Δοκεί δε μέτα τι είναι και
χαλεπόν ληφθήναι ο τόπος
“It appears, however, to be something overwhelming and hard to grasp, the topos (that is place, space)”
Aristotle, Physics, Book IV
The Basque Sculptor Eduardo Chillida in the early 1960’s engaged into a dialog with the German Philosopher Martin Heidegger. When the two men met, they discovered that from different angles, they were “working” with Space in the same way.
Chillida has been quoted as saying: “My whole Work is a journey of discovery in Space. Space is the liveliest of all, the one that surrounds us.” He has challenged the Empty and embraced the Horizon. One might say that his mission in life was to give life to Emptiness.
In one of his interviews, Chillida said: “Heidegger wrote a book, The Art and the Space, that discussed my work: the idea of space as a living space that is in relation to man, and the idea that sculpture reveals the exact character of a space. Heidegger asked for my thoughts because he was astonished to find so many relations between his ideas and my ideas, translated into sculpture.”
Heidegger wrote: “We would have to learn to recognize that things themselves are places and do not merely belong to a place,” and that sculpture is thereby “…the embodiment of places.”
Against a traditional view of space as an empty container for discrete bodies, these writings understand the body as already beyond itself in a world of relations and conceive of space as a material medium of relational contact. Sculpture shows us how we belong to the world, a world in the midst of a technological process of uprooting and homelessness. Heidegger suggests how we can still find room to dwell therein.
Hommage à Heidegger.
Van der Koelen 70016. Signiert und nummeriert. Exemplar 98/100. Auf Japanbütten. 13,8 x 17 cm (5,4 x 6,6 in). Papier: 20,8 x 17 cm (8,1 x 6,6 in).
Beilage zur Vorzugsausgabe des Buches “Martin Heidegger/Eduardo Chillida – Die Kunst und der Raum” von Erhard Kästner, St. Gallen 1970. Gedruckt von der Erker-Presse, St. Gallen, erschienen im Erker-Verlag, St. Gallen. [RS].
Chillida was asked and accepted to prepare the illustrations for the book that was first published in 1969. The illustration above comes from the book.
Gruss an Hiedegger, Frankfurt am Main (1994)
In 1994 Chillida completed his sculpture “Hommage to Heidegger”. The sculpture was installed in open air in Frankfurt an Main.