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Art

The Greek natural philosophers, the alchemists, believed that the transformation of substances in nature was possible. They believed that nature strives for perfection and that therefore all earthly metals would one day turn into gold. And so they searched for a "philosopher's stone" that would transform simple base metals into precious gold.⁠ Remarkably, after the discovery of radioactivity in 1925, gold was actually produced from base metals for the first time. Such transmutation is possible in particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, but the production costs currently exceed the market price of gold many times over.⁠ Jana Hartmann's work is a photographic research on the scientific exploration and conquest of nature from the beginnings of alchemy to the present day. In her photographic works, she takes up various themes that have aroused the curiosity of researchers throughout history, such as the concept of matter. With the aesthetic verve of her motifs - including references to alchemical symbolism, scientific experiments, natural history exhibits and self-built studio models - she entices curiosity about the scientific context.⁠ The photo book Mastering the Elements juxtaposes her photographic references with the results of her extensive research of alchemical writings, accounts by contemporary scientists and articles on the ethics of science, initiating a fascinating dialogue between different narrative perspectives - the visual artistic, the allegorical alchemical, the philosophical and the scientific.⁠ For the artist, the message we can take from the alchemists is a holistic view of the world in which man and nature, spirit and matter are closely interwoven.   Buy...

[vc_row][vc_column width='1/5'][/vc_column][vc_column width='3/5']   The Berlin magazine mono.kultur has been one of our favourite titles from the start. Don't let its small format mislead you – this magazine has what it takes! The compact zine dedicates each issue entirely to one creative mind at a time. In a long and intense interview, the reader dives into their world – from the creative process to inspiration to persistence and experience. But it's not just this profound focus that sets mono.kultur apart. It is above all the fantastic way in which these interviews are conducted, which go into depth and awaken a fascination for a person and their work – even if you have never heard of them before. But mono.kultur #49 hits even deeper.

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Enjoy a hint of colour and fluidity thanks to the collection of drawings by renowned designer Ronan Bouroullec! Each publication of his drawings shows transformations in style and concentration of details while remaining all very unique Ronan Bouroullec.⁠ Ronan Bouroullec is probably best known for his furniture design practice alongside his brother - but he's also a painter. His works on paper follow the idea of so-called intuitive drawing. This technique allows him to develop new images and reach the subconscious layers of the mind. Even though these are abstract, they give the impression of fabrics, folds, upholstered furniture or wavy glass. The balance of form and color within a few simple lines is astonishing and reassuring.⁠   Buy...

In the period leading up to the 2020 elections in the United States, Teju Cole began to photograph his kitchen counter in Massachusetts. He photographed it every day over the course of five weeks. ⁠The photographed microcosm is in constant change. However, its compactness and manageability has a calming effect in a time in which nothing seems calming and manageable.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Alongside the photographs is a long written essay, as wide-ranging in its concerns—hunger, fasting, mourning, slavery, intimacy, painting, poetry and the history of photography—as the photographs are delimited in theirs. ⁠⠀ ⁠   Buy...

Once the cutting-edge technology of their time - video, floppy disk, CD and Super8 film are now virtually useless. Often, we even still have collections of these media somewhere in the basement, but we have no way to play them anymore - they have become obsolete.⁠ But there are some enthusiasts and artists who still appreciate these audio and visual carriers - mainly because of their specific aesthetics, which take you back to their era like a time capsule. And yes, there is often nostalgia involved, or a certain cultural pessimistic reflex that claims that "everything was better in the old days," but the love of obsolete media is also rebellious in nature. When recorders and cable outlets are scarce, it takes a certain amount of stubbornness to keep the technology alive.⁠ ⁠ ⁠H.o.Me. - Home for Obsolete Media introduces different analog media in a technological and culture historical context and demonstrates the potential inherent in working analog in the digital age.⁠ ⁠   Buy...

Best known for his furniture design practice side by side with his brother, not many know that Ronan Bouroullec is also a painter. His works on paper follow the idea of what he calls intuitive drawing. This technique allows him to develop new images and reach the subconscious layers of the mind. Experimenting with shapes and lines "Crayon Pinceau" is a pure black and white series, this time focusing on shades and fades instead of color. The harmony of shapes within a few simple lines is striking.Although abstract, these drawings give the impression of fabrics, folds and upholstery, showing us yet another way into the visual mind of a designer. Buy...

Our hands carry an incredible symbolic power. They stand for creation, but also for conversation, hospitality, strength and protection. They invite and they defend, they show affection and they hurt, they pray and they shape. According to Aristotle, the hand is the "tool of tools". No wonder they are a recurring motif in art.⁠ Jeux de Mains brings together a hundred works of art centred on the hand - from Pablo Picasso to Helena Almeida, from Louise Bourgeois to Alberto Giacometti, from John Baldessari to Francesca Woodman, and a multitude of treasures from the ancient ages. It confronts and mixes famous, emerging and anonymous artists from a wide range of backgrounds, thus foregrounding the symbolic meaning and visual power of the hand.⁠ Buy...

In the age of Trump and Brexit, every crisis is immediately replaced by the next one. The turbulent political weather of the twenty-first century creates anxiety and makes it difficult to look into an uncertain future. How should we react? Olivia Laing provides a brilliant, inspiring argument for why art is more important than ever as a force for resistance and repair. Art, she argues, is changing the way we see the world. It reveals inequalities, exposes, criticises and offers alternative paths.⁠ ⁠ Funny Weather brings together a career’s worth of Laing’s writing about art and culture, and their role in our political and emotional lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O’Keeffe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, writes love letters to David Bowie and Wolfgang Tillmans, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body. With characteristic originality and compassion, Funny Weather celebrates art as an antidote to a frightening political time. The collection of short essays, articles, and columns that immerse you in an analysis, a stream of thought, or an emotional interpretation makes this book feel like spending an afternoon with one of your brainiest friends.⁠   Buy...

Do you know the work of Forensic Architecture? If not, then be prepared to get your mind blown! Connecting real cases of human rights and environmental violations with the tools used in architecture and design, this studio creates a Wolpertinger of art and real evidence which is then used in some of the biggest court cases and tribunals of recent years. ⁠ ⁠ From makeshift satellites constructed with a simple kite, a plastic bottle, some rubber band and a camera, documenting evidence of Bedouin inhabitation in the Negev desert where Bedouin ownership is contested; to reading the "fingerprints" of smoke clouds left behind by missile strikes; to training AI to identify teargas canisters in Hong Kong; to rebuilding whole rooms in 3D to verify the testimony of witnesses - Forensic Architecture is often challenged by voices declaring in an exhibition "This is evidence, not art!" or in a trial "This is art, not evidence!". Truth is, that exhibiting their work in art exhibitions draws international attention to cases that States or big corporations would only too gladly keep unnoticed. It helps victims be heard and get access to a public stage. It also sheds light on injustices, corruption and failures of our political systems. Which is the basis for change. But the fragments of truth are so meticulously and creatively collected, investigated and displayed that they all too often are also the missing proof in a trial. So what is it now? Art or Evidence? One of our all-time-favorite magazines mono.kultur set out to shed light on the manyfold works through an in depth interview with founder Eyal Weizman. And while you should absolutely read this heart stopping issue of mono.kultur we can already say that Forensic Architecture is the answer to the question what happens when art has real-world consequences.⁠   Buy...

In need of any ideas while staying at home this winter? Why not read this exceptional – and loooong – interview about five friends who used their spring lock-down time rather wisely for the last refinements of their magazine. The very first issue of Superposition is about nothing else than the 'Hardcore Home'. This wild hodgepodge of absurd and compelling home narratives with an architectural touch – and a beautiful layout - will take you into the hidden, obscure notions of your beloved Home sweet Home!
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