The Colossus

I shall never get you put together entirely,

Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.

Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles

Proceed from your great lips.

It’s worse than a barnyard. 


Perhaps you consider yourself an oracle,

Mouthpiece of the dead, or of some god or other.

Thirty years now I have labored

To dredge the silt from your throat.

I am none the wiser. 


Scaling little ladders with glue pots and pails of lysol

I crawl like an ant in mourning

Over the weedy acres of your brow

To mend the immense skull plates and clear

The bald, white tumuli of your eyes. 


A blue sky out of the Oresteia

Arches above us. O father, all by yourself

You are pithy and historical as the Roman Forum.

I open my lunch on a hill of black cypress.

Your fluted bones and acanthine hair are littered 


In their old anarchy to the horizon-line.

It would take more than a lightning-stroke

To create such a ruin.

Nights, I squat in the cornucopia

Of your left ear, out of the wind, 


Counting the red stars and those of plum-color.

The sun rises under the pillar of your tongue.

My hours are married to shadow.

No longer do I listen for the scrape of a keel

On the blank stones of the landing. 


S. Plath, 'The Colossus' 

Happy New Year, Ruben C. Talberg


Pintura Alchemica®: What the Critics say ...

“  Without doubt Talberg’s oeuvre emanates a great intensity which is also authentic and credible! Dr. Jean-Christophe Ammann, Art Critic

“  I just love Talberg’s paintings - I had to buy a few pieces! - Amy Winehouse, Artist

“  Three words to describe Talberg’s artworks? Raw, powerful, bleak! - Roman Polanski, Film Producer

“  I met Ruben in Frankfurt - his family is well-known in the States - especially in Hollywood where in 1987 I was honored with the „Thalberg Memorial Award“ by the Oscar Academy. Ruben Talberg - fantastic pictures - big artist - big name! - Steven Spielberg, Film Producer

“  I like Talberg’s artworks: exciting, profound, spiritual! - David Duchovny, Actor

“  I met Ruben first time at Art Basel Miami Beach. He handed me over a CD with his most recent paintings which I studied. - I rate them highly: blue chip! - Keanu Reeves, Actor

“  Talberg‘s Pintura Alchemica is truly revolutionary! - Walter White, Art Critic

“  Talberg’s works are strong attacks on the mental, cognitive, and intellectual integrity of the spectators. By no means they are anti-intellectual. So much desire for theoretical, theological, cultural- analytical, economic, psychological, philosophical insights - as expressed in Talberg’s works - is to this day very rare in the history of art. - Daniel Wildenstein, Art Critic

“  When I visited Talberg in the eponymic Talberg Museum his abstract works took hold of me like that of a wizard. In his paintings everyday symbols ... magically morph into alchemic panoramas! - Vladimir Kaminer, Novelist, German TV

“  Talberg is a deconstructionist par excellence. He keeps asking questions about knowledge located in-outside of public/private institutions/corporations. His volte-face paintings mark a different sensibility, one in which the dream of pure form has been disturbed. It is the ability to disturb our thinking about form that make these paintings deconstructive. H. Rubinstein, Art Critic

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Before Ruben Talberg turned 40, he rewrote Art History by revolutionizing painting in his signature style PINTURA ALCHEMICA®. As a Jewish German and Israeli he constantly created new ways of expressing his Jewish Heritage. Today Talberg ranks among the TOP 10 Jewish Painters worldwide.

The name Talberg is well-known in Jewish-American history. Irving G. Thalberg (1899-1936) was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, presented by the Oscar Academy, is also named for him.

