How to infuse life into dead matter?
Isabella Aurora and Ariane Jouhaud meet in 2018 in the National School of Decorative Arts of Paris (Ensad) and became deeply moved by the fire that ravaged the collection of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ).
The artists co-create an artwork by finding alchemical ways of transforming the ashes of the collection. Seeing the ashes as the basic “Salt”, they become the primal matter for the beginning of the “Great Work”. For this effect they create and produce a glass retort to experiment a series of distillations of these ashes and brewing a metaphorical “essence” of this event. Following this first protocol, they move on to interpret the primal matter independently.
Project conducted in partnership with the department Art + Space of EnsAD, the MNRJ, the department of Chemistry of the Ecole Nationale Superieure and the Institute of sciences and materials of Mulhouse.
I produce ‘officina metalica chimica curiosa’, a series of SEM microscopy photographs of the ashes of the collection of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. The microscope is graciously manipulated by Dr. Mathilde Lepointevin, a professor chemist from the National School of Chemistry.