Stoicheîon ⾦星. Levan Songulashvili
February 19 – 24, 2019
ERTI Gallery in collaboration with INSTINC residency and OBJECTIFS – Centre for Photography and Film presents Levan Songulashvili’s multimedia show STOICHEION.
The term stoicheion (στοιχεῖον/stoicheîon; the etymological derivation of the term is from the Latin elementum / first documented in the sense of “constituent component” or “basis” in Plato) was in antiquity fundamentally linked to the classical theory of the four elements. In European cultural history, the term “elements” denotes the four basic substances: earth, water, air and fire. The philosophical concept of stoicheion denotes the basic components or the foundations of Being.
Songulashvili’s main focus on air, water and earth is combined with Earth’s sister terrestrial planet, Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets, where the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east. In Chinese the planet is called Jīn-xīng (⾦星), the golden planet of the metal element. Venus is known as Kejora in Indonesian and Malay. In India Shukra Graha (“the planet Shukra”) which is named after a powerful saint Shukra, which is used in Indian Vedic astrology means “clear, pure” or “brightness, clearness” in Sanskrit. It is also associated with semen, or generation.
Modern Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures refer to the planet literally as the “metal star” (⾦星), based on the Five elements, “the five types of chi dominating at different times”. The “Five Phases” are Wood (⽊ mù), Fire (⽕ huǒ), Earth (⼟ tǔ), Metal (⾦ jīn), and Water (⽔ shuǐ), and the Five Planets of significant gravity: Mars-⽕, Mercury-⽔, Jupiter-⽊, Venus-⾦, Saturn-⼟ (the short form of “Wǔ zhǒng liúxíng zhī qì”).
By analogy of letters with words, the concept represents an attempt to understand the bewilderingly great multiplicity of the natural world as combinations of a limited number of elements.