“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else”
Leonardo da Vinci
“Alchemy is a kind of philosophy: a kind of thinking that leads to a way of understanding” Marcel Duchamp
“Awareness is the greatest alchemy there is” Rajneesh (Osho)
From antiquity to the Enlightenment, astrology, magic and alchemy were considered important tools for revealing the mysteries of nature and human destiny. Alchemy was the “key holder” to the secrets of creation. The alchemists were trying to discover the Philosopher's Stone, the elixir of youth and longevity.
The secret art of alchemy and the efforts of the alchemists to discover how the world is created have had a profound effect on culture. Occult traditions have always been important sources of inspiration especially for artists and always had a continuous impact on artistic practice and expression.
The notion of evolution (the basic theory of alchemy is that the matter is only one and it can develop; all entities have a different point of evolution; and given that the law of evolution is a natural one, if the conditions are set based on this law, then the work of nature could be repeated), the notion of transformation and the notion of transmutation (change) were fundamental.
In a period of intense, deep and multifaceted crisis, such as the one we are going through, the notion of alchemy acquires new dimensions. At a time when we are all confronted with the vulnerability of human existence and trapped in the impasse of climate change, a re-understanding of nature and the search for the “Philosopher’s Stone” as a solution and way out seems imperative.
The need for change, for “transmutation,” involves the critical contemplation of the world. We need to discover a new path with a promising ending as defined by the alchemical transformations.
The Great Art (alchemy) as well as art itself participated radically in the awareness of the world. The vital role of art in the “transmutation” of the world is undeniable.
Curated by: Niki Papaspirou and Stratis Pantazis. Artists: Antonis Antoniou, Makis Faros, Efi Fouriki, Nikos Iavazzo, Andreas Kalli, Katerina Katsifaraki, Andreas Lymberatos, Efsevia Mihailidou, Cornelia Mittendorfer, Dimitra Papagianni, Kyrillos Sarris