In literary terminology, the hermeneutic circle refers to the circle of interpretation of a text, the movement back and forth between the parts and the whole, implying their interdependence – the idea that the understanding of the whole relies on the understanding of the parts, and vice-versa. Similarly, Martin Heidegger’s definition of the hermeneutic circle in The Origin of the Work of Art is: “The interplay between our self-understanding and our understanding the world.”
These works construct variations of hermetic, containing structures, using simple shapes and lines to stand in for enclosures, walled cities, fortresses, labyrinths, islands, selves. However, each of these is composed of smaller parts: here, fragments of cut or torn paper stand in for building blocks. From the outside, from the distance, the whole appears complete, resolved – but the parts reveal its fragility, vulnerability, permeability, the gaps, the cracks, the ways in or out, the thin ends of the wedge, the liability of the entire structure to collapse.