Opening: April 15, 7 pm
Duration: April 16 – May 17, 2015
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 1 pm – 7 pm
Max Lust Gallery is pleased to present Anima Mundi a group show curated by Vita Zaman (Lithuanian / USA).
Michael Hoepfner (Austria), Sonia Leimer (Italy), Olivier Richon (Switzerland) and Audra Vau (Lithuania)
The world is a living spiritual being. This was understood by the ancient philosophers and the alchemists who referred to the spiritual essence of the world as the anima mundi, the “Soul of the World.” They regarded the World Soul as a pure ethereal spirit diffused throughout all nature, the divine essence that embraces and energizes all life in the universe. While the Church looked for light in the heavens, the alchemists sought the light hidden in matter. They understood that there was a sacred essence in the fabric of creation, which through their experiments and imagination they worked to release. For the alchemists the anima mundi is the divine spark in matter, the “philosophical Mercury,” which is the “universal and scintillating fire in the light of nature, which carries the heavenly spirit with it.”
In the last century Carl Jung rediscovered the fascination of the alchemical opus and showed how alchemical symbols images in the process of inner transformation. Jung differentiated between two forms of spiritual light: lumen dei, the light proceeding from the spiritual realm of a transcendent God, and lumen naturae, the light hidden in matter and the forces of nature. The Divine Light may be experienced through revelation and spiritual practices that give us access to our transcendent self. The Light of Nature needs to be released through inner alchemy so that it can work creatively in the world.
The tradition of alchemy reinterpreted into the language of inner transformation is a key to help us to liberate our natural light and to transform the world. The alchemical light hidden in darkness is our own light, which is also the divine spark within matter. This alchemical unlocking of matter can be associated with freeing, or awakening, the world soul, the anima mundi. As a microcosm of the whole, the individual can participate directly in the alchemical process that liberates this light, a light that is needed to understand the mysteries of creation and the ways of working with its magical nature.
“The real mystery does not behave mysteriously or secretively; it speaks a secret language, it adumbrates itself by a variety of images which all indicate its true nature. I am not speaking of a secret personally guarded by someone, with a content known to its possessor, but of a mystery, a matter or circumstance which is “secret,” i.e., known only through vague hints but essentially unknown. The real nature of matter was unknown to the alchemist: he knew it only in hints. In seeking to explore it he projected the unconscious into the darkness of matter in order to illuminate it. In order to explain the mystery of matter he projected yet another mystery – his own psychic background – into what was to be explained: Obscurum per obscurius, ignotum per ignotius!”
(Jung, C. G. (1968). Psychology and Alchemy. London: Routledge.)