LET US MAKE MAN
material: rosewood, epoxy, metal
dimensions: 110 x 360 x 120 cm
In the Beginning
The installation Let us make man refers to the tension between the theory of evolution, science, and the Bible story of Genesis 1.
The story of the creation of the world and the subsequent fall of man has had a major influence on cultural, moral and political thought. In the installation Let us make man, the viewer sees an alienating image comprising two cases made to fit the shape of their contents – a type of artefact that has a long history. Made of a combination of rosewood and epoxy with a gloss finish, the fitted cases lie casually arranged, like cases for musical instrument. From their shape, the viewer can recognise a well-known form: God’s touch bringing Adam to life. The case made to contain God with his outstretched hand is open. With this reference to the iconic image in Michelangelo’s fresco, ‘Let us make man’ calls for a redefinition of the content (or the lack of it) and explores how old and new truths and values acquire new meaning.
After the fall, which can also be seen as a conscious step by man to lay claim to the ability to distinguish between good and evil, the exponential increase in scientific discovery has brought humanity once again to the threshold of a new phase in its development. Not in a symbolic sense, but literally: man, as the creator of everything that is possible, is now about to create his own creator. Old magic is replaced by a new mystery in which man is both subject and object.
Now, as man passes on the capacity for creation to a new creative power, his task is accomplished, and once more he can wonder, ‘Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen?’*
*’My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’