Detlef Hartung – Georg Trenz



public art






EIN & ALLES (One & All)
Ecumenical Church Day,
Matthäuskirche, Munich



Linguistics has a term (singularia tantum) for the unusual phenomenon of words that are used exclusively in the singular. This usually refers to non-count nouns or abstract nouns, such as snow, sand, love, the universe.


This artwork for the the Ecumenical Church Congress in Munich in the Protestant Lutheran Episcopal Church of St. Matthew is dedicated to this phenomenon of the singularia tantum. The word that is projected into the altar space is destroyed by a silent explosion.
The fracturing word fragments (which reflect the constructivist canon of forms that can be seen in the altarpiece) are hurled into the church space in slow motion, before returning, coalescing once more in the chancel and forming new words that form a new texture covering the whole of the altarpiece. After the passage of a certain amount of time, this surface also is destroyed: the fragments fly apart, criss–crossing the church before they are drawn once more to the altar space, where they come together once more to form a new individual word.



This is a cycle of coming into being and passing away, of sundering and recombination, symbolising the search for words and images for what cannot be said and cannot be depicted, for the uncountable and abstract, whilst at the same time the artwork reflects the nature of the altar space as a place of receiving and of proclamation.