Graduation project (BFA) nominated for the dutch Drempelprijs (Autonomous Practice); 2020
- Due to the sudden Covid-19 measurements, I was not able to construct and exhibit the final installation (Shown is only a draft version) -
'Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends'
- CHARLES DARWIN -
We have the power to both destroy the world or save it. Nevertheless, On the blue sphere, humankind remains only a part of an interdependent ecological community. Instead of playing false gods who disregard and destroy the environment, we need to understand our role on earth. Our power to influence the ecosystems, make us the minders and stewards of the living world.
Within my graduation project 'The Mythology of the Anthropocene' I am aiming to address and depict scenes of the Anthropocene (The Human Epoch). Therefore, I am re-narrating in a visually rich way scenarios of the Anthropocene, including the present epidemic, using traditions of ancient art and mythologies.
Since the beginning of mankind, we have been constructing mythologies to make sense of the struggle between humans and nature. We created myths about gods and natural forces punishing humans for rejecting the laws of the natural world. A myth then deals with meteorological and cosmological phenomena, in which gods represent natural forces. Often myths are timeless, which means that their place in the past (or the future) is indefinite.
After exploring the old ruins of Greece, Mexico and Egypt and studying its craft, I decided to implement storytelling through symbolism, as well as using characteristics of ancient artworks as the main inspiration for the visualization (relief print, eg. hyroglyphic stone craft).
More about my project:
I am creating a 3- dimensional Installation, with the appearance of a monument, using wood engraving as the main technique to tell the story. The wooden sheets were painted beforehand with black paint, which adds a marble appearance and creates a contrast with the engraved parts. The used technique aims to create a permanent structure and adds a delicate touch and sensual experience to my design.
The outside walls depicts a butterfly on the entrance wall and two moths on the right and left side walls. The butterfly symbolizes life, regrowth and hope. The moths (death's-head hawkmoth) symbolize in contrary death and fragility.
I managed to engrave one side of the wall, before the Covid measurements forced me to discontinue the work.
The main story takes place inside the monument in form of a triptych, depicting these three scenes: Of the ‘Anthropocene’, showing the environment exposed to disasters caused by human impact; of the ‘Mythology’, showing the god of diseases sending an epidemic as warning and punishment to humans; and the ‘Restoration’, of nature, improving after humans are forced to stop their destructive actions.
The Anthropocene depicts et al. poaching, deforestation, forest fire due to global warming, extinction of wildlife, coral bleaching & pollution. Symbolic elements: eg. a dolphin skull floating in the oceans can be associated with a dying marine ecosystem
In the Mythology scene the snake is associated with the god of diseases.
In the Restoration scene mythological creatures such the dancing pan appears with a regrowth of nature
By Juxtaposing the two scenarios of the Anthropocene and the Restoration, we can choose how we continue our behavior towards nature. Placing the butterfly symbol on the entrance, aims to give hope for nature's recovery.
The concept of constructing a monument, confronts the public about the present occurrence of the Anthropocene while depicting discomforting scenarios.
Monuments create a sense of public memory, a globally shared narrative of our history or a current event. It can be seen as a focal point of public identity and gives cultural significance to a public space.
The strong inclusion of visual storytelling aims to make the message understandable for people of different languages, cultures and ages.
By including the current pandemic, I want to make people think about the positive effect of our current situation for mother nature.