Anselm Kiefer draws connections in his work between the micro cosmos and the macro cosmos.
Dead plants fertilize the soil so that the seeds of new plants can grow, thus becoming part of new life.The Secret Life of Plantssuggests, among other things, that the same process keeps the universe going.
Paper is normally soft and subtle to the touch, but Anselm Kiefer’s commanding book has twelve harsh lead pages, each bigger than a person, with sharp ragged edges. As the basest metal, lead does not decay, and its use in tombs and bullets associates it with death. We know that it also accumulates in bones and soft tissues, killing nerve cells and causing paralysis.
“I believe in empty spaces; they're the most wonderful things.”
Stars labelled with astronomical numbers and drawings of constellations indicate the depths of space, with the six digits prefixing the numbers reminiscent of the six-digitka-tsetnik numbers tattooed on German concentration camp inmates.
The main stars in the Cassiopeia constellation are labelled, and the names of five neighbouring constellations, including Auriga and Perseus, are written in chalk.
“Life is an illusion. I am held together in the nothingness by art.”