Unlike All Other Empires (for Edward Said) / 2016

Europium (EU), glass, air and time

Europium is an earth metal that was isolated in 1901 by Eugene Demarçay in France. It was named after the continent Europe. Europium has no significant biological role that we know of. But being phosphorescent it is used in the anti-counterfeiting details in Euro banknotes.

Europium is one of the most reactive chemical elements, as it rapidly oxidizes in contact with air and turns into a yellow powder after only few days of exposure to oxygen. For this reason, it is kept in vacuum capsules.

In 1996 Jimmy Durham did the work Stoning the Refrigerator in which he throws stones at a domestic device and in the year 2000 Edward Said threw a stone across the Israeli border. The title of this work, Unlike All Other Empires, comes from Said’s writings.
On September 8, 2016, I throw a capsule containing Europium against the wall of Galerie Martin Janda. The glass capsule breaks and the earth metal immediately begins to oxidize.