Splendor Solis

2022

The alchemical process is one in which substance is transmuted, it has been described as the poetry of matter. One alchemical perspective is that we are the dream of the abyss that is constantly transforming itself as its psyche processes and cycles. Splendor Solis (splendor of the sun) is a reference to the alchemical text allegedly written by Salomon Trismosin, teacher of Paracelsus.  The video depicts the process of transmutation, in this case through the performative act of painting the face gold. In several alchemical illustrations the gold head is representative of the ego, the severing of which speaks to the shedding of the ego and the entrance into the spiritual realm. In this performance the body undergoes a physical transformation which is a signifier for a greater spiritual transmutation. The text displayed on the screen is an excerpt from Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius by Hermes Trismegistus.

The sound effects speak to the seven stages of the alchemical process;  Calcination, Dissolution, Separation, Conjunction, Fermentation, Distillation, and Coagulation.