„As „transformer par excellence“ Talberg excavates with his own alchemical tools actually quite mundane commonplace items - in this case a series of 12 combs - from the submerged and buried undergrounds .. The comb as the primordial artifact of human body care and the incarnation of personal intimacy of each individual - what better symbolizes the complete helplessness and total subjection of the camp inmates? Finally also the combs were taken away from them before being annihilated in the gas chambers into oblivion. - And there is much more: In Auschwitz Talberg found a suitcase that originally belonged to family Schönhof from Ludwigstr. 28 (Offenbach), the same street the Talberg Museum is located. Coincidence or not? As is the custom Talberg transformed his spooky findings into art.“ W. Fleckenstein 

Jewish Telegraph, London: „Behind the far-reaching mind-set of Talberg as an artist lays a much more grave concern. He nearly got killed by a Hamas suicide-bomber in 2002, who intended to blow himself up in a coffee bar in Israel... Since this brush with mortality Talberg has felt a strong association with death. This is the down-to-earth, deep-seated meaning of his work which tells of the impending disasters for Jews; warning of the intensifying danger of Iran threatening Israel with nuclear eradication... Moreover, Talberg identifies himself as an influential Jew living in the Diaspora, filling a gap with visual metaphors of testament and protest.“ Estelle Lovatt


„Talberg’s projected monument „Jacob’s Ladder“ was designed as an approx. 18m high obelisk or monolith, traversed by 7 cross-elements made of of stone, steel and bronze. The city of Offenbach proposed the central Max-Willner square. Through public debate, culminating in an online poll of local newspapers, readers seemed to argue more in favor of a Holocaust Memorial. In contrast, Talberg’s concept tended to be rather open, a monument where energies flow in all directions - including top-down and bottom-up - well prepared for the past as for the future.

The ingenuity of Talberg’s idea consists of merging two distinct models: the obelisk as the traditional symbol of imperial power and the Jacob’s ladder which emanated from Jacob’s dream. The original Hebrew source doesn’t mention how many rungs the ladder actually has. By predefining 7 rungs Talberg makes a brilliant choice. What makes the number 7 so significant is that it generally suggests a still manageable multitude. In numerology 7 plays a superior role; for the Pythagoreans it was as an expression for completeness, perfection. In Christianity 3 signifies Trinity - 4 represents the four elements...“ Dr. R. Held. 

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Pintura Alchemica @ Talberg Museum

BIO: Ruben C. Talberg born 1964 in Heidelberg, based in Monaco & Marbella, originator of PINTURA ALCHEMICA®. For more than 30 years Ruben Talberg transcends his artistic boundaries through painting and photography, documented by numerous international exhibitions, printed catalogues and publications, awards, public auction sales history. 2011 the Talberg Museum was established.

Before Talberg turned 40, he rewrote art history by revolutionizing painting in his signature style: PINTURA ALCHEMICA ®. See PRESS KIT

QUALITY: His artworks score high on all relevant factors including quality, authenticity, uniqueness, unity, complexity and art-historical value. Talberg executes his works on the same level of QUALITY as Richter, Baselitz, Kiefer etc. Talberg ranks among Top 10 JEWISH PAINTERS worldwide

FEATURES: Pintura Alchemica features: XXL formats; structure of oeuvre into diptycha, triptycha; various techniques as Volte-face (Leitmotif), bricolage, grafitto, minimalist bars (implants); myriads of references to indigenous art, commercial brands; codes, numbers, signs, hieroglyphs with references to his lyrics. Talberg’s motto: „Finis Coronat Opus Magnum“

STATS: According to N. Taleb this big discovery PINTURA ALCHEMICA represents a 4σ event, a truly positive BLACK SWAN. Occurrence: every 43 years - only twice in a lifetime. The central feature of positive Black Swans: the gains in value can be monstrous.

As the famous art dealer J. Duveen said: "When you pay high for the priceless, you’re getting it cheap” ... [...] 

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Ruben C. Talberg & Pintura Alchemica

H. Rubinstein on Talberg & Pintura Alchemica 

Talberg is a deconstructionist par excellence. He keeps asking questions about knowledge located in-outside of public/private institutions/corporations. His Pintura Alchemica marks a different sensibility, one in which the dream of pure form has been disturbed. It is the ability to disturb our thinking about form that make these paintings deconstructive.

