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Winterprogram 2019-2020
15.12.2019 – 03.05.2020

Unfinished Histories: The Better Alchemists

Contemporary Artists Respond to Leonhard Thurneysser

15.12.2019 – 30.01.2020
Unfinished Histories Vol. V [Exhibition]
Leonhard Thurneyssers Riddles

01.02. – 03.05.2020
Unfinished Histories Vol. VI [Exhibition]
Haytham El-Wardany, Monika Rinck

02.05– 03.05.2020
The Better Alchemists in Dialogue [Symposium]

"The Better Alchemists: Contemporary Artists Respond to Leonhard Thurneysser" explores the methods of the alchemist Thurneysser, who operated Berlin's first printing press, a laboratory, and a Wunderkammer in the monastery. In addition to alchemy, Thurneysser dealt with metallurgy, botany, uroscopy, translation, amongst others. As "Better Alchemists", authors and artists are invited to engage with the historical context, linguistic and scientific approaches of the controversial figure Thurneysser.

The exhibition opens in mid-December with Thurneysser's (Vol. V.) alchemical riddles. Until the 18th century, the genre of riddle rhymes was a common literary form used by many alchemists including Thurneysser who often encoded alchemical knowledge and factual questions in rhyme form. In the first episode of this year's programme, two of Leonhard Thurneysser's riddles from the 16th century are shown. The rhymes come from the Quinta essentia (1574) and from one of his major works, Archidoxa - an elaborately designed, large-format book developed in his printing shop that contained planetary tables, which he claims could be used to predict the future.
The programme continues in February until the first weekend in May with texts by Monika Rinck and Haytham El-Wardany (Vol. VI). On the 2nd May a symposium will conclude the programme with the authors, art historians and performances.

The focus of the exhibition is a multimedia LED installation in the Klosterruine. Artistic Production: Carolina Redondo
During the seasonal closure of the Klosterruine until the beginning of May, the exhibition can be viewed from the outside every day between 10am-10pm.