Ulrike Holthöfer
sculptures and objects,
projects and concepts,
Niederl�rickerstr. 88   40667 Meerbusch Fon Fax +49 (0)211 57 00 58

“Parterre de Broderie with Building Rubble”
Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf

Origin: For secular rulers a magnificent ornamental carpet of plants such as boxwood and blossoming flowers, as well as of coloured stones, was laid out as an extension to their grand, stately buildings outdoors. Such ‘parterres de broderie’ (French) can sometimes be found at the front or rear of manors or castles.
Parterre de broderie: ‘broderie’ = embroidery, ‘par terre’ = on the ground – carpet bedding.
Out of the two-part parterre de broderie of the castle gardens of Schloss Augustusburg in Brühl, created in 1728 by Dominique Girard and today a World Heritage Site, I chose a classical historic garden fragment for the exhibition context ‘hell-gruen’ (light green) of the Euroga, a European garden exhibition.
In an inverse way, being diametrically reversed rather than a mirror image and like a negative of the original in Brühl, in the Düsseldorf fragment lawn substitutes the gravel areas, and recycled building rubble stands in for boxwood. The curved pattern is fitted into two opposite areas measuring 7.5 by 23.7 metres each (one fifth of the original in Brühl).
The work offers a two-fold perspective, being perceivable at an eye level when passing by, and from the perspective of the ‘ruler’, from the upper floors of museum kunst palast and the then seat of the city’s culture department.
The crushed, recycled building rubble, landfill class I, is composed of concrete from the Düsseldorf airport terminal C, bricks and stones from the former Kunstpalast and, fictionally, of material from future construction and demolition measures.
A piece of background information: Germany spends 50 percent of all end energy on construction work. Our society with its write-off philosophy produces both short-lived disposable architecture and ever-increasing landfill costs. Demolition costs are approaching the level of construction costs. To me the building rubble turned into this parterre form also symbolises the idea of breaking up and transforming this rigid and outdated system of planning, construction, vacancy, amortisation, demolition and landfilling. 

The carpet bedding made of demolition rubble greens itself with rubble-compatible plants according to the cycle of nature and may be extended to other areas.

Ideas, concepts, realisations and photographs are protected. © Ulrike Holthöfer (VG Bild-Kunst)