Notions of fragmentation and negative space run the gamut from flat to volumetric, abstract to representational, simple to complex - into the realms of alchemy, psychology and absence. The finished visual appearance is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos.

Architects whose work is often described as deconstructionist (though in many cases the architects themselves, reject the label) include Peter Eisenmann, Frank Gehry, Rem Kohlhaas, Daniel Liebeskind, Bernard Tschumi or Coop Himmelb(l)au  [...]

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Who is Ruben C. Talberg?

Ruben C. Talberg (*1964 in Heidelberg) is a maverick who invented the distinctive and disturbing Pintura Alchemica. Based in Monaco & Marbella, he transcends his artistic boundaries for more than thirty years through painting and photography, numerous international exhibitions, printed catalogues and publications, awards, public auction sales history. In 2011 the Talberg Museum was established.

What is Pintura Alchemica?

Talberg‘s paintings are about phsical and emotional relationships. The fact that they make you experience them physically is because they are about something very physical as well as passionate. They are deeply moving as Talberg executes unique variants of materials. You can almost hear them.

Thud. Thud. Thud which seems to almost establish the finality of the fact that whatever relationships are taking space in these pictures they deal with the Lapis Philosophorum. Talberg constantly looks at Alchemy & Kabbalah for inspiration. Talberg was once asked, why he spends so much time with Alchemy? He instantly replied: „ As a painter, Pintura Alchemica is the only home I have.“  [...] 

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Capaianca is the moniker of PINTURA ALCHEMICA ® artist Ruben Cornelis Talberg. Born in Heidelberg, based in Monaco & Marbella. Background: Transcending his artistic boundaries for more than 30 years as professional painter & photographer, numerous international exhibitions, printed catalogues & publications, awards, public auction sales history.

Talberg’s metaphorical language defies most art-historic conventions for a simple reason: it represents a unique quality. The term „Pintura Alchemica" was coined by W. White since a proper label for Talberg’s works didn’t yet exist. Pintura Alchemica features: XXL formats; structure of oeuvre into diptycha, triptycha; various techniques as Volte-face (Leitmotif), bricolage, grafitto, minimalist bars (implants); myriads of references to indigenous art, commercial brands, codes, numbers, signs, hieroglyphs with references to his lyrics. Talberg’s motto: „Finis Coronat Opus Magnum (FCOM).“

Before Talberg turned 40, he rewrote art history by revolutionizing painting in his signature style: PINTURA ALCHEMICA ®. Today Talberg ranks among the TOP 10 Jewish Painters worldwide.

2016 Talberg Museum celebrated its fifth year of existence. It is considered a Single Artist Museum (SAM) and guarantees the continuity of Talberg‘s oeuvre beyond his death.

Talberg‘s most recent exhibitions include: Durchkämmung 2010, Abraxas 2011, Basquiat meets Talberg 2012, Documenta XIII Intervention 2012, Visions of Voodoo 2013, Arcanum 2014, Prometheus 2015/2016, Retrospective 2016/2017, Pintura Alchemica 2017/2018... [...]

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Goldman Report

Pintura Alchemica

New York, January 18, 2017

Mr. Talberg works with oil and acrylic paints on unprimed canvas employing a variety of methods: direct brushwork, pours, tar, straw, handwritings, drawings, flamethrower forcing materials on the surface to alchemically react, and more, in an effort to create „paintings about paintings.“

In a review of his solo show Pintura Alchemica at Talberg Museum 2016/17, W. White remarked that „in his works Talberg uses the relation between abstraction and gestalt/pattern in an offensive way. He declares the negative interspaces that emerge between the positive forms and patterns as spooky twilight-zones, inhabited with ghostly mythological figures. During his lifetime Talberg devoted himself over and over to the virtual characters of Prometheus, Dionysus or Percival.“  [...]

