nicolas constantin, wall-triptych (2018), sample # 000.001, Switzerland, Eiger Nordwand, self-portrait

The wall-triptychs are long-term investigations in composition, involving intervention and interaction related to spatial and social environments: landscapes, urban spaces, online spaces.

The series is dealing with problems determined by the basic need and struggle for a sensation of belonging regarding diverse environments. Practical and philosophical investigations examine transformations of experience from immediate to considerably reflexive forms, related to transitions and conjunctions between visual and conceptual systems.

Finally, the whole investigation is gaining a radical, literally existential relevance in confrontation with the phenomenon of caducity and the different forms of dealing with it, given a range between awareness and suppression.

Working material for the color field compositions is generated on the one hand through a scale model of the wall-triptych and on the other hand through a version dimensioned like an average door.

Investigating systems of experience, signs, practice and understanding

One core practical and conceptual aspect, elaborated during a rigorous long-term process, is the meticulous crafting of color samples, based on the seminal study of Werner, Abraham Gottlob: Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Foßilien / Leipzig 1774. Crucial problems are exemplified through the various shiftings from immediate experience to a systematic investigation of conceptual and visual systems back to sensual experience through systems of practice.

Notes in progress as working insights

The texts below are working notes in progress, therefore quite extensive. Repetitive examination of various aspects in varying contexts might occur deliberately. The notes are therefore public insights in the working process and explicitly no revised abstract of the work.

Beside the formal studies, regarding particularly subtle color compositions, the concept of the wall-triptychs has been initially focused on interaction between people watching each other through the viewing slots, related to their spatial and social environment. It is very important to stress already at this point, that the wall-triptych interventions are not limited in any way to a specific kind of urban space. The urban spaces can vary from historically momentously ones like the »Heldenplatz« in Vienna (see first case below with its very specific implications) to places without any obvious historical significance. The crucial point is the combination and confrontation of diverse urban spaces and, regarding the whole series, the diverse environments landscapes, urban spaces, online spaces. Nevertheless, the specific character of every environment is from highest importance.

Above: nicolas constantin, wall-triptych, 2018, Vienna, Heldenplatz (1938/2018), (montage)

Above: Vienna, Heldenplatz, 1940

The wall-triptychs interventions and interactions do adress the quality and particularly the abysses of social environments. In the very specific case of the »Heldenplatz« of course related to the historical tragedy and disaster around 1940, particularly to the annexation of Austria 1938, making aware of the alarmingly small distance of only 80 years in 2018, pointing to the even more terrifying small differences regarding tendencies of radicalization in european societies and politics. It is very important to stress (in addition to the notes above) that there is no kind of belittlement or inept analogy intended in any way through the confrontation of places like »Heldenplatz« with other, less violent environments! Quite the opposite insight is intended: the confrontation of (sometimes only seemingly) banal environments with obviously violent ones is meant to stress even more the individual, specific aspects. Furthermore, the confrontation of banal environments and obviously violent ones hints particularly to Hannah Arendt's concept of the »Banality of Evil«. (Arendt, Hannah (2006): Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. London: Penguin). The first steps towards an estrangement and dehumanization can be observed at the most daily environments, beauty and fear are sometimes entangled in ambiguous and inextricable ways. To separate the violent and the (seemingly) banal and beautiful aspects of the human being would be a crude simplification, sometimes a dangerous one. The sublime entanglements of the diverse environments is the crucial aspect of the wall-triptychs investigations.

wall-triptychs – portraiture

»It would be a colorful composition that could not be worked out to its logical conclusion, since its points – like the prongs of a rake – would be implanted in the soul's intermediate strata, of which a residue would survive.« Kracauer, Siegfried (1995 / 1927): The Mass Ornament. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

»Es wäre eine farbige Komposition, die nicht bis zu Ende berechnet werden könnte, da ihre Spitzen sich wie die Zinken eines Rechens in die seelischen Zwischenschichten einsenkten, von denen ein Rest noch verbliebe.« Kracauer, Siegfried (1977 / 1927): Das Ornament der Masse. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp

