Four are the elements that form all mortal things. There is no birth or death for such mortal things, just the mixture and interchange of what is mixed.
Ancient Greek philosophers such as Empedocles and Phytagoras used natural elements as main concepts for understanding the physics of reality. Elements, indeed, have long influenced the history of human thinking. Kiasma Museum reflects upon the relationship between contemporary artists and the forces of nature through a showcase of pieces that creatively investigates structure of the universe. Destruction, change, permanence, lightness and weight are conceptually represented in the works of Jannis Kounnellis, Mario Merz, Anssi Pulkkinen & Taneli Rautiainen and Enzo Cucchi. The mixed feeling of awe and dread inspired by nature in the Romantic period achieves a deeper meaning relating to the fundamental lack of certain beliefs of today’s men. This philosophical message is what perhaps pushes the artists to find shelter in primal materials that inspire steadiness while being portable and versatile such as stone and wool. Another major theme is the nature of elements as component parts of an entity, embodied by the works of Maaria Wirkkala and Mariele Neudecker that feature golden leaves and glass, grasping the ephemeral essence of the organic sphere.