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A Parallel Universe

New York

Behind a nondescript apartment block from the sixties opens up a „permanent autonomous zone“ of art and discourse. There in the backyard, almost idyllically lies the brick house that used to be a carpentry. In big pots grow bamboos, lavender flower abundantly next to cypresses. Up the stairs into the art zone! The sun illuminates the gray floor, the raw cement and brick walls. There it is! The internationally known Pintura Alchemica. Extra-large-sized (XXL), outlandish, magic paintings, diptychs, triptychs that immediately attract the attention, challenging the viewer with unsolvable metaphysical marvels. The were created by Ruben Talberg who installed his studio and the exhibition halls in the eponymous Talberg Museum. For him though the idea of the museum encompasses much more than pure exhibition floors ... [...]

W. White

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Artwork: „Silver river falls from 9. sky“, 2015, mixed media, 210x480cm 

Artist: Ruben Cornelis Talberg

I. Introduction

Capaianca is the moniker of PINTURA ALCHEMICA® artist Ruben Cornelis Talberg. Born in Heidelberg, based in Monaco & Marbella. Background: Transcending his artistic boundaries for more than thirty years as professional painter & photographer, numerous international exhibitions, printed catalogues & publications, awards, public auction sales history [...]




White Paper


It is always good to be reminded that chemistry is the child of alchemy, much of which consisted of looking into the chemical powers of substances. The main efforts went into creating value by transforming metals into gold by the method of transmutation. The necessary substance was called the philosopher‘s stone - lapis philosophorum. Many people fell for it, a list that includes such scholars as Albertus Magnus, Isaac Newton, Roger Bacon and great thinkers who were not quite scholars, such as Paracelsus.

It is a matter of no small import that the operation of transmutation was called the Opus Magnum - the great work. I truly believe that Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica - with more than 30 years of street credibility - is about as close as one can get to the philosopher‘s stone. His motto: „Finis coronat opus magnum.“

Talberg who as an artist has his soul in the game faces his fate with dignity, there is nothing you can do that makes him small; if you don‘t take risks, there is nothing you can do that makes you grand, nothing. And when you take risks, insults by half-man (small men, those who don‘t risk anything) are similar to barks by nonhuman animals: you can‘t feel insulted by a dog ... [...] 

W. White, New York

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WILDENSTEIN on TALBERG: Pintura Alchemica

Pintura Alchemica ist jenseits aller Logik

„Ohne Kunst wäre das Leben ein Irrtum“, lautet eine ebenso apodiktische wie pathetische Wendung Nietzsches. So oder ähnlich muss ein Essay anfangen über einen der Titanen auf diesem Sektor. Ruben Talberg, das gleichnamige Talberg Museum, die Pintura Alchemica gelten trotz oder gerade wegen aller Mythen, Krisen, Skandale, die sie umtosen als Inbegriff einer dionysischen Kunst, die sich ständig neu erfindet. Kein zweiter Maler polarisiert wie Talberg. Dabei wird in Debatten um Talbergs Werk häufig die Einsicht verstellt, dass Talberg mit seiner Pintura Alchemica ein ambitioniertes Projekt verfolgt: Finis coronat opus magnum.

Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica ist besser als sie aussieht - so lautet ein vielzitiertes Bonmot. Es ist weniger kalauerhaft, als es seinerseits klingt. Denn ebenso kluge wie nüchterne Menschen ahnen immerhin, dass Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica sich trotz all ihrer überwältigenden Suggestivität, gegen die sich viele aufgeklärte Köpfe geradezu instinktiv verwehren, nicht beim ersten Sehen erschließt, weil sie auf buchstäblich unerhörte Einsichten verweist.

Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica sind starke Attacken auf die mentale, kognitive, und intellektuelle Integrität ihrer Betrachter. Doch sie sind keineswegs antiintellektuell.So viel Lust an theoretischen, theologischen, kulturanalytischen, ökonomischen, psychologischen, philosophischen Einsichten, wie sie in Talberg’s Werken zum Ausdruck kommen, ist in der Kunstgeschichte bis heute ganz selten ... [...]

