Homo Sapiens af Jens Galschiøt
Homo Sapiens - 2018
The sculpture installation consists of 22 unique copper sculptures that vary in height from 180 up to 225 cm. They are characterized by a sketchy modelling with the appearance of fine details and an almost organic surface. In some of them you will see large portions of the human body. The others, the body will almost disappear in the material.
The sculptures are in a limbo between construction and deconstruction.
The 22 sculptures are all made of copper with an inner core of stainless steel/concrete mounted on a steel base of 80 x 80 x 10 cm.
Weight: The sculptures weigh the 300-500 kg piece. The height vary, the highest of approx.. 225 cm.
Lighting technology: Each sculpture has an LED spot mounted on the socket. The spot is a 60 W RGBW with motorized angle from 4.5 to 45 degrees. All the spotting are controlled by a DMX system, and each group of sculptures has its own computer-light modeling the light individually on each sculpture as well as modeling an overall expression.
Public spaces: The sculptures are intended for public spaces and are therefore fairly secured to avoid vandalism
They stand tall, tall and look out towards the horizon
They are strong in their pride and foundation, but they are under attack and their physical form are in dissolution. Their trembling expressions, their deep and cracked surfaces, sends colored waves of longing and frustration into the skies against the God, who shaped them from clay thousands of years ago. The edition, the version we knew so well and were so comfortable with, is changing. We have changed and we have changed the world around us! The material is still the same, but as the world has changed, we have also. We had to -or did we? And where are we heading?
In surrounding landscapes there are substantial traces from a distant past
From the red clay cliffs, created 25,000 years ago, thousands of fossils of living organisms greet us, being the livelihood and basis for existence for some of the first homo sapiens. Fragments of nature have been preserved in the fossilized state, but man has changed and still does. Our brains, our behavior, our feelings are like the colored LED spots. We alternate in strength, in energy and change ourselves, but often at a rate that is hidden for both our surroundings and for ourselves. The change is slow and almost invisible, but it’s there!
Technology has taken us by the hand a long time ago
We gave it a millimeter as it was convenient and made our lives and our world easier. It then was given a meter and another meter. The question is now how far we should allow technology to take us? It was given a power over our lives and a role we had never dreamed of. And we let it happen.
We try to build the bridge
and hold onto some of virtues, methods and habits from the past, not to end up as technical experiments and a worse version of ourselves. We have already become addicted to the superiority of the mobile and cyberspace life. So what’s next? Dare we say yes to more?
The modern world manipulates, lures and tempt us
with good deals on a daily basis, presenting happiness disguised as technology. New nose, new breasts, new eyesight, new brain or maybe new perfect successors … design your own children! With genes of your choice, you can give your children all the prerequisites for success.
And immortality is also on its way
so if you’re fond of yourself, your new lips, your home-designed children, the opportunity for eternal life in the company of these children will be present soon. The striving for the magic, immortality, perfection and the dream of this, gives true nutrition to the technological scientists, who predict, they can reprogram your stone age-like software in the near future.
The question is whether we should clap our hands
in tribute to technological progress, or must we pull the brake with our clay-made hands and go speak with the devil himself. The other side of the coin is dominant, fearful and without ethical and human concern! Truly the human is changing – at a slow speed. But changing our basic conditions, our substance or our criterion for happiness, can bring humanity on to an insurmountable sidetrack by digging existing gabs even bigger and deeper instead of making the bridge of solidarity and sense of community stronger,
bridge of solidarity and sense of community stronger,
If our children are cloned into infallible Super humans who are only in social interaction with other humans mirroring themselves, if our basic material; the clay we are made of, is not exactly the same, the foundation for our coexistence vanish too.
Throughout earth’s history of development, the random genetic deviation and error is exactly what have created and defined the diverse life surrounding us. Will humans control over this create an equally large diversity, or will it create alignment and predictability?
Change is good and it is a basic condition, but it is only conducive to humanity if primarily constructive and not degrading. Constructive if it brings humans together instead of causing division. The tall, arched sculptures are happy as well as unhappy facing their external and internal change, and they worry for their basic substance, the clay.
Text by religious historian Hanne Bjørnsen and Jens Galschiøt.