High Priestess And Zweistromland Analysis

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Anselm Kiefer gave a double title High Priestess and Zweistromland ( 1985-1989, 500 x 800 x 100 cm, about 200 books of lead, on steel shelves, with glass and copper) to his monumental archive installation exhibited for the first time in 1989 at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery at the Riverside Studios in London . The installation consists of two large 13 foot high bookcases positioned at such an angle that the bookcases themselves represent pages of an open book. The bookcases are filled with over two hundred books made with lead bindings and covers. The books are varied in size some are over 300kg in weight, and whist some are empty others contain a myriad of substances including images and text and plants and hair amongst their pages. Kiefer …show more content…
With their mystical properties and prophetic aims, the high priestess is the second card in the Major Arcana of which there are 22 in the Tarot deck of 78 cards . There are many versions of tarot decks, it is unclear which exact type of deck Kiefer’s High Priestess is referring to but all decks are filled with esoteric symbolism and symbolic characteristics that have Kabalistic, astrological and alchemical references. The origin of tarot cards has been subject of much scholarly debate and writings. Zweistromland the German title to the work translates as the land between two rivers and it is the land between the rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates the area that was the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia. The double titled High Priestess Zweistromland the ancient civilisation is being compared to modern day civilisation through the high priestess tarot who can forecast, predict and see the …show more content…
The myth is based on the creation process, where vessels that were too weak to contain the sacral light of god break. Kabbalists’ believe that the evils in our world exist because of the break of the vessels. The concept and theme of the break is one of Kiefer’s main artistic motives. It is because of the break his works analyse events from the historical past and their relationship them to the present. Kiefer by looking at the universe as a whole, how the process of break is continuous. The universal cosmic break had and its monumental impact is mirrored by Kiefer both in the scale and size of his works, and in his choice of materials (lead, ash, splinters of glass, broken concrete). In his instillation Break of the Vessels Kiefer places lead volumes on steel shelves with shards of glass scattered all around. Kiefer places us on earth, but also back into the beginning of creation to the point of the myth Shevirat ha Kelim when the vessels broke. The break is referring to episodes of Jewish history, from the devastation in the temple of Jerusalem, the Middles ages persecution and exile of Jews and the Nazi Holocaust. The break is also referring to mankind and the suffering as a result of wars, social injustices and

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