Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (also known as AMVK) is an artist of singular complexity. Born in 1951 in Antwerp, where she still lives and works, she has been active since the 1970s as a visual artist, graphic designer and performer. She has always been a pioneer. She should, first and foremost, be considered an artist for the future. AMVK’s practice is truly interdisciplinary.

M HKA wants to introduce Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven to a wider audience as an innovator of forms and interpreter of moods - as oxygen of the whole society.

L'Age D'Or Nr 2+3 - Variation Australis

(c)image: AMVK
01 April - 10 April 1987
The Performance Space, Sydney

"Balzac: Everything on earth exists solely by motion and number… Motion is, so to speak, number in action… Motion is the means; Number is the result.


The installation at Montevideo is a static image from a work in progress called l'Age d'Or nr 2+3, that was started in July '85.


The ground floor is a closed circuit based on the five elemental portals to the astral plane.

On the first floor, there is a room, l'Age d'Or nr. 2, based on the myth of Prometheus and a performance by DDV from 1980. The other room is a closed circuit of six operations on the previous two.

They are all independent works which, partly through the effect of their division, proportions and the atmosphere of the space provided, crystallize into a temporary whole, a resting point.

What happened at Montevideo can be summarized as follows:

Two triangles, with the upward-pointing one symbolizing man and the downward-pointing one symbolizing woman. In other words, this is not one figure but a parallel of two figures. Figures that don't exist but are directions.

I start at the top and finish there as well; then I go straight down, and come back out again.

The center of the figure is a six, the difference between the figures is also always six, according to the arrows.

The inward pointing arrows for the woman and the outward pointing arrows for the man match, according to this counting method.

The six, the magical balance that explains things such as the relative necessity of evil, is used here as a symbol for progress: there is only a fight against that which resists.

The origin of this entire work is in comprehending "time" and attempting to express this visually. No matter the angle from which one approaches it: one always comes out with mathematics.

I ultimately arrive at a new measurement of time, the true golden age? A characteristic of the golden age is that it simultaneously has been and is yet to come.

This work is called l'Age d'or nr 2+3 for various reasons.

First, there is l'Age d'or nr 1, a film by Luis Bunuel, which depicts love in its purest form.

Second, there is l'Age d'or nr 2, the performance described above with the psychic interchange between "the male" and "the female", between the thinker and the thought, as it were.

(For the man, it is the fact that he is the thinker that takes priority, for the woman, the thought itself, and the thing, that is for both of them).

The 3, which is the thing, is the installation, is l'Age d'or nr 3.

But because there always need to be two static installations, one ephemeral and one permanent, that makes two times three, which is six, the balance, which is one half of 12 - the 12 hours of day and night, the surrender to fate.

The slow wavelike movement in everything that surrounds us and which at certain moments give the opportunity to pick up elements, stop their motion and observe them.

In looking for sources that consider the issue of "time" I always found myself returning to mathematics and its mysteries, as well as the use of magic mirrors, hermeticism.

Time is somewhere between memory and prophecy, the astral plane moves in a parallel space-time continuum and is the imagination of matter.

The astral is in fact a step beyond time.

The imagination is the reality of tomorrow, it is the capacity to create mental images. Like computer images, mental images are intangible.


According to the books, the spiritual world looks like this:

- astral plane: good

- mental plane: better

- spiritual plane: best.

The lower astral, the higher astral, the lower mental and the higher mental, or the spiritual states that lead us, from the chaos of emotional thought, via the better organized abstract thought to the great clarity of the spiritual and intuition.


There are magic mirrors that enable access to that world, five basic elemental portals to the astral plane; these mirrors are colors:

- black (ether/spirit)

- blue (air)

- red (fire)

- silver (water)

- yellow (earth)

I used these colors on the ground floor as the basis for my five mirrors.

The first, mental rotation (silver/water), is actually separate from the other four, was made separately and is the origin of those four.

It is the water from which we emerge.

The battle between the 3 and the 4, is the blue and the red mirror, that form 1 whole, the 3, from which both the destruction and the new are generated, the 3 which stands for the spiritual, the positive, the Christian, while the 4 stands for the material, the female, the daemonic state:

serpens quadricornutus.

The red part has the name “Axioma van Maria de Jodin" (Axiom of Mary the Jewess) because she recorded the essence of this struggle:

"Out of the third comes the one as the fourth ".

For every progress, sacrifice is invariably demanded.

The(t) syste(e)m of(van) le(i)aders(c)hi(a)p is the black mirror that carries within it the red of that sacrifice. The division into four is the way to the material, which is expressed so explicitly that it needs no further explanation. (This is the number 5, hierofant or master.)

The work on the other side shows l'Age d'or nr 0, the desire for the flame.

My images are not placed on a support, but are sought via the background, which is usually limited to the strictly essential number of references to the form itself.

They are rather images that are left as traces of images that were imprinted elsewhere.

I chiefly used the colors of the astral mirrors because of the presumed potential they offer to enter another reality, to make mental journeys.

I therefore call the operation which is the series of 6 upstairs "mental flowers". The connection of the colors with the forms depicted as well as with human sacrifice seems to be the ideal way to link to the steps taken in an investigation of the representation of knowledge.

Collecting these elements is a joy."

− AMVK. 2.87