Laborious and the Wind: Three Acts of Alchemy

Corridor III: Valdemar Daa - Viborg Kunsthal, Viborg, Denmark

2017

Laborious and the Wind: Three Acts of Alchemy is a specially commissioned work in the exhibition 'Corridor III: Valdemar Daa', presented at the Viborg Kunsthal in Viborg, Denmark. 

The exhibition was curated by the Berlin-based collective insitu, and uses the Kunsthal as a location to expand on a local myth and experience the magic of alchemy across a variety of artworks. Scene Everthing produced a multimedia installation that combined existing myth, past literature and speculative fiction in an immersive and theatrical experience. 

Expanding on the Hans Christian Andersen’s story 'The Wind tells about Valdemar Daa and his Daughters’, the work imagines three moments of alchemy from the past and a possible future.

An audio story accompanies the installation that are presented as scenographic elements placed across the space. Narrated by the Wind, the story guides visitors through three alchemical acts.

Beginning in the 1600’s, Act 1 develops the original context of Anderson’s story. Here the alchemy laboratory is examined through the lens of past narratives of human greed and desires to profit from natural and magical transformation. 

Act 2 moves into the era of nuclear technology as an updated form of alchemy. The narration illustrates the realisation of scientific alchemy and considers the continuing tension found in the power that modern science can wield.

The installation ends with the present or near future in Act 3, with a shift in scale inside the quantum computer. Here, the story explores issues surrounding the newer forms of alchemy found in crypto currencies, questioning what happens in a new economy of information.

Exhibition Curators - insitu, Berlin

Set Design, Research and Production - Scene Everything

Audio Guide Script - Nicholas Mortimer

Voice of 'The Wind' - Rachel Boot

 Laborious and the Wind: Three Acts of Alchemy, Installation / Photo credit: Joseph Popper

Laborious and the Wind: Three Acts of Alchemy, Installation / Photo credit: Joseph Popper

Audio Guide script in Corridor III: Valdemar Daa exhibition publication