Above: Albrecht Dürer: Der Zeichner des liegenden Weibes, aus: Underweysung der Messung, 1525

One specific aspect of the wall-triptychs investigations is portraiture. Adapted from the use of the scale model, you see studies (above) in color and composition based on screenshots of women displaying themselves live online, publicly accessible. The original images of the women will be kept hidden. Intimate images will be transformed into color field compositions as another form of portraiture, the sensual aspects of the original image will be transformed into the sensual aspects of the interaction of colors. One crucial aspect regarding this wall-triptych variation is the ambiguity between distance and intimacy, between sensuality and abstraction, between different forms of interaction. A subtle reference are my studies based on Josef Albers' »Interaction of Color«, as the multiple aspects of the screen interaction correlates in a complex way with the interaction of colors regarding the final color field compositions. Only for image scientists, art historians and professional collectors, the original screenshots will be made accessible. Actually, already the original screenshots are meticulously selected studies in movement and composition. Above two »blacked out« samples of the original screenshots to get an impression of the concept and procedure. Beyond the conceptual aspects it has been simply also a pragmatical step to include online spaces in terms of permanent accessibility to – in relation to the specific peculiarity – authentic actions in a specific environment. For insights regarding the development of the portraiture motif see Selbstbildnis (1992). Below: related work »stroke / sirens« (2017)

Above: stroke / sirens (2017), 5 voice audio-visual composition, 3:41 min.

Related to the aspects digital spaces, screen interaction, belonging is stroke / sirens. stroke / sirens is an audio-visual composition, increasingly polyphonic and subtly unsettling. An investigation in human conditions, an ambiguous study about reclusion and intimacy, about senses and sensual movement, about media and mythology, using material from the profoundingly strange »asmr« (autonomous sensory meridian response) phenomenon videos around. Ominously alluring, yet mellow and meditative at once, escalating literally towards a countdown. Strangely caressed by soft siren voices, you finally will be left behind lonely in darkness with a whispered, alarming adjudgement: »no, well, you don't know what's good for you, so...« and the seemingly promised words »i would never hurt you« suddenly transform in retrospect into the threat of a siren. Media and mythology blurred in a responsive, sensual way as horripilation unfolds.

beauty and fear – belonging and alienation

»I grew up Fostered alike by beauty and by fear.« William Wordsworth, The Prelude (I, 265-266)

One connectional aspect regarding the combination of the urban space interactions and the online space interactions is the act of observation and particularly the interaction through observation between strangers. Beyond this, the crucial, central aspect regarding the three diverse environments is the human desire to experience a sense of belonging. Belonging to nature, belonging to a group of people, belonging to a partner in an intimate way. Very often, though, a sense of belonging is only simulated, seductively masked by beautiful appearances. Nature, as beautiful as it may appear sometimes, can be cruel and deadly, the desire to become one with nature, with a mountain, such as the »Eiger Nordwand«, caused many mountaineers the dead. The perfidious exploitation of aesthetic structures in fascism, to support particularly a sense of belonging to a group, to a nation, did disguise the deadly intentions and actions in a horrific way, see e.g. this review on The Terrible Beauty of Nazi Aesthetics, where James E. Young, professor and chair of Judaic & Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst closes tellingly: »Beauty and terror, aesthetics and power, may not only be paired after the historical fact but might now be regarded as historical forces that also drive events as they actually unfold.«

The permanent accessibility of online intimacy, the luring beauty of bodies, the melting gazes and enchanting sounds do distract from real interaction and real intimate belonging. Beyond structures of beauty, beyond the desire to belong, you might find abysses of reclusion, alienation, fear and terror.

Maybe precisely because of these abysses and the fragility of the experience of belonging, real moments of belonging are amongst our most precious experiences and it remains worthwhile to care. Sometimes, even in the darkest moments, real beauty and belonging might be found, if we struggle to do so.

