Ian Hamilton Finlay

Galerie Jule Kewenig

The classically elegant rooms of this gallery, formerly a moated castle, offered an ideal background for this installation of recent work by Ian Hamilton Finlay. In Osso, 1987, three huge white marble blocks lying on the floor appeared to have been violently wrested from their quarry, and only partially treated—one block bears an SS symbol. (When this piece was displayed in France, it triggered such indignation that the French minister of culture was forced to cancel a contract with Finlay for a monument commemorating the bicentennial of the French Revolution.) But Finlay’s goal in this piece is to show that violence and terrorism as practiced by the SS are inseparable from nature in its pure form, thereby contradicting Rousseau’s idealization of nature.

Nature as a ruthless struggle for survival versus culture as an attempt to deviate from nature in order to create an “abstract” civilized

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