An Alchemist's Light- Mystery Acts by Ben Hauser

One-of-a-kind darkroom prints

Neither a camera, nor the effects of digital manipulation are used in the creation of this work. Once the light-sensitive color photographic paper has been removed from the box, special incandescent lights are illuminated. Color photographic chemistry is then spread over the paper and the piece develops while it is being simultaneously exposed.

In the case of this portfolio, salt is spread over the paper to form some of the imagery. I am compelled by the history of salt in the ancient world, and by its use in a multitude of modern and archaic ceremonies.

Salt factored into some of the rites of the ancient mystery religions, and I am intrigued by the fact that these religious groups engaged in an act of concealing and revealing. Although their existence may have been known by outsiders, only the initiated could know the rituals and understand the hidden wisdom of the mystery.

Jungian concepts of the developing Self are also strong influences on my imagery. Much of Jung's work dealt with mental content that is on the verge of expression- symbols that are on the threshold of an individual's understanding.

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