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The Alchemical Egg

Book  /  Artists   Curating   Buy at Klimt02
Published: 05.10.2017
The Alchemical Egg.
Nichka Marobin
Editor:
Klimt02
Text by:
Nichka Marobin
Edited by:
Hannah Gallery
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2017
Technical data:
32 pages, color photographs, 18 x 22 cm
Price: 
from 12 €
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Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
A catalogue published on occasion of The Alchemical Egg exhibition at Hannah gallery, curated by Nichka Marobin and edited by Klimt02.
Tore Svensson, Gigi Mariani, Wendy McAllister and Aurélie Guillaume were asked to provide three pieces each, representing the three stages of the Great Opus: nigredo (blackness), albedo (whiteness) and rubedo (redness).
Thus, this Alchemical quartet, made of two contemporary goldsmiths and two enamellists, gave a personal and peculiar sight to their works, providing four triptychs that ideally recall and evoke Bosch’s great oeuvres, in an ideal circularity that wanted to be like the one of the Alchemical matter: an endlessly substance, continually reworked in its iteration (repetition), but “new” in each step.
 

Introduction
 
Nowadays the word Alchemy reminds to an unidentified practice, so secret and obscure to be considered a sort of sorcery.  Commonly speaking this subject matter evokes the idea and the operations to transmute metals in gold and, also, an unknown way to reach the philosopher’s stone, but during past times, this millennial practice was a real (even if secret) quest of knowledge.
 
According to Mircea Eliade, this cognitive path -when arrived in Europe- acquired a new significance, a new complexity. The layers of knowledge and the practice not only allowed the first rudiments of chemistry and science as we know them today, but provided also a cognitive path of knowledge through a series of operations that evokes the “original” conjunction with Nature. A repeated “cosmogony” obtained from a confused vapor of the prima materia (the primitive material, an omnipresent substance needed for the Magnum Opus) until its final stage, the philosopher’s stone. Therefore, from an inert, motionless, yet living substance to something pure, purified, precious and tangible stone.
 
At the very beginning of this project there was an egg: the idea of connecting gastronomy to contemporary jewellery and there was the idea of a happening, very conceptual, able to link two worlds that, at first sight, have nothing in common except, probably, a different concept of preciousness.
 
Then came Jheronymus Bosch and the eggs he disseminated in his works; the concept of transformation of the substances – whether edible or metal – the symbols; Alchemy with the transmutation of metal through three changes of status and colours: black, white, red respectively nigredo, albedo and rubedo.
 
This project has been a real challenge under several points of view: the leading inspirational beginning provided by Bosch, an artist whose works still emanate an immense (yet for some  sinister) enchantment, wrapped in a veil of enigmas that the scholars tried to read and explain for centuries; the huge amount of notions, books and studies on Alchemy, whose obscure secrecy never fade; the interactions between this subject and contemporary jewellery; the critical text on the works created by the Artists.
 
Walking away from the attractiveness exercised by Bosch and Alchemy, two great paths have been followed in this project: the first of the historical meaning and explanation of the three stages of the Magnum Opus through the difference of status and colours: their names; their significance, their symbols and explanations and the other provided by C. G. Jung, whose great intuition linked the stages of Alchemical quest to the psychological quest of oneself, giving a new meaning to three stages, identifying nigredo, albedo and rubedo in three crucial moments of a re-cognition process of the self.
 
The Artists Tore Svensson, Gigi Mariani, Wendy McAllister and Aurélie Guillaume were asked to provide three pieces each, representing the three stages of the Great Opus: nigredo (blackness), albedo (whiteness) and rubedo (redness).
Thus, this Alchemical quartet, made of two contemporary goldsmiths and two enamellists, gave a personal and peculiar sight to their works, providing four triptychs that ideally recall and evoke Bosch’s great oeuvres, in an ideal circularity that wanted to be like the one of the Alchemical matter: an endlessly substance, continually reworked in its iteration (repetition), but “new” in each step.
 
For this reason each triptych has to be seen as a complete work but, for a practical reason, all the pieces have been gathered and assembled under the dominant colours of the different stages, arising the different languages of the Artists and their interpretation of Alchemy.
 
It has been a real privilege to work with such Artists, not only for the mastering techniques they developed over the years, but also for the result of their own “alchemical” quest. What stands in front of your eyes is the tangible expression of how they developed the concepts and the ideas related to the Magnum Opus.
 
Book and web references at the end of the catalogue will help the reader to clarify some concepts and to give the opportunity to have a deeper look on this unceasing, fascinating subject.
 
AB OVO.
 
Nichka Marobin, Exhibition Curator.

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L’uovo!

Solving a puzzle, adding reality to reality. This is what Nichka Marobin proposed when she presented her idea for curating this exhibition, which we explain in this catalogue. An exhibition that poses a challenge, an equation to be solved, an objective to be achieved: setting in motion the alchemical egg.

The basis of the experiment proposed by Nichka has very solid foundations: using an alchemical discourse to approach the aesthetic discourse.
The aesthetic response represents perhaps one of the few opportunities available today for dipping into the alchemical discourse.

In the original alchemical discourse, situated in a different paradigm of knowledge from that of the present day, the conquest of matter was a decisive factor, despite the fact that the cosmos was still shrouded in sacredness. Perhaps we modern individuals cannot fathom a way of thinking dominated by a cosmological symbolism that created an experience of the world that was vastly different from the one we have today. For symbolic thinking, the world is not only alive but also open; an object is at the same time a sign or a vessel of a transcending reality.

That is why, in this respect, the contemporary aesthetic-artistic discourse enables us, or should enable us (however daring or humble the responses) to remodel the current paradigm of knowledge, 
emphasizing and placing importance on symbolic perception in order to generate a more open reality.

For us, the cartography that emerges from these two territories, the alchemical and the artistic, bears many similarities: alchemy is not a formula or a set of ingredients but rather the methodology of initiation that leads us to study, perceive and transform reality by creating a new one.

The aesthetic response is the work of artists. For the artist, the concept of alchemical transmutation is the conviction of the possibility of synthesizing new relations, re-elaborating concepts, reformulating and broadening the vision of nature by working with symbols.

Symbolic work is that which enables artists, using every single tool at their disposal, to assume risk in order to explain and tackle the dimensions of matter, the definition of the whole, of the absolute, the ordering of chaos... extremely difficult concepts to take on outside the artistic method.

We are convinced that the curator’s proposal and the response of the four artists we present is an excellent illustration of what this exhibition exercise has aimed to achieve.

Amador Bertomeu, Hannah Gallery


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Summary:
- Introduction from de curator
- Text from Hannah Gallery
- Text from Paulo Ribero, JOYA Barcelona
PART ONE – The revelation of the egg
PART  TWO – The egg is cracked
PART THREE – The three stages of the Great Opus
BIBLIOGRAPHY and WEB REFERENCES
Short bio artists + curator
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and  CREDITS
 
Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Inner pages of the catalogue.
Inner pages of the catalogue

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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