all in one one in all, 2014. Stone, engraving, and gilding, view of installation in the Steigerwald.

The Creator Does Nothing: A Conversation with herman de vries

herman de vries (who deliberately renders his name in lowercase) lives in Eschenau, Germany, close to the Steigerwald. This forest-and nature in general- is his studio. According to de vries, nature is our primary reality. Not only is it the place where he creates his works, it is also his subject, because he addresses the process of being; the process of destruction; the process of becoming of which we are part. He explores change and chance as aspects of being by focusing on the (disrupted) relation between humanity and nature. His aim is to create an awareness of being a human within nature. In this way, his work is about the connection between mind and senses experiencing this moment in time-and about this life-I exist here and now. de vries’ works span a wide variety of media, from room installations with flower buds and collections of bones to photographs of himself naked in the forest or fragments of gold leaf left on stones. Some works are created almost without interference, just by letting time influence an object until de vries’ declares it to be ready. The works are like a trace of de vries’ existence, but at the same time, they record attempts to make nature available to the perception of others. …see the entire article in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.