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Alchemy – a dilettante inspiration

Alchemy – a dilettante inspiration

Alchemists are dilettantes. They were enthutiastic about discovering something entirely new and mixed disciplines to get there. Today, alchemists are regarded as charlatans, who were running after the impossible Magnus Opus, for example by trying to turn metal into gold or by creating the Homonculus, a perfected child.

However, there seems to be more behind the image of the failed alchemist with the messy hair and the hermit gaze.

Alchemy did not find the Philosopher’s Stone, but it laid the basis for holistic medicine and modern psychology. It created porcelain, white phosphorus as well as the colours Prussian blue and Yves Klein blue.

Plus, it inspired numerous great works of art like Goethe’s Faust, Rowling’s Harry Potter and Foucault’s Pendulum by Eco. Musicians like Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and Marilyn Manson have paid tribute to alchemy.

It might be worth to have a closer look at seemingly failed attempts to try out something beyond the borders of the “established truth” and to analyse what role interdisciplinary and autodidactic approaches have in the long-term development of creativity and knowledge.

Check out on a 2017 Alchemy exhibition in Berlin here.

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