talking about matter

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This multi-part work entitled talking about matter consists of videos, photographs and a series of large-format ceramic sculptures.

When my grandmother had demolished the old cowshed in her farm in Breisgau a few years ago, she discovered a small wooden box with a few gold coins. My grandfather has hidden this little treasure.

My grandparents used to have a hair salon and sold liquor and condoms under the counter. My grandfather exchanged the money he earned during trips to Switzerland for gold and smuggled it in the shoe across the border. Some of the coins used as investment gold are over a hundred years old and can only be redeemed on the orders of my grandfather in the most extreme times of need. In a video portrait of my grandmother, she tells the family and yet very personal story. Money, sexuality, as well as worries and war are discussed. Furthermore, my grandmother tells about the small collection of gems that they have collected for years on different travels. Personally, the stones impressed me from an early age in their variety of shapes and colours. My grandmother especially likes the rose coloured and smooth stones.

For the long-planned project talking about matter I use the gold coins. Gold is a very unreactive material and therefore difficult to dissolve. However, it can be dissolved in
aqua regia, a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric and nitric acid. In cooperation with Anthony Krause from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Free University of Berlin, I am experimenting with the obtained nanogold solution from these coins in the laboratory. The dilute gold salt solution occurs as a purple suspension, also called Cassius’ gold purple and serves by its enormous colouring power. In the process of gold transmutation in the project, talking about matter, I turn to methods from the ancient transmutation theories that deliberately emphasize their proximity to alchemical practices. The glazes are specially developed for this purpose in the laboratory. I use the gold solution to glaze my megaliths.

Simon Knab
Simon Knab in his Berlin studio, 2018 Photo © Hannes Wiedemann

Megalith- Simon Knab at Berlin Masters 2018

megalith Simon Knab at Berlin Masters 2018megalith blau Simon Knab at Berlin Masters 2018

Megalithen-talking about matter Simon knab Berlin Masters 2018Simon Knab Berlin masters 2018talking about matter Simon KnabMünzen lowscreen1 low