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Hermès dévoilé

In the title Hermes refers to the Greek book “Hermes Trismegistos”.
The whole video, along its aquatic path, is an oscillation between 2 poles. There is the movement from the warm colours to the cold colours, where the sun’s fire is extinguished by the water. All energy is neutralised. The death feeling is very present in the shape of the petrified skeleton trees, the still water and the fleeing birds.

Altough the text is spoken in French, it should be understood as a chant, or a sonorious background. The ancient text itself describes the steps to be taken to the Corpus Hermeticum. Numerous chemical manipulations are required; a long process which could take a whole lifetime, thus involving the transformation of the alchemists themselves. Where the voyage takes on a greater importance than the destination.
According to tradition, this intimate experience is called “The Great Masterpiece”.

The recitals overlap in several layers. Only rare words emerge from the overflow of information, from the apparent verbal confusion. This textual layering is not a matter of chance or simple easthetic whim. I merely respected the natural flux of the characters (the alchemist themselves !) where each one, at his or her rythm, lives and describes their own “Great Masterpiece”.
All these descriptions -these life voyages- come together in one single phrase at the end of the video. The last words pronounced are: ”so as not to see the red before the black”. This is the only phrase which the spectator can clearly understand, after seeing the whole video.

The spectator can interpret this red and this black in many ways, as he thinks fit. But in all cases it is a question of passage between two extremities within one whole such as: action-inaction, life-death and so on.

Running Time 8 min.
Year of Production 2000
Language French
Screening Format BetaCamSP PAL
DVD video
Director René Aeberhard
Cast Pascal Baumgartner
Dominik Dettling
Florence Roure
Editing René Aeberhard
SoundTrack René Aeberhard