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The Philosopher's stone

Enric Maurí and Nathalie Rey

Installation with video and supermarket shelves with transparent boxes filled with profiteroles made of stones and melted plastic

223 x 196 x 42 cm


Since the beginning of time, artistic activity has been closely linked to magical rituals. In his article "Art and magic" (1953), L.R. Nougier explains how, since the Paleolithic, the fundamental anguish of the tribes whose survival depends on the abundance of hunting are reflected in the advent of the figure of the sorcerer who exploits this anxiety in the most diverse forms of rituals, costumes, drawings, etc.

The "sorcerers" of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance who sought the secret of the Philosopher's Stone pursued a slightly different goal, that of the survival of the race, with that tinge of disproportionate ambition that characterizes modern humanity that aspires to nothing less than immortality.

In this work, the stone works as the metonymy of pristine nature, while the profiterole is the result of a chemical transformation and by extension a magical act and becomes the symbol of artifice. Thus, through this elemental device, the old debate of artistic creation between Nature and artifice is taken up with humor.

The Philosopher’s stone, 2021

Acting and editing: Nathalie Rey and Enric Maurí

Format: MP4

Duration: 13’59’’

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