Lecture Evening at the Material Archive: «Patinated Alloys from Egypt to Japan»

August 15, 2019, 6 p.m.

Within the framework of the current exhibition, edel unedel, the archeometallurgist Alessandra Giumlìa-Mair and the artist Anita Tarnutzer are presenting two lectures with insights into their research and work.

Alessandra Giumlìa-Mair, co-author of the publication Das schwarze Gold der Alchemisten (The Black Gold of Alchemists), reports on a material that was referred to as Corinthian bronze in ancient texts and was considered to be particularly valuable as a result of its special black color. In her lecture, she traces the routes by which knowledge of this valuable, black-patinated alloy and the means of producing it were disseminated at various times and in different cultures—from Egypt to Japan. 

Afterward, Anita Tarnutzer presents three of her works, which were created in long, experimental processes. To realize them, she used nonprecious metals’ characteristic of reacting when in contact with plants, soil, or hand perspiration and thus capturing impressions. Two of the works are part of the exhibition that can be seen in the Material Archive until September 9.

Image 1: Japanese Tsuba (hand guard of a sword) of black-patinated Shakudo, inlaid with gold and silver, ca. 1700 CE. 
Photo: A. Giumlìa-Mair

Image 2: Anita Tarnutzer, sedum on brass panel from the series “Quintessenzen,” 2017
Photo: A. Tarnutzer