On both conceptual and methodological levels, this article explores the relationship between Martin Heidegger’s philosophy and the work of the poet and visual artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. At the center of Heidegger’s account of experience is the notion of the clearing or the open, a space within which and against which entities are “disclosed” or become fully apparent. The purpose of this text is to examine how Finlay’s work might be seen as a response to this Heideggerian framework. In particular we look to the poet’s garden Little Sparta, part of which instantiates Heidegger’s vision of the clearing and of the “Holzwege” or “wood paths” that shape it. We demonstrate the way in which Little Sparta sustains a distinctive form of aesthetic inquiry, from our initial state of doubt in the Holzwege thicket to a deeper understanding of the process of meaning.
- Martin Heidegger
- Ian Hamilton Finlay
- Little Sparta
Sacha Golob and Kathleen McKay, “The Holzwege of Heidegger and Finlay.” Evental Aesthetics 5, no. 1 (2016): 58-87.