In the context of Working Title Situation #01 (june 2015) The Reflecting Pool - Hermes’ Peaks assembles artworks, books, editions and interventions in which a unique take on the everyday, material reality reveals previously hidden structures and connections. Every work formulates an idiosyncratic answer on the question how we can solemnize this travel between the physical and the metaphysical world. As if we can only unveil the secrets and poetry of our reality by putting it to the test again and again.
18-19 june 2015, Kaaistudios, Brussels
in the context of Working Title Situation #01
With installations, videos, interventions, publications and editions by: Stefan Annerel, Massimo Bartolini, Charlotte Bouckaert, Antigone Michalakopoulou, Salva Sanchis, Egon Van Herreweghe, Gosie Vervloessem, Anna Vogel, Nick Steur, Kosi Hidama, Rodrigo Sobarzo, Erki De Vries & Pieter Huybrechts, Ruta Butkute, Dong Young Lee, Hans De Meulenaere, Charlotte Bouckaert, Benjamin Vandewalle, Pablo Castilla, Niko Hafkenscheid, and many more -
Concept & development: Marnix Rummens
Thanks to: Kaaitheater (Brussels), Gallery Massimo De Carlo (Milano), Gallery Conrads (Düsseldorf)
Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia. He is second youngest of the Olympian gods. Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moves freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. He is protector and patron of travelers, herdsmen, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade. In some myths he is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind. His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster and the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, winged cap, and his main symbol is the herald's staff, the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus which consisted of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff. In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce.
Hermetism is a religious and philosophical tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity. Many Christian writers, including Lactantius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Campanella, Sir Thomas Browne, and Emerson, considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity.
An account of how Hermes Trismegistus received the name "Thrice Great" is derived from the The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, wherein it is stated that he knew the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe. The three parts of the wisdom are alchemy, astrology, and theurgy. The Poimandres, from which Marsilio Ficino formed his opinion, states that "They called him Trismegistus because he was the greatest philosopher and the greatest priest and the greatest king." The Suda (10th century) states that "He was called Trismegistus on account of his praise of the trinity, saying there is one divine nature in the trinity." Much of the importance of Hermeticism arises from its connection with the development of science during the time from 1300 to 1600 AD. The prominence that it gave to the idea of influencing or controlling nature led many scientists to look to magic and its allied arts (e.g., alchemy, astrology) which, it was thought, could put Nature to the test by means of experiments. Consequently it was the practical aspects of Hermetic writings that attracted the attention of scientists.