This week’s task had us create out own Venus of Willendorf (Wikipedia link). Many things about this project allow for wild interpretation. When creating this archival object we are encouraged to think about what we want to represent personally. What do we want to leave behind as an artifact of our relationship to ourselves and to the world.
One of the most interesting speclations regarding the Venus of Willendorf I came across in my research was from collective know-it-all Wikipedia. It states,
“The statue’s feet don’t allow it to stand on its own. Due to this it has been speculated that it was meant to be held, rather than simply looked at. Rather than an icon of a Mother Goddess some archaeologists have called it merely a good-luck charm. Others have raised the possibility that it was designed to be inserted vaginally, perhaps as a fertility charm, to become pregnant. Yet others have suggested that the object could have been a male masturbatory aid. The purpose of the carving is subject to much speculation.”
I find this part about fertility especially fascinating. Thinking about fertility, life anew, in the same context as thinking about what archaeologists will find of us in thousands of years is an interesting notion. Birth and death. Objects to literally help with life. Charms. Pornography.
Knowing that I want to explore this project in three distinct areas (the personal, the cultural, and the archaeological) I’ve come up with a set of components to use:
…and so I made earrings. Genetic jewelry.
First I need to draw blood. I’ve borrowed a couple of insulin syringes from a friend.
Next I need the semen. (silence)
Okay. So I’ll use the blood and semen that I’ve collected and fill empty gelatin capsules (the kind that you get from the Vitamin Shoppe).
These will start to dissolve fairly quickly after coming into contact with liquid, and even quicker when that liquid is warm. Because of this I’ve chilled some water in an ice cube tray to the point immediately proceeding the first signs of crystallization. I’ve formed wire into the earring shape and length that I want in order to hang about the neck in a certain way. The wire is affixed to the side of the ice cube tray and will hold each gelcap in place while it freezes. Wait until they are completely frozen.
Then wait 26,000 years for an archaeologist to discover them and make some fairly bold statements about our world. Oh, and there’s always the possibility of clones from the genetic material stored within the earrings. Getting the ice to melt is the fashionable part.