Detlef Hartung – Georg Trenz



public art






Luminale 2008,
House of Literature Frankfurt



WORT (word) and BILD (image) are communication’s load–bearing columns. The architectural projections on the portico and façade of the old municipal library in Frankfurt am Main, the home of the House of Literature Frankfurt since 2005, after rebuilding started in 2003, address these two methods of communication in a dialogue with the building’s history and architecture.

Projected words and texts reflect on themselves as (typo)graphic signs and respond to the genus loci of the Literaturhaus in form and content.
One complete sequence included about 50 individual images and lasted for about an hour.


Individual quotations from the philosopher record Schopenhauer’s special relationship with this place (for example, he corrected the portico inscription).
One of his basic theses:
“Symbol allen Geschehens ist überall der Kreis”
(Symbol of all happening is everywhere the circle; from Hans Joachim Störig’s Kleiner Weltgeschichte der Philosophie) was inscribed on the portico as a text, in combination with a circular “O”.


Basic terms from linguistic terminology, such as WORD, TEXT, SENTENCE, RUNE, SYLLABLE, CODEX, but also punctuation marks and textures intervened in the architecture solidly with their larger–than–life geometrical forms, restructuring it, reconstructing it, adding to it and transforming the Literaturhaus Frankfurt into an illuminated sign that could be seen and read from a considerable distance.




The words were complemented by punctuation, which complemented some words or replaced individual letters, newly transferring these into other levels of meaning and structuring the building.



“In my view the world is a sentence that everyone must acknowledge to be true as soon as he understands it,
even though not a sentence that anyone can understand as soon as he hears it.”
(from: Die Welt as Wille und Vorstellung, Schopenhauer

The project was sponsored by

More information about the Luminale from