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Dior on Talberg

Pintura Alchemica

Die offensichtliche Willkürlichkeit und Zufälligkeit der Preisverteilungen und Rankings wäre ja an sich ok, weil ja alles mehr oder weniger zufällig ist - wenn sie nicht mit einer Aura der Objektivität daher kämen, verbunden mit einer Rechthaberei und Selbstgerechtigkeit von selbsternannten Kunstfunktionären, die Preise/Rankings/Shows verleihen und Kunstgeschichte spielen.

Preise/Shows reduzieren und domestizieren das, was in der Kunst lebt, sie sind vor allem pragmatisch, sie geben dem Künstler Geld, das er braucht, aber dieses Geld verwandelt sich wie von selbst in symbolisches KAPITAL, und der Popanz, den man damit betreiben kann, ist ungeheuerlich.

In den Preisen, Rankings/Shmankings offenbart sich, mit anderen Worten, das fundamentale Missverständnis, das diese Clowns, Kuratoren und Animateure in den Jurys und Mega-Galerien immer wieder befeuern, weil sie sonst nackt und traurig da stehen würden - das Missverständnis also, dass man sie braucht, dass sie etwas zu sagen hätten über Kunst, das über das hinausgeht, was auf Wikipedia nachzulesen ist.

Auf einem Bewerb der Art Basel war es mal wieder soweit, das System der Preise und Kunstfunktionäre zeigte sich in seiner ganzen lächerlichen Unerschütterlichkeit - obwohl es immerhin einen Moment der Wahrheit gab - und das war die Pintura Alchemica von Ruben Talberg ...  [...]

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Frida Roth on Talberg’s alchemic Paintings


Talberg sucht in seinen Motiven nach dem passenden Rückhalt für die Beschwörung des Unzeitgemäßen und hinterfragt dabei sein künstlerisches Selbstverständnis ebenso wie die Vorstellung einer übersinnlichen Inspiration.

Die Pintura Alchemica reflektiert innere Bilder von großer Gewalt, Symbollandschaften, die aus dem Bauch heraus entstanden, die wie aus ihrer eigenen Zeit herausgefallen zu sein scheinen, indem sie wie etwas Fremdes in diese einfallen.

Jenseits des individuellen Interesses, das die Pintura Alchemica erweckt, stellt sie auch den Schlüssel für die Art der Begegnung dar, die Talberg zwischen der Öffentlichkeit und seinem Lebenswerk herzustellen beabsichtigt und die der Abhaltung eines musealen Rituals ähnelt.

Dabei schöpft er aus einem umfangreichen Fundus von Bildern, Symbolen und Zeichen früherer Epochen und Materialien, die er in seine Bildsprache transkribiert und aus denen er im Laufe der Zeit immer neue Darstellungsformen und Impulse gewinnt ... [...]

Frida Bell Roth, Mai 2015 

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Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica

The Prometheus Motif

N. Taleb, New York

In Greek legend, there were two Titan brothers, Prometheus and Epimetheus. Prometheus means „fore-thinker“ while Epimetheus means „after-thinker,“ equivalent to someone who falls for the retrospective distortion of fitting theories to past events in an ex post narrative manner.

Prometheus gave us fire and represents the progress of civilization, while Epimetheus represents backward thinking, staleness, and lack of intelligence. It was Epimetheus who accepted Pandora‘s gift, the large jar, with irreversible consequences.

Optionality is Prometheus, narratives are Epimethean - one has reversible and benign mistakes, the other symbolizes the gravity and irreversibility of the consequences of opening Pandora‘s box.

