_ CULTUR/ PRESERVE 1 | Ulrike Grossarth


Encyclopédie Diderot& D'Alembert, Paris 1751

In 1751, Diderot and d’Alembert published the first volume of the Encyclopédie, in which they made the attempt to establish a logical and genetic connection between all branches of human knowledge. The illustrated volumes of the compendium lay claim to mapping a physical complex that suggests a rational access to the world. On thousands of pages, there are illustrations of all kinds of workshops and the analytical lists of all tools and tool parts, down to the tiniest screw.

The pale grey drawings of the Encyclopèdie—a virtual chamber of curiosities at the beginning of Modernity. I had studied this ‘preserve of culture’ for months when it dawned on me that I was using it in my work. All the principles of morphology, all possible forms of objectification are realised and graphically outlined here.The Encyclopédie as an arsenal of projections, a manifestation of the state of consciousness of the 18th century, which is both an epochal watershed and the beginning of a still-prevalent perception of the world.