What keeps humankind and the world together? An exhibition at the Artchamber Rau consecrated to the four elements: earth, fire, water and air.

The show embarks on a search for traces from the Middle Ages to the present through 42 paintings and sculptures from the Rau Collection for UNICEF, which will enter into an exciting dialogue with 20 award-winning documentary photographs from the UNICEF »Photo of the Year« contest. It thus can also be seen in the context of the parallel presentation of Otto Piene’s works, who intensively dedicated himself to the elements in his fire pictures, ceramics, light and air sculptures.

The world seems to be intact in the celestial images of the Middle Ages, exuberant the wealth of treasures of earth and water in the baroque still lifes, and the power of the elements becomes palpable in the descending water masses of the Cascade at Tivoli by the romantic Johann Martin von Rohden. In contrast and entirely committed to the moment, the Impressionists’ vast surfaces of sky and water are glistening in the light. But in Monet’s flood image the first signs of climate change are already visible. However, in the photographs that depict our current use of the precious resources of water, earth and air, the problem becomes obvious. The balance between macrocosm and microcosm, between humankind and environment that has been praised since ancient times, is at risk of being tipped. What is endangered is what keeps us and the world together: the four elements.