Dunja Herzog, The Word for World is Forest; 1646, The Hague

Dunja Herzog 01 Susanne Wenger

Dunja Herzog’s presentation The Word for World is Forest at 1646 is in fact two presentations that are obviously connected but still very different.

Dunja Herzog 02 Susanne Wenger

In the front room she presents the work of Susanne Wenger (1915 – 2009) as a great source of inspiration. Wenger saved and revitalized the Yoruba sacred grove in Oshogbo, Nigeria.

Dunja Herzog 03 Susanne Wenger

New sculptures were made there by her and local craftsmen and she became a Yoruba priestess. The sacred grove is meant to be a place where de local gods can dwell and can be felt and communicated with.

Dunja Herzog 04 Susanne Wenger

Dunja Herzog 05 Susanne Wenger

Herzog presents two of Wenger’s wonderful books, a real treasure and it’s amazing it’s actually on show there.

Dunja Herzog 06 Susanne Wenger

Dunja Herzog 07 Susanne Wenger

There is also some video footage of the sculptures in the Osun Grove and there are some descriptions and translations of Wenger’s poetry.

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The back room contains Herzog’s own installation.

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She created her own grove of wonder with beard lichens or vines and objects that seem to be meant for communicating with another world.

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Radiating coloured lights complete the whole ambiance.

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It is difficult to see Herzog’s installation as independent from Wenger’s life work and of course that is deliberate.



It gives a sense of integrity to the show and it lives up to it.

Dunja Herzog 20

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]


Bertus Pieters