Essentially, experiencing a sense of belonging means experiencing a sense of being alive. The final distraction of being alive is death. Awareness of caducity is the radical, formative experience and urge for my approach to live, to love, to observe, to marvel and to create. Creating, making art is also connected in a crucial way to aspects of belonging: how could art be understood as an elaborated way of creating a sense of belonging, or, vice versa, does art distract us from experiencing the so called »real life«? The related vast realm of questions do play an essential role for my approach.

One of the most moving books I did read regarding the considerations above has been »Fatelessness« from Imre Kertész. »Fatelessness, first published in Hungary in 1975, is an autobiographical novel by Imre Kertész that recalls his deportation to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, and his experiences in a labour camp and Buchenwald concentration camp. (...) The narrator drifts through the camps with wide-eyed curiosity: no matter how bad things get, to him everything seems reasonable because he knows no better.« (Cesarani 2005). At the end of the book, he even speaks of the »Glück der Konzentrationslager« (happiness of the concentration camps) he should talk about – an abhorrent and hardly tolerable thought for the reader initially, at a closer look maybe really the most »memorable« experience Kertész is drawing his and our attention to, though facing all the cruelty around.

»(...) es gibt keine Absurdität, die man nicht ganz natürlich leben würde, und auf meinem Weg, das weiß ich schon jetzt, lauert, wie eine unvermeidliche Falle, das Glück auf mich. Denn sogar dort, bei den Schornsteinen, gab es in der Pause zwischen den Qualen etwas, das dem Glück ähnlich war. Alle fragen mich immer nur nach Übeln, den ›Greueln‹: obgleich für mich vieleicht gerade diese Erfahrung die denkwürdigste ist. Ja, davon, vom Glück der Konzentrationslager, müßte ich ihnen erzählen, das nächste Mal, wenn sie fragen. Wenn sie überhaupt fragen. Und wenn ich es nicht selbst vergesse.« Kertész, Imre (1996): Roman eines Schicksallosen. Berlin: Rowohlt, S. 287

The decission to combine these studies with particularly the »Heldenplatz« piece is also meant very decisively as a specific, critical gesture against »agitation and attitudes«, see in-depths notes below.

Regarding the original sized version, portraits of the people interacting with each other and their environment through the viewing slots will be made.

wall-triptychs – interaction of colors and environments

One crucial aspect of the wall-triptychs is the complex confrontation of the various color field compositions based deliberately on quite diverse environments with their varying characteristics between personal experiences and historical dimensions and the related forms of movement and interaction: landscapes, urban spaces, online spaces. Above a combination of the three color field compositions shown before. The decision to combine the color field compositions based on such diverse environments is only seemingly a surprising step. Actually, the different environments landscapes, urban spaces and online spaces provide the material I am confronted with (and presumably also other people) and with which I do search confrontation and interaction, thus quite naturally chosen sources for my observations, embracing entanglements of vast diversity, tensions, terror, ambiguity and radical beauty of human experience.

color field variations – transformations of experience

There will be different variations of the color field compositions regarding material and technique. First version will be printed plates. Second one will be black gauges with the slots as overlay. The color fields will be hand crafted with oil color using a specific technique I did develope during my one year studies based on Josef Albers' »Interaction of Color« at the »Akademie für Gestaltung im Handwerk«, Munich 1988-1999. The printed colors will be reproduced in a meticulously, somehow meditative, time-consuming process. Crucial point is the transformation of an immersive, immediate experience into a long-term, process based, reflexive experience. The »Interaction of Color« studies at the »Akademie für Gestaltung« have been from seminal importance for my approach regarding the perception and use of color. Years later, 2014, I also did a seminar with my students at the University of Applied Sciences, Augsburg, Faculty of Gestaltung, based on Josef Albers' approach. The course has been entitled to open minds as a homage to Josef Albers' quote »to open eyes«. In my teaching approach, particularly Albers has been from great importance, (see the book to open eyes, particularly also the situation at the Black Mountain College, also regarding John Cage (see publication Black Mountain College. Experiment in Art (MIT Press 2013). The third variation will be a digital, animated one, where the different samples will be combined and – in the most radical version – interchanged by random processes. Examples in progress and upcoming.

