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Emma Kunz: The artist and healer who may have predicted the atomic bomb | Culture

In 1941, the artist Emma Kunz (1892-1963) discovered a type of powder in the Roman mines of Würenlos, northwest of Zurich, which she named AION A. It turned out to be a remedy for inflammation, and the Swiss visionary used it to treat the quarry owner’s son for polio. “Würenlos is a powerful place in the middle of nature, it has a magical atmosphere and transmits a lot of energy. The first time I visited, I felt like electricity was running through the walls,” explained Yasmin Afschar, art historian and the curator of a new exhibition of Kunz’s work. Called Emma Kunz Cosmos: A visionary in dialogue with contemporary art, the show will be on display at the Tabakalera in the Spanish city of San Sebastián until June 19.

Afschar’s first contact with Kunz’s work was in these quarries, now known as the Emma Kunz Zentrum (Emma Kunz Center), before she became acquainted with her conceptual artworks. “Kunz always considered herself a scientist, and people came to her as a healer. She also possessed great knowledge about the medicinal use of plants, and she was a great naturopath. But there was also her artistic side,” reflected Afschar a few hours ahead of the exhibition opening.

Kunz created more than 500 works as tools to cure her patients, but none of them saw the light of day until 1973 – 10 years after her death – when they were exhibited for the first time at the Aargauer Kunsthaus art center in the Swiss town of Aarau. After being shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale and then at London’s Serpentine Gallery in 2019, interest in Kunz’s work has grown. “The figure of Emma Kunz, who never defined herself as an artist nor exhibited during her lifetime, allows us to inquire into the redefinition of what art is and who artists are,” explained Clara Montero, the Tabakalera’s cultural director.

A dialogue has been created between 40 of her drawings and the work of 18 international and local artists in the Tabakalera’s main hall, showing Kunz’s life and work against the backdrop of contemporary creatives. “The fascination for Emma Kunz is now greater than ever, and she could be considered an artist’s artist. In a contemporary space like the Tabakalera, it is unusual for us to dedicate an exhibition to a historical figure who died 60 years ago, but we think she deserves it. The exhibition not only delves into the figure of Emma Kunz, but also into the relevance of her ideas and approaches,” Clara Montero added. The group show, developed together with the Aargauer Kunsthaus museum, includes contemporary drawing (Diego Matxinbarrena), painting (Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Mathilde Rosier), photography (Joachim Koester), sculpture (Nora Aurrekoetxea, Goshka Macuga), neon installations (Mai-Thu Perret), video projections (Shana Moulton) and an interactive installation exploring childhood fears by Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander.

A photograph of Emma Kunz.
A photograph of Emma Kunz.Emma Kunz Foundation

Categorizing Kunz’s art is as complex as her multifaceted identity. Born in the Brittnau countryside, she was convinced that she possessed clairvoyant and telepathic powers from an early age, and wanted to use them to help others. Without any academic training but guided by a holistic awareness of her fellow human beings, she treated a large number of patients using herbal concoctions and the creation of drawings with strict geometric rules on a large scale. Kunz largely worked with a pendulum, compass and ruler, the pendulum consisting of a chain and two balls – one of silver and the other of jade – to pick up electrical stimuli. By swinging the pendulum, she marked the points and central lines of its trajectory, and then joined them with a pencil. On graph paper, Kunz assigned sections colors and shapes, which she then drew and filled in sessions lasting up to 48 hours without breaks.

The results were patterns that mutated into infinite, vibrant geometries. “Mathilde Rossier, one of the artists present at the show, saw a person stand for 10 minutes with her eyes closed in front of one of her works,” noted Yasmine Afschar. For Tabakalera’s cultural director, the way the human eye is drawn to her work has a double effect: “Her work has a quality that invites us to look at it in great detail and discover its meticulous creation. But we can also do so with a certain distance, to see if we are able to identify the patterns, and that order, rhythm and energy that Kunz was looking for.”

The artwork ‘No. 393’ by Emma Kunz.
The artwork ‘No. 393’ by Emma Kunz.Emma Kunz Foundation

The absence of dates or titles on her work makes chronology difficult, although those close to her suggest that the first drawings date from 1938 and lasted until the end of her life. If we consider Wassily Kandinsky’s essay On the Spiritual in Art (1911) and the more prolific work of fellow artist Paul Klee, it would be logical to classify Kunz’s art as abstract, but the absence of any contact with the art scene in her lifetime forces us to discard this hypothesis. “Emma Kunz had a very traditional way of understanding art. The only artists she knew were Swiss landscape artists, with very classical notions of painting. Her drawings follow a pattern of abstraction and use the same geometric language but their intention is quite the opposite of that abstract, modernist idea of l’art pour l’art. Kunz pursued a purpose, an objective,” explained Afschar, namely to help heal her patients. Kunz never considered herself an artist as such, “basically because the conventional idea she had of art was not what she was doing,” the curator concluded.

With no real written documentation to back it up, the most widespread theory is that the cross structures in her drawings are linked to moral and religious categories; the eternal above, the earthly below, evil on the left and good on the right. “According to the testimony of some neighbors and friends, everything indicates that Kunz was fairly close to Christianity. This is seen in the repeated use of crosses symbolizing the division between good and evil. However, this also invites us to think about the relationship between man and woman, or that of life itself with the cosmos,” said Afschar.

Emma Kunz‘s work ‘No. 20,’ which is believed to be her prediction of the atomic bomb.
Emma Kunz‘s work ‘No. 20,’ which is believed to be her prediction of the atomic bomb. Emma Kunz Foundation

The most controversial idea surrounding her work concerns work No. 20, which Kunz produced after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. A hundred or so red rays pass through two thick, black lines, and are said to be Kunz’s interpretation of the future of the war. Contemporaries venture it was her way of conceptualizing a weapon with the potential to destroy the world. “Yes, it is often thought to be related to the atomic bombs that detonated in Japan in 1945, but these are only hypotheses,” noted Afschar.

The metaphysical charge of her work, and a possible link to esotericism and pseudo-scientific methods that raged in the first half of the 20th century, have set Kunz’s work in the canon of other female figures who also acted as mediums through their art, such as Georgiana Houghton, Agnes Martin and Hilma af Klint. She has another parallel with the latter. Despite having academic training and cultivating abstraction before Kandinsky or Mondrian, Af Klint expressly wanted her work to be exhibited only after 20 years had passed since her death. Emma Kunz has joined that long list of female artists and pioneers who still do not have their merited place in the art books, but whose work is better known than ever.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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