Mastering the Elements
35,51 € inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versand
Artist-photographer Jana Hartmann’s exhibition MASTERING THE ELEMENTS explores alchemy as the fascinating origin of the natural sciences. Central to alchemy was the study of natural substances and the associated search for prima materia. Based on more
the foundations of Greek natural philosophers, alchemists held that the transmutation of substances in nature was possible. It was their belief that nature strives to achieve perfection, similar to the quest of the human spirit, and thus that all earthly metals would someday turn into gold. Accordingly, they searched for a “philosopher’s stone” that would transform base metals into gold, as well as the development of a universal medicine for treating disease. For Goethe, the objectives of the alchemists were “gold, health, and long life.” Especially fascinating for Hartmann is the alchemists’ symbolic language, something only understood by initiates. The alchemists were intent on keeping their knowledge from others and from being misused. For the artist, this guarded passing on of experimental knowledge also brings up contemporary issues of scientific ethics. Jana Hartmann’s photographs are captivating for their immense, aesthetic expressiveness. The beauty, colorful splendor, and enigmatic nature of her imagery arouse the curiosity, drawing us in like researchers striving to understand their very essence.