Another amazing source for my investigations, expressing another, systematic form of experience and understanding, provides another variation of displaying the colors is Werner's Nomenclature of Colours from 1814. Particularly the subtle differentiations between color hues, the poetical descriptions and the examples regarding animals, vegetables and minerals give an impression of great care and beauty. Below two examples, starting with »snow white«, »the characteristic colour of the whites; it is the purest white colour; being free of all intermixture, it resembles new-fallen snow.« Also lovely, the transition from greyish samples to green variations. Beside the three color field variations described above, there will be a fourth one, done also with oil colors, displaying the colors in order of their hue variations, like in the Nomenclature of Werner. Important to stress, that the book is based on Werner's studies in mineralogy from 1774, see below. Insightful to quote the whole title of the book with subtitles: »Werner's Nomenclature of Colours, with additions, arranged so as to render it highly useful to the Arts and Sciences, particularly Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Morbid Anatomy. Annexed to which are examples selected from well-known objects in the Animal, Vegetable, and Animal Kingdoms.«

Above: Werner's Nomenclature of Colours, Edinburgh, 1821.
The book of P. Syme from 1821 is based on the seminal studies of the german »Bergmeister« (mine manager), mineralogist and geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, particularly on his »Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Foßilien« from 1774.

Above: Werner, Abraham Gottlob (1774): Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Foßilien. Leipzig 1774
Source online: Universität Heidelberg

Autobiographical annotation: Tracing back through research the roots of Syme's color studies to mineralogy corresponds beautifully with my own artistic investigations, regarding the shifting of focus particularly towards mineral structures 2018 in Switzerland (Eiger Nordwand), Germany (Höllentalklamm), and through extensive diving for stone beachcombing in Italy, Elba, August 2018, during our honeymoon, see image below. After this journey I started extensive research regarding literature on mineralogy and, more specifically, petrography, particularly related to Elba. Literature (excerpt): extraLapis No. 20, Elba – Die klassische Urlaubsinsel der Mineralogie. München, Weise 2001. Schumann, Walter (2016): Steine und Mineralien, München, BLV Buchverlag, 10. Auflage. Waldeck, Hans (1986): Die Insel Elba und die kleineren Inseln des Toskanischen Archipels Mineralogie, Geologie, Geographie, Kulturgeschichte, Berlin, Stuttgart: Gebr. Borntraeger. One circle closes regarding my investigations through the relation between mineralogy, petrography and the crafting of pigments. An outstanding publication regarding pigments and colors (unfortunatelly out of print) is the beautiful crafted book from Stefan Muntwyler: Farbpigmente – Farbstoffe – Farbgeschichten, 2011, 2nd edition, Elsau: alataverlag. Fine book on petrography: Sebastian, Ulrich (2009): Gesteinskunde. Ein Leitfaden für Einsteiger und Anwender. Heidelberg: Springer / Spektrum, Akademischer Verlag

Below: Cyanometer, 1789 invented by Swiss physicist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, Bibliothèque de Genève, Switzerland

The Cyanometer is another tool and reference for the color field variations regarding systematic color systems as a deliberate conceptual contrast to the color field compositions with their diverse references to the diverse environments. Scientific systematisation as another form of experience. Humboldt used »the circular array of 53 shaded sections in experiments above the skies over Geneva, Chamonix and Mont Blanc. The Cyanometer helped lead to a successful conclusion that the blueness of the sky is a measure of transparency caused by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. You can learn more at the Royal Society of ChemistryJobson 2014).

transitions between visual and conceptual systems – between immediate and reflexive experience

Above: Werner, Abraham Gottlob (1774): Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Foßilien. Leipzig 1774

One crucial aspect for the relevance of Werner's research and the related publication of Syme from 1821 is the striking fact that Werner did investigate colors and other aspects only through verbal descriptions (see picture above), without using any color plates or other pictures. Therefore we can observe a transition from visual perception and experience to the verbal realm, related to a formulation of a conceptual system, being transferred again to the visual realm through Syme. In context with my investigations regarding these transformations, I also discovered an insightful and beautiful publication on »Vogellaute« (noise of birds) and considerations on the craft of the parfumer by Jean-Claude Ellena, see images and annotations below.

