Posts Tagged ‘alchemy

17
Apr
12

Merkaba – Anselm Kiefer

Anselm Kiefer‘s recent exhibition at the White Cube gallery in Bermondsey included plenty of Kabbalist content, such as his piece ‘Merkaba’.

His bicycle might not be quite the vision of the throne-chariot of G_d described by Ezekiel – but it has the wheels, and the pewter bowls suspended from the bike frame more than hint at alchemy (they contain salt, sulphur and mercury).

4: And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
5: Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6: And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7: And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
8: And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
9: Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
10: As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
11: Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
12: And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
13: As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
14: And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15: Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.
16: The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17: When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
18: As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.
19: And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20: Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21: When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

(Ezekiel, Chapter I, King James Bible)