Since 2015, Kollektiv has performed its AV installation at such venues and locations as the Bolshoi Theater, the Cirle of Light Festival, the MEDIASPANK Festival, as well as the Moscow Planetarium and other festivals and exhibitions in Russia, Europe, USA and Indonesia. 


With their adaptation 'Alchemy' the winners have met a very recent nerve: modern alchemy, expressed by Computer code. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, and strictly in the Gödel's sense generates any sufficiently complex system statements that neither formally be proved nor be refuted. Neural networks and artificial intelligence in addition, elude even the mastery of the Programmer. A generative system in a Faustian sense is on the search for the Philosopher's Stone. Just as the master, thematise and expose in an impressive atmospheric density the question, but leave the dilemma of the search for resolution another time the viewer himself.


Goethe, the poet of all poets, lived and worked in his home at Frauenplan in Weimar for nearly 50 years. Among the items that he left behind were 18,000 mineral samples, more than 9,000 prints, around 4,300 drawings and a library of 8,000 volumes. Goethe’s residence encompasses an entire areal, including a fenced garden, rear building, coach house and mineral pavilion. The seemingly oversized but essentially modest baroque townhouse features a surprising interior, with spirited interior architecture and an interesting colour scheme, a dominant enfilade along the urban façade and an expansively sweeping staircase modelled on a Tuscan villa. To cross this threshold, inlaid with the inscription ‘Salve’ (lat. ‘Salutations’), is to find yourself stepping from the unevenly cobbled streets of Weimar into a unique cultural cosmos brimming with classical and neoclassic ideas, references and wisdom.

No sentence, no paragraph can clearly or sufficiently describe the work and influence of this titan of Weimar Classicism. His journey through life was as long as it was capacious and contradictory. As a young lawyer, Goethe was greatly moved by the conviction and execution in Frankfurt of a female child murderer, a topic that he immediately addressed in his graduation thesis. This literary theme is also taken up in the Gretchen Tragedy, in which he expresses a profound empathy with the dilemmatic situation of the young woman. In real life, and as a member of the powerful ‘Geheimes Consilium’, he advocated the execution by beheading of the Weimar maid Johanna Catharina Höhn. At the same time, he saw himself as an enlightened individual, criminal justice reformer and critic of the death penalty. Goethe meticulously accompanied the preparations for a staging of ‘Faust’ that had been specially arranged in honour of his eightieth birthday, but later indignantly boycotted the performance. Later in life, he considered his central work to be his theory of colours and not his literary achievements.

Goethe’s influence and renown is undisputed. At the tender age of 26, he entered the service of the sovereign Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, who was himself just 24. In this capacity, among many other activities, Goethe would go on to oversee the Weimar Court Theater for 25 years. His most important and formative relationship during his first decade at the Weimar court was with court lady Charlotte von Stein, to whom he wrote around 1770 letters. The drama Gotz von Berlichingen established Goethe as a literature figure, while The Sorrows of Young Werther gained him fame throughout Europe. Across his many works, Goethe touches upon philosophical ideas as well as the more practical questions of life that, for the bourgeoisie, existed in parallel with the values of the Age of Enlightenment. Throughout, these issues and conflicts are dramatised openly and with great skill; Goethe quite deliberately avoided presenting an overall posture or even an ensuing philosophy: “For philosophy in the proper sense, I had no organ.”


Use of the photos only with photo credits: © Eric Seehof, Genius Loci Weimar 2018

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