Above: Krauss, Peter (2017): Handwörterbuch der Vogellaute. Berlin: Matthes & Seitz
Below: Ellena, Jean-Claude (2016): Parfum. München: Beck. Workplace of a parfumer (modified picture)

From particular interest are the considerations from Ellena in the chapter »craft«, quoting (page 76) a crucial passage from Leibniz:

»Um das Geräusch [des Meeres] zu hören, muß man sicherlich die Teile, aus denen sich das Ganze zusammensetzt, d.h. das Geräusch einer jeden Welle hören, obgleich jedes dieser geringen Geräusche nur in der verworrenen Gemeinschaft mit allen übrigen zusammen (...) faßbar ist« Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm (1996): Neue Abhandlungen über den menschlichen Verstand. (Hrsg. u. Übers.) Wolf von Engelhardt und Hans Heinz Holz. Frankfurt/M. Vorwort, S. XXIII.

Another insighful correlation emerges through the comparison of the workplace of a parfumer and my working process regarding the transformation of colors from immediate experience via images to the oil color field compositions (work in progress, documentation following).

images – documentation, self-portrayal, composition

Initially based on intervention in urban spaces, combined with the core concept to guide from the political implications to the color field compositions to relativate superficial interpretation, during the course of the project, the focus has also been redirected to my early practise of image making. Though the combination of performance based elements and the color field compositions are still the center of the work, the outcome embraces image making as documentation, self-portraiture and composition. Below two images related to the third journey, a 7 hour tour through the Höllentalklamm, leading to the »Zugspitze«. One specific aspect regarding the image compositions is the ambiguous interpenetration of manipulated sections and original documentation, a parallel to the differences and connections between immersive experience and experience through (artistic) practise. Particularly the »blacked-out« passages express these entanglements, also hinting in a metaphorical sense to darkness, disconnectedness and death.

Above: wall-triptychs (June 2018), Höllentalklamm, image compositions and self-portrayal

Autobiographical annotation: The 7 hour walking-tour with two dear friends has been our version of our »stag-night« (Junggesellenabschied). A very precious, unexpected development that personal realm and art work became interwoven this close. This experience of an entanglement between personal realm and art work unfolded subsequently during our honeymoon on the island Elba, where extensive diving endeavours deepened the exploration of mineral structures. In terms of an experience of belonging, exploring together with my two Beloved has been deeply precious. Below an image of my son and me inmidst cliffy structures and amazing spindrift.

wall-triptychs – beauty and fascism – critical gestures against agitation and attitudes

The decision to combine and confront the diverse environments is also a critical gesture against two problematic tendencies in the so called art world and in society. The first tendency I do consider as problematic, is to instrumentalize and simplify art works as mere (pseudo-) political, (pseudo-) sociological, (pseudo-) documentary statements and the related attitude of the involved parties to wallow themselves in distressing moral and intellectual superiority, though such works are agonizingly reducable to mere attitudes, pseudo-science and propaganda. I am pretty aware that many critics and the public gaze would prefer to reduce the wall-triptychs to the mere placement at historically important places, particularly related to violence, as a German artist, some people would prefer that I reduce the dimension of the work to a mere critic against National Socialism. I do refuse to work in such a simple and one-dimensional way, even if public attention is much easier to gain with such simplifications.

