JOURNAL

Anselm Kiefer Synposium: Superstrings, Runes, The Norns, Gordian Knot - The convergence of Physics and Art

By christinaillenapeake, Jan 14 2020 01:33PM

Left to right: Obrist, Okri, Natarajan, Kiefer, Siren, Bello, du Sautoy.
Left to right: Obrist, Okri, Natarajan, Kiefer, Siren, Bello, du Sautoy.
Du Sautoy on the boundary of the obervable universe.
Du Sautoy on the boundary of the obervable universe.
Du Sautoy on the many worlds theory.
Du Sautoy on the many worlds theory.
Model of quantum physic functions during photosynthesis.
Model of quantum physic functions during photosynthesis.
'Die Lebenden und dis Toten', 2019
'Die Lebenden und dis Toten', 2019
'Raum - Zeit', 2019
'Raum - Zeit', 2019
Vainamoinen sucht die drei fehlende Buchstaben', 2018-19
Vainamoinen sucht die drei fehlende Buchstaben', 2018-19
Detail of above.
Detail of above.

It is rare I think that you have this type of event, with contributors at this level and no one disappointed. It was fascinating, as always, to see the work that people are doing but the headline for me was that we see the same motifs or concepts coming through again and again but also inherent within so many beliefs systems and that is order and chaos. Two of the professors presenting on the day described how reaching the point of chaos which in many instances is the highest point of potential, is where you find novelty and the breakthrough/s. Another professor, Alexandra Olaya shared models of quantum physics functions in photosynthesis (I hope I noted that correctly) and the headline for that was that this function was not a fight but reflected a symbiotic relationship and that functional serenity was fascinating, as my reading of that is that serenity is achieved when you have a perfect balance of chaos and order.


From the discussion of mythology, runes and the Gordian knot, what I saw was the reemergence and development of new and ancient languages of the mystical and magical. The panel spoke of the mysticism of physics especially when speaking hundreds of hypotheses that can't be proven at this point. It was also fascinating to consider what we don’t know, and may never know.


Anselm though he may never know it made me feel great and that's not because he was bloody funny with a quick smile but because when he spoke of his work, of it never being finished and his practice in general would never reach an ultimate point of realisation or accomplishment but that in itself was exciting because truly who wants to reach that point. There is nothing left to discuss or challenge yourself with at that point. How many things scare him but that means it worth doing and the freedom artists’ have to experiment and mutate philosophical concepts. Another point I resonanted with was that you can never see the entire story due to the number of layers within the work.


He did make a fascinating point about cosmologies, that they give artists’ multiple ways of interpreting the world. I think in general the point to take home from the Head of Arts at CERN to the physics and maths professor and artist present was the ecology of interdisciplinary practice from subject matter to the need for research and ideas to step out of the siloed expert fields that they stand in. There were so many scientific, cosmological, mystical and mythical concepts that converged in Anselm’s paintings and the time it takes to allow that breath of research to sink in the brain to enable any kind of synergy. That is exactly how I feel about my research. There is a gap for me between research and creation of actual work where the concepts have to be intellectually and physically absorbed to the point where when I then create a work, the content frees itself almost carelessly because the concepts have wedded themselves to practice so completely,


I love an event where you want to run from the gallery blinded by the galaxy of ideas in your head, straight into the studio. God knows how big Anselm’s studio is?! I imagine a phalanx of aircraft hangars where he needs WW2 bomber planes to fly from one end to the other. Do you dude! Do you!