Between heaven & earth: a photographer’s search for the fifth element

Throughout history, philosophers have written about a legendary fifth element, aether. Aristotle believed that, unlike the terrestrial elements, it was divine. In the 14th century, alchemists attempted to isolate it for use in elixirs and medicines. In an ongoing project, Moscow-based photographer Fedor Shklyaruk has joined the ranks of the gnostics in trying to capture the elusive substance with his camera lens. Unlike those who preceded him however, for Shklyaruk, aether can be found all around. “Aether is everywhere,” he says. “In every grain of matter, in every photograph. You just have to keep looking for it.” This is his guide to the fifth element.

2 January 2014

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