Virtuelle Skulptur oder das Zeichen der Aphrodite [Virtual Sculpture or the Sign of Aphrodite]
Installation in three parts
600 white plastic labels with black lettering (“Cypripedium calceolus L. [yellow lady’s slipper]”), each 7 x 11 x 0.1 cm, embedded in the ground in the shape of a triangle
Location: southern palace garden
Three white plastic labels with black lettering (“Crataegus sp.”, “Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn”, “Phyllostachis bambusoides Sieb & Zuc.”), each 7 x 11 x 0.1 cm
Location: on the island in the pond to the west of Kanalstraße and north of Promenade
One white plastic label with black lettering (“0.”), 32 x 45 x 0.5 cm
Location: on a tree south-west of the pond at Engelenschanze
Temporary installation for the duration of the exhibition Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997
* 1927 in Lyon, France
lives and works in Paris, France
In 1997 Paul-Armand Gette devised a Virtual Sculpture for three sites delineating an imagined triangle over a section of the city of Münster. “Is it the Bermuda triangle, where all the missing ships go, or the triangle of the goddess, the Mons Veneris, the sex of Aphrodite?”,1 the artist mused in his project description. At each point of the triangle Gette deposited inscribed labels similar to those used by botanists for designating plants. In the palace garden he set 600 labels indicating the Lady’s slipper orchid in the ground in the form of a triangle. On the small island close to Promenade he positioned three labels and near Engelenschanze he marked a tree with a zero – a reference to earlier works that had led to peripheral areas of various landscapes.
Gette’s work was a blend of art, natural science, nature and metaphors of space. For the artist, the Lady’s slipper orchid, the triangles, the sprouting greenery, the proximity to water and the zero were symbols representing fertility and femininity. Each section of the Virtual sculpture was located in an atmospheric setting. On the pretext of paying homage to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, Gette went in search of traces of the original essence, an ideal that in several cultures is thought to reside not only in nature but also in the female womb.
1 Cf. Paul-Armand Gette, “On virtuality in sculpture”, in: Klaus Bußmann, Kasper König and Florian Matzner (eds.), Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997, exhib. cat. Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1997, p. 163.
- Still existing