You make forays into the future by opportunism and optionality. So far we have seen the power of optionality as an alternative way of doing things, opportunistically, with some large edge coming from asymmetry with large benefits and benign harm. It is a way - the only way - to domesticate uncertainty, to work rationally without understanding the future, while reliance on narratives is the exact opposite: one is domesticated by uncertainty, and ironically set back. You cannot look at the future by naive projection of the past ... [...]

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Pintura Alchemica x 89

Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica Miniaturen

W. Benjamin schreibt dem Pintor Alchemica - Ruben Talberg - ausdrücklich vor: dass er sich nicht darauf beschränken soll, durch Diskurse zum Sujet der Gesellschaft Stellung zu nehmen, sei es durch Thesen oder durch revolutionäre Produkte wie seine Pintura Alchemica; dass er niemals einen Produktionsapparat versorgen soll, ohne die Struktur selbst dieses Apparats zu transformieren, ohne ihn zu verdrehen, zu verraten. Nachdem er ihn in eine Falle (Streichholzschachtel) gelockt hat und durch einen bösen Streich beim Wort (mot) oder an die Kandare (mors) genommen hat. 

Selbst hier hat Talberg, wie Sie sehen, einem Rahmen Gewalt angetan. Er hat ihn entblösst und umgedreht, wobei er voller Eifer die getuckerten Leinwände abfackelt und die rechtwinklig verlaufenden Gehrungen sorgfältig herausarbeitet. A tergo oder volte-face, was den Glauben erweckt, man könne herumgehen, den Besitz umkreisen, hinter die spiegelnde Reproduktion gelangen.

Indem Talberg die Pintura Alchemica schuf, sie ins Rampenlicht stieß, wo sie vom Licht der Projektoren misshandelt wurde, hat er neue boundaries geschaffen, geschrieben und sogleich das, was er machte, durchgestrichen; er hat Strich für Strich gezeichnet, was er schon immer in sich trug - eine unglaubliche Verführungsszene - mit Übergang zum Akt natürlich, wie man die Verführung (seduction) in der Psychoanalyse versteht. Diese boundaries (marges), die ich mir vergeblich als Spielraum/Spanne oder Marge im ökonomischen Sinne wieder anzueignen versuchen würde ... [...]

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Ruben C. Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica

Alan N. Shapiro, New York

An artwork from Ruben Talberg’s Pintura Alchemica suggests an important multi-nodal secret that can only become known to the initiated few. The work hints at presenting the key to solving a mystery, providing an answer to a riddle that is accessible via magic, mysticism and a very personalized meditation practice filtered through classical spiritual traditions. It also intimates a remedy or elixir as cure for an intractable ailment.

Talberg is very interested in medieval alchemy (the “conversio oppositorum,” the artist transforming his raw materials into creation, and transforming himself through his creation), and Jewish Kabbalah, i.e. the non-rational existential force which may be the living flame of Judaism. Any Pintura Alchemica work shows various compartments or ‘rooms’ which are almost like separate chambers in a doll house (what Derrida calls spacing). Or like the progressive stages in a video game where one needs to navigate through obstacles in one room in order to pass on to the next room, or to the next level of skill.

There is the sense in these paintings of something tactile, earthy, burned out, scarred, the charred remains of a controlled fire. There are scraps of paper with musical notations, poems written by Talberg, the sideways figure of a sculpted human body, occult esoteric designs and calligraphy, a board game, an overturned newspaper front page from the 1960s, ancient and talismanic symbols, the many circles and cycles of life. An original pictographic language developed by Talberg ... [...]

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Talberg's Show in New York


Prof. Corrigan, New York

New York. In town for the Pool Art Fair, March 4 – 6, held on East 27th Street, Jewish- German Pintor Alchemica Ruben Talberg presented his recent works on canvas.

A native of Germany, Talberg runs the Talberg Museum, where over 30 years of Pintura Alchemica are on display.

For Talberg, the artist transforming his materials into art is analogous to the medieval alchemist’s attempt to transform lead into gold. Ultimately, he says, the artist as creator “transforms himself through his artworks.”

