Pharmacia Poetica ®



The Pharmacia Poetica is an on-going site-specific project that explores the transformative power of sound and images.

The purpose of the Pharmacia Poetica is to demonstrate how the literal becomes the lyrical and in so doing, cures. Like any apothecary, the Pharmacia Poetica offers a mixture of remedies. These include sound, poetry, metalanguage, images, and objects, the main feature of which is a collection of glass bottles in which the hidden beauty of commonplace objects, suspended in liquid, is revealed.


Performance poet/vocalist Anna Homler sings in alternative languages that nobody knows, but almost everyone understands. Through evocative songs, surreal stories, and unusual props, Homler transforms words into songs and objects into characters. "The work is transportive, mesmerizing, witty, sexy, and intelligent. It also has the power to transform the kitsch artifacts and consumer culture into something ethereal, surreal and beautiful." —Performance Magazine


This image rich presentation documents the evolving Pharmacia Poetica installation showing it's various manifestations as it traveled through Europe and the United States. The lecture includes discussions of ancient memory systems, the art of dreaming, and the artist as alchemist. Homler will prescribe sounds for the audience to swallow — "for every malady, there's a melody."

Inspired by the writing of Paracelsus and Marsilio Ficino, the Pharmacia first appeared in 1987 as an exhibition in a storefront gallery in Hollywood and as a radio play on KPFK in Los Angeles. Since then the Pharmacia Poetica has travelled throughout the United States and Europe, often in collaboration with other visual artists and writers. Among the places where it has appeared are the following: