Pools and Mirrors

Gemeinde Koeln Gallery, Cologne
4 August – 20 August 2023

The project meditated on the alchemical process of perfecting substances juxtaposed with an imaginary tour around a gigantic waste-water treatment plant that could have taken the space of a whole city.

Each waste-water treatment plant design forms a path consisting of several steps that leads to the production of drinking water. The workshop applied and extended this narrative model with a city walk, exploring the water cleaning process and engaging participants in creative exercises.

Furthermore, the project delved into instructive paths of the soul transformation. We took inspiration from the alchemical treatise ‘Splendor Solis’ and the Dzogchen philosophy guide ‘Rest in Illusion’ by Longchenpa. Here, Splendor Solis’a alchemic plaques full of symbolic and allegorical thinking were used as a tool to work with visual storytelling.

All exercises led to rethinking familiar structures we encounter in our social and infrastructural organization to reflect on them with philosophical and abstract thinking.

Photo: Alexandra Nikitina