Related to the aspect of the attitude of self-righteous moral agitation is the strange tendency in society to flare up against any form of aesthetic expression of an admiration for female beauty. One stupefying case is the uproar of students at the Alice Salomon University against the poem »Avenidas« (1951) from Eugen Gomringer. The poem is a pioneering piece of modern poetry, the university itself once awarded Gomringer 2011 with their own »Alice Salomon Poetry Price«, regarding this occassion the poem has been written on the university wall. The poem speaks solely of »avenues«, »flowers«, »women«, »an admirer« (see original below). The aggressive uproar of the students has been based on the deranged delusion that the expression of an admiration for the beauty of avenues, flowers, women, is a gesture of harassment. (See the case and particularly arguments here for an defense of artistic expression). I do consider such self-righteous uproar actually as harassment against real victims of violence, because their cases are the serious ones to be discussed. The self-righteous, aggressive agitation, combined with claimed moral superiority has an alarmingly affinity to structures in fascism. I once also experienced the tendency during teaching, culminating in an absurd defamation, cowardly executed behind my back, as there has been an uproar from (5 of 110) students (from the other 105 I got the best evaluation ever since years for my critical and radical approach of teaching), because I did teach my course in summer outside, three times! Exactly theses students did refuse to join our critical discussions about problematic tendencies in universities and society, providing a bitter prove of my observations and warnings. The Gomringer case is just another example fitting to the observations I did made over several years, particularly at institutional levels of the University. I do consider these tendencies as very alarming first steps towards fascistic structures. From this point of view, the decission to combine studies about fascism (the »Heldenplatz« piece) with images expressing the aesthetic aspects of online interaction, are far more correlated in a subliminal and critical sense than it might seem at first sight.

Above: Eugen Gomringer, Avenidas (1951), as once written on the university building. To show this poem here is also a gesture to support the freedom of art, particularly poetry. The wall-triptychs concept did expand from the initial idea of intervention and interaction in urban spaces to an investigation of landscapes (Switzerland) and, finally, in an unexpected way to the inclusion of online spaces. My interest in the Gomringer case started before the last two extensions. In retrospect, it is an astonishing coincidence, that the main subjects of Gomringer's poem: »avenidas« (urban space), »flowers« (nature), and »women« do correlate beautifully with the three environments the wall-triptychs are dealing with, furthermore with the aspects observation and admiration, another reason to mention »Avenidas« here.

wall-triptychs – watch

Related to the experience of watching each other (through the viewing slots) is the study watch (2016). The initial concepts for the wall-triptychs and watch have been developed at the same time (2015).

Above: Nicolas Constantin, watch (2016), performance based audio-visual composition, 2:24 min. (videostill)

figures in movement – correlations

Above: nicolas constantin, self-portrait (2003), Urbino, Italy

Above: nicolas constantin, wall-triptych (2018), sample # 000.001, Switzerland, Eiger Nordwand, self-portrait

The wall-triptychs, particularly the first sample documentation, Switzerland, April 2018, Eiger Nordwand, can be beautifully linked to the Urbino selfportrait, 2004 (see the two images above). Central aspect is the observation of formal structures related to human movement in the context of their spatial and social environment – the core motif figures in movement integrates the multiple facets of this approach. The seven months in Urbino have been from greatest impact for me, personally and regarding my work. Some aspects that did move me in these months did unfold over several years, culminating somehow in the wall-triptychs. Beside the aspect landscape and the concept of belonging, I did particularly engage with portraiture in a closer sense the first time in Urbino. See here some insights in the portraiture motif. In retrospect, also meriggio, done 2004 in Urbino gains a specific meaning regarding the wall-triptychs. The image captures the transition between landscape (I had been walking alone for hours through the beautiful hills) and urban environment, as I did meet fellows from the ISIA Urbino, where we did study, in an unexpected way at their house, where the image has been taken. The transition from walking alone to meeting friends has been related to me from the beginning to several aspects of belonging.

nicolas constantin: meriggio (2004), Urbino, italy

The lines: »Á Nicolas... esprimersi con la Luce é esprimersi con la Vita.« are connected to an amazing encounter with Vittorio Storaro, see background at the meriggio page. The lines from Storaro are from specific importance, because they do express the experience of the entanglement between art and life (»Luce« and »Vita«). This variation on the problem of belonging is related to the following autobiographical annotation.

Belonging as a problem in Hölderlin and Fichte – The Death of Empedocles
An autobiographical annotation (9 May 2018)

Denn Einmal bedurften
wir Blinden des Wunders.