In the Pintura Alchemica Talberg creates multi-layered constructs based on the alchemic principal of the “conversion of opposites” where he explores, in his own words, “the evil which – inter alia – manifests itself in the holocaust”.

– an exploration that brings to mind the works of Anselm Kiefer and his interest in alchemy and Jewish History ... [...]

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Die Sphaira ist ein Ort der Metamorphose. Bei Heidegger wird vom Menschen erstmals expressis verbis behauptet, dass ihm die dinglichen Bewohner seiner sorge- erschlossenen Welt zeugförmig zuhanden seien. Was sich handlich findet, chiro- topologisch handhabbar zurecht gemacht wird, beginnt seine Wandlung in brauchbares Zeug (u.a. Kunst), was in aller Schlichtheit den ersten Akt der Welterzeugung darstellt, und mit ihm die Selbstinklusion der Insulaner.

Individualität, die sich selbst auf die Spur kommt, setzt voraus, dass Einzelne sich auf Ruhe-Inseln zurückziehen können. Als Phonotop kommen neben Platons Garten auch die Häuser Gottes (Klöster) in Betracht, wobei nach Augustinus gilt: In interiore homine habitat veritas. Die wichtigste Nebenwirkung des Silentium-Effekts zeigt sich am Auseinanderdriften des Öffentlichen und des Privaten. 

Die uterotopische communio artikuliert sich neben heiliger und magischer Allianzen u.a. in der communio sanctorum im Schoß der Mutter Kirche, was von einigen Zeitgenossen dahingehend interpretiert wird, dass die Menschheit im Tiefsten eine religiöse Größe darstelle. [ ...] Die uterotopische Synthesis bedeutet die Auserwählung von Menschen zum gemeinsamen Herkommen aus einer unvergleichlichen Höhle.

Uterotopie und Utopie spiegeln sich einander wie Herkunfts- und Zukunftselitismus. Damit lässt sich verstehen, dass, anders als Marx und Engels dachten, alle Geschichte die Geschichte von Kämpfen zwischen Auserwählungsgruppen ist ... [...]

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Jacob's Ladder

Dr. R. Held über Talberg's Jakobsleiter

Ein Ort, wo Energien auf- und absteigen 

Durch die öffentliche Diskussion, kulminierend in einer Online-Abstimmung von Zeitungslesern, ist Ruben Talbergs Angebot einer Großskulptur für einen öffentlichen Platz in Offenbach mehr in Richtung Holocaust-Mahnmal abgedrängt worden als vom Künstler selbst ursprünglich beabsichtigt. Im Grunde nämlich zeigt sich seine Konzeption ebenso offen für die Zukunft wie für die Vergangenheit, weil kunst- und kulturgeschichtlich höchst unterschiedliche Gedankenstränge in sie eingeflossen sind. 

Monumentform mit imperialer Vergangenheit

Die tragende Form der – bisher nur als zeichnerischer Entwurf vorliegenden und in Details wohl noch variablen, mit maximal 15 Meter eingeplanten – Skulptur bildet ein Obelisk. Bekanntlich handelt es sich dabei um eine im Prinzip festgelegte Monumentform: ein freistehender monoli- thischer Steinpfeiler auf quadratischem Grundriß, oben mit einer pyramidalen Spitze abgeschlos- sen. Automatisch verbindet man Obelisken mit dem Alten Ägypten, wo sie, meist aus rötlichem Assuangranit gehauen und paarweise errichtet, Tempeleingänge markierten. Symbolisch standen sie für Sonnenstrahlen, und damit für den Sonnengott Ra (höchster Gott im ägyptischen Panthe- on), und damit wiederum für den als Sohn des Sonnengottes verehrten Pharao. Von vornherein ist der Obelisk somit assoziiert mit höchster Autorität und Herrschaftsgewalt ... [...]

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