plants and animals. Important for us is to make visible the park's already existing beauty. Setting up the tower is not so much meant as a sculptural positioning, but more as the introduction of a kind of generator in order to intensify the view on exactly this beauty.

Finally the last part of the sentence "back to Nature" will be written in mirror writing on a lattice at the back-entrance of the park and will thus be readable only from outside the garden-area, comprising it pensively.