the “Alambic”, alchemical centerpiece of the project

How to infuse life into dead matter?

Me and Ariane Jouhaud met in 2018 in theNational School of Decorative Arts of Paris (Ensad) and in the same year we became deeply moved by the fire that ravaged the collection of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ). We thus decide to co-create an artwork intitled R-Project by working from the ashes (prima-materia 1) of the collection, given to us by the museum itself. We then created and produce a glass retort (prima-materia 2) to experiment a series of distillations of these ashes as a metaphorical “essence” of this event. Following this first protocol, we have chosen to interpret R Project independently.

Internal and external alchemy are the chosen point-of-views used to ressignify and re-create these ashes. Seeing the ashes as the basic “Salt”, they become the primal matter for the beginning of the “Great Work”.

This is a partnership with the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ), the Ecole Nationale Superieure – Department of Bio-Molecules and the Institute Of Sciences of Materials (IS2M) of Mulhouse (FR).

Ariane has been awarded the Prize AMMA Panthéon-Sorbonne 2019, the AS2R Boursary “Création et le Sacré” and the project will participate in the Science de L’art Biennale of Essonne in 2021.

Early stage of the installation

First stage of the collaboration

In the year of 2021, motivated to breach the scale in which we can observe this matter, I have sough Dr. Mathilde Lepointevin to produce, in IPGG (Institut Pierre Gilles de Gennes), a series of SEM-microscopy images of the ashes. You can admire them as header of this page and after this paragraph.