Friedrich Hölderlin, Empedokles, (zweiter Entwurf, FHA 162-163)

After having formulated the problem of »belonging« as one core aspect of the wall-triptychs, I did encounter an amazing field of investigation in Hölderlin's poetology, specifically regarding Hölderlin's text »Der Grund zum Empedokles« incorporated in his fragment »Death of Empedocles«, and particularly regarding his critical admiration for Fichte. I did research for an evening of the series Philosophie und Kunst (8 May 2018), entitled »Grenzgänge« and had been confronted with the interest of the painter Max Kaminski (who is not from further interest for me or here, his retrospective had been the frame of the evening) in the »Death of Empedocles«. Inmidst the vast amount of literature I did obtain on Hölderlin, one handbook, one text and one philosopher had been very insightful and will be from greatest interest regarding my own approach and upcoming investigations.


Kreuzer, Johann (ed.) (2002):
Hölderlin Handbuch. Leben – Werk – Wirkung.
Stuttgart / Weimar: Metzler

Outstanding, very differentiated handbook.


Grimm, Sieglinde (2004):
Fichtes Gedanke der Wechselwirkung in Hölderlins Empedokles Tragödie.
In: Goethezeitportal. URL:

Very insightful investigation on the specific concept of »Wechselwirkung« in Fichte and Hölderlin.


Henrich, Dieter (1992):
Der Grund im Bewußtsein. Untersuchungen zu Hölderlins Denken (1794-1795).
Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta

Dieter Henrich is a philosopher and expert for Hölderlin. Outstanding, very differentiated book.

Hoffmeister, Johannes (1942):
Hölderlin und die Philosophie.
Leipzig: Meiner

Einer der ersten gut geschriebenen Untersuchungen zum Verhältnis zwischen Hölderlin und der Philosophie, »die, in Absetzung von den Deutungsexzessen ihrer Vorgänger, zu Nüchternheit und philologischer Gewissenhaftigkeit aufruft.« (Kreuzer 2002: 444) Trotz »Nüchternheit und philologischer Gewissenhaftigkeit« angenehm lesbare und einfühlsame Darstellung .

wall-triptychs – craft

Above: nicolas constantin, wall-triptychs, crafting of the model, Switzerland, April 2018

Above: nicolas constantin, wall-triptychs, crafting of color sample #001 (Helles Weiß), working portrait, January 2019. The meticulous crafting of the color samples is based on the text passages of: Werner, Abraham Gottlob (1774): Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Foßilien. Leipzig 1774 (Facsimile edition, Amsterdam 1965), combined with extensive research regarding the samples Werner did provide. Below: Schreinerarbeit, detail from the working portrait (notes below)

Above: nicolas constantin, Schreinerarbeit (Intarsie, Nuß, Ahorn) 1995, 40,5 x 40,5 cm/ carpenter intarsia work. My carpenter apprenticeship (1995-1998) has been a seminal experience. The approach of unpretentious, precise and careful craft, appreciating the cunjunction between material quality, tools, working process and form is an exemplary demand for me, regarding the working process, work quality and personal attitude. Crucial point is the fundamental difference between immediate experience and painstaking, systematic work on the one hand, and the relation between long-term practice and investigation and the specific kind of (sensual) experience, understanding and deep gratification one gains from it, on the other hand. From the perspective of my work on »figures in movement«, the relation between craft and the crafted game as a space for human movement and interaction is from particular interest. Another seminal sample of craft work are my final projects at the Akademie für Gestaltung im Handwerk, München: Standleuchten N.R. 1 / 2.

All my love to my Beloved, who did join me during the first journey to Eiger Nordwand and is fostering me in any way. Through my two Beloved I feel the deepest sense of belonging and Love.

Above: Together with my two Beloved at our first journey with our »Fidibus«, the third part of the first journey lead to the first sample of the wall-triptychs in Switzerland.

[all works from nicolas constantin © nicolas constantin romanacci]