Rational Scientific Art

Performance on 4 February 1987, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich

“Rational Scientific Art” was a manifesto. In a lecture on the physicist Roland Zoschka and his theory of gravity, Nana Petzet had programmatically declared natural science to be art. A huge projection of Zoschka's portrait dominated the lecture hall. His theory - gravitational attraction explained as the interaction of the smallest particles, the quarks - was illustrated by means of 14 canvases showing enlarged notes by Zoschka, covered with physical formulas. What was, however, less obvious for the art-oriented audience: This famous physicist was a fictive personage and his theory the semi-scientific youth fantasy of a chemistry student. Well-placed, “fake” specialist queries coming from the audience caused further irritation. By delivering this type of mathematic formalism related to quantum mechanics that were clearly aimed at overburdening the audience, Nana Petzet only seemingly defined the union of art and natural science as an attainable objective. Instead, she exemplarily demonstrated the power of scientific wording in suggesting objectivity and truth.