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Blackboard by Richard Wentworth.

Richard Wentworth


TRANSLITERATOR (As above, so below) 2005

‘I like word of mouth. The invitation to try on Einstein’s shoes came to me in a personal call to my mobile. The physicality of the blackboards of my childhood sprang to mind immediately – their sense of landscape, as if text were a horizon, their sounds, their beautiful receptive surfaces, and their fog of palimpsests. I enjoyed putting a crease in a piece of timber.

‘The phrase ‘As above, so below’ has been with me for nearly thirty years. My decision to use it, in two languages, lies perhaps with the way that Einstein showed us a new alphabet, an exquisite Rosetta moment.’

The alchemical epithet ‘As above, so below’ derives from the text known as the ‘Emerald Tablet’ attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, and known in the West from at least the 10th century. It encapsulated the fundamental alchemical idea of a correspondence between the heavens and the earth.

Richard Wentworth would like to thank the writer James Hughes and the staff of the Victoria and Albert Department of Ceramics and Glass, and to extend his calligraphic gratitude to Gudrun Bielz.
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