With the statement “as above so below”, the artists Lisa Jeannin and Rolf Schuurmans set the tone for the exhibition The Chironium, opening 16 March. Curiosity, nature’s intelligence and the correlation between a micro and macro cosmos constitute the starting point of their peculiar and subtle practise. With the exhibition, Lisa Jeannin and Rolf Schuurmans explore how a modern alchemist world view can be manifested within the context of contemporary art.
Lisa Jeannin and Rolf Schuurmans’ interest for alchemy is not only limited to their artistic project, but also represents a way of life and a way to perceive the world. The healing abilities of nature and plants is one of the central points of the exhibition – and even more so of their everyday lives, growing their own herbs and brewing elixirs in their remote forest home in the northern part of Småland in Sweden. The exhibition will, among other things, display an alchemist pharmacy with a wide selection of elixirs of different healing or strengthening powers.
The title “The Chironium” refers to the unusual asteroid comet Chiron, which is central to the theme of the exhibition. Chiron is named after the centaur Chiron from Greek mythology. Known for its curing ability while having to live with an incurable wound, Chiron was hence called “the wounded healer”. After its death, Chiron became a zodiacal sign, the Sagittarius, or the Archer. The Asteroid comet Chiron has gained a lot of attention among experts because of its unusual chaotic and irregular orbit circuits compared to other planets. As it was first discovered in 1977 – and still is in development – it is difficult to define and categorise and is, for that very reason, the subject of great amazement.
Another pivotal point of the exhibition is the healing powers of herbs. Elixirs based on recipes from the Swiss doctor and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541) amongst others can be found in the exhibition's alchemist pharmacy. Jeannin and Schuurmans work with the spagyric process, a particular fermentation procedure that secures the nutrients of the concoction, so that the elixirs become a concentrate of the healing properties of each plant in use.
About the artists:
Lisa Jeannin was born in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1972 and recieved her education from the Malmö Art Academy and the Art Academy of s’Hertogen Bosch in Holland.
Rolf Schuurmans was born in Oss, Holland, in 1972 and recieved his education from the Art Academy of Tilburg, Holland. Both live and work in Hakebo, Sweden.
Together, the couple has created a range of complex installations and performances and participated in impressive solo and group exhibitions, nationally as well as internationally.