Hutt: Victoria Grenier – Sand Cities
15 – 24 April
Opening times: Saturdays & Sundays, 12:00 – 18:00
In “Stone Eyes Don’t Blink”, Victoria Grenier presents a body of work built around the imagined consciousness of a pair of mesopotamian lion sculptures. The flow of her research, leading her to perpetual digression informs her work as she goes along. Dreamlike narratives and archaeological findings come together offering and alternative perception of what might appear to be a long peruid of time, from early human civilization to the present day, and our recent passing into the Anthropocene epoch.
“Around 4000 years ago, in the busy metal workshops of the ancient city of Mari, Akkadian hands made two life size lions by hammering sheets of copper into shape around a sculpted wooden core. Not far from the palace, on a large brick terrace, there is small entrance to a temple dedicated to “The King of The Land”*. A dark, narrow, five meter long corridor, decorated on one side with palm tree trunks, leads to a single room inside the ziggurat. Immediately on the left, two lions lay side by side on a two-stepped podium, the rear half of their bodies built into the wall. Their heads watch the entrance. The white of their limestone and shale eyes and their bone teeth glow in the semi-obscurity, their copper fur occasionally reflecting the dancing flame of a lamp.
Around 8225 HE*, Mari was destroyed and burnt to the ground by Hammurabi, king of Babylon. What little light there was in the chamber, gave way to complete darkness as the city was abandoned and gradually buried by the wind. In 11937 HE the lions were uncovered by French archeologist André Parrot and his team, at which point the two front parts of the lions were detached from the wall. One was sent to The Louvre in Paris, the other to the National Museum of Aleppo in Syria. The latter has recently been moved to an unknown location for safekeeping.”
*Probably the god Dagan. Archeologists call this temple “the lion temple”.
*HE: Holocene Era or Human Era, is a calendar proposed by scientist Cesare Emiliani in 11993 that adds 10 000 years to the widely used AD. It has for year 0 the approximate start of the Holocene Era and Neolithic revolution (beginning of human civilization), which he believed was more universally relevant as an epoch event than the birth of Jesus. Other advantages include less troublesome calculations of time spans, and a clearer perception of human history.
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