Deify

 

Deify will be a series of sculptural portraits drawn from ancient mythology, using a pool of 1200 living faces as material. It will be a three-pointed collaboration between the bearers of those 1200 faces; researchers in the world of 3D imaging technology; and the ancient artists and holy people who crafted stone and clay visages of their deities and heroes. Since the latter are not available, I'll attempt to be their surrogate.

We will start the project at the beginning - with our oldest written story - the story of Gilgamesh. We will build a face for Humbaba, the ancient protector of the Cedar Forest and victim of King Gilgamesh and his twin, Enkidu the Wild Man. They tricked and slew him, and cut down his forest to build a city and a fleet of ships from cedar lumber: homages to the glory of Gilgamesh. The statues we have seen of Humbaba are of a fearsome beast with the pattern of human intestines carved into his face, for to see his face was to know your final fate just as surely as a reading of entrails by augury. Today, we have seen again and again the vulnerability of the forests without their protector. Our Humbaba will receive a more sympathetic treatment.

From sad Humbaba, we will move further through the annals of our collective mythology: from Gilgamesh and Enkidu through medieval icons of worship to Carl Jung, with what respectful guidance we may take from the living faiths of today. We have created and discovered many gods and idols to guide, inspire and contain ourselves. We will take many detours, and explore many traditions of faith, philosophy, and worship. In this work, we will see these entities as composed of us - and ourselves as composed of them.

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