in 1993 we recieved this anonymous letter after a screening of SOMA SEMA at Anthology Film Archives:

a key to Spiritus Mundi

or, I C U R N 2 ALCHEM Y


body + sign = coniunctio ( double projections)

a classic work of anthropomorphic alchemy

"all things are made from one thing by conjunction"

-Hermes Trismegistus, The Emerald Tablet

The allegorical process based on a complex sequence of dualisms infused with the erotic stuff: mater vitae

SOMA SEMA takes the matter (celluloid/chemistry) activated by the athanor/furnace (projector) and concentrates the elements-in-motion (light of moving images) in the Large Glass of the screen.

The marriage of principles is exquisitely balanced:
separate. purify. reunite.

The SEPARATION into wildly agitated motion, primal qualities in their volatile state seen in the various acts of circulation (rotation) : spinning bodies, heads, molecules, cosmos.

The PURIFICATION in fixed solutions of : water & earth for female (floating & cleaving) fire & air for male (flying & wounding)

'squaring of the circle' opposition-integration of the 4 elements into one (distillation), i.e., the quintessential,
before REUNIFICATION in the erotic chamber of consummation (stripped bare, even). Union between the fixed & the volatile (sulfur,mercury) by intermediation of fire, producing the offspring (calcination):

moonchild into sunchild, night into day, silver into gold,
(extending) (ascending)
or lapis philosophorum (philosophers stone)
or aurea apprehensio (golden enlightenment).

All is witnessed by the Great Mystery, between which the operation is sandwiched. The ourobouros of regeneration, returning to the void.

The operation is assissted by 'He-who-incorporates-the-book' (sema in soma) seen in acts of transferring the sacred text between flesh and tablet; his role: to conduct the holy wedding and transmigrate the body-sign (soma sema) from surface to soul.

solve et coagula (dissolve & coagulate)
to change the body into spirit & spirit into body

In SOMA SEMA you have achieved a compression of the Great Work, perhaps by intuition; but as Duchamp says: "If I have practiced alchemy, it was only in the way it can be done now, that is to say, without knowing it." But in doing, you know.

eye was led into gold,
Societe Anonyme, incorporated
Eros c'est la vie