The art installation is called "The tool of Genesis". It constructed from several primitive objects, and a series of neon lights that form the title of the work, in Romanian, "Instrumentul Genezei". A mirror and two spheres are placed on a box in which I placed a strong light source. I also made a frame that encloses all these objects.
The mirror and the spheres are the main elements of this art installation. The way these objects are arranged and their dimensions resemble a phallus. With the help of the title of this work, I suggest that one of the important "tools" that enabled mankind to multiply and to prosper as a specie, was the male sexual organ, the phallus. One can find frequently in paintings, photographs, or other types of works that illustrate the "origin of the world", depictions of the female genitalias or simply the female form. One of my goals with this project is not to show the origins of the world, but a "tool" used for the perpetuation and evolution of the humanoid species.
The title of the project makes a clear reference to the Book of Genesis from the Bible, where God gave the following command: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it...". And this is what we all did and do, but conditioned by evolution, natural selection and our genes, not by a deity. Another way to interpret my art installation is in the form of an interrogation: what tool did God use to create the world?
Perhaps the central object of this art installation is the mirror. I used a mirror to suggest that each viewer passing by can find himself or herself in it, or relate to, in some form or another, with the subject matter. The mirror integrates the image of the beholder in the subject of the project. By viewing yourself on a mirror that symbolizes an erect phallus, you immediately realize that the art installation speaks of you as well, or about everyone. Human beings are sexual, regardless of race, gender, disabilities, religion and education. In our everyday existence, we are more or less influenced by our own sexual instincts and impulses. We also intensely exploit our sexual interests and weaknesses through mass-media and advertisements. The spheres and the mirror are projected on the surface of the wall, as dark contours. In this way I point out the influence of sexuality on the various planes of existence of every human, other than the obvious ones. The contours are like "footprints" or "marks".
The main objects of the art installation sit on a box. It can be perceived as the scrotum. It has a large opening through which we can see a bright light. Inside the box I placed an intense light source to suggest that in some cultures it was believed that people have a sexual energy. In some of these cultures, this sexual energy was treasured. The light inside can be interpreted in other ways well. For example, it can represent the source of energy for life, for future generations. Most mammals have their testicles inside the scrotum. However, the testicles are outside the box to emphasize their important role in procreation, and to put an emphasis on "to have balls" expression, which means to have courage.
On a close inspection, you can see that the scrotum box is deeper than the floor and it exceeds the wall limit. It is integrated in the structure of the room. In this way I try to point out that sexuality is an integral part of the human existence. It is a part our "fabric", and it cannot be suppressed or removed without endangering the person's life. Sexual rites, performed in some cults, were a way to transcend the secular plane and to celebrate deities of fertility.
The frame of the art installation is intended to be a delimitation from the rest of the room. People often avoid being open about sex and sexuality. Despite how important and defining for human existence it is, sexuality is a very private matter for people, and it is often treated as a taboo. The frame may be seen as a closed door. In some cultures, people are expected to open this door, to explore their sexuality.
At the top of the image, we see a series of neon lights that form the title of this project: "Instrumentul Genezei" (The tool of Genesis). Almost all of the neon lights are off, yet a few are on. The brightly lit neons make-up two words: MEN and ZEI (Gods). This is an interlingual pun. In this way I stress that men are "the tool of Genesis". By associating the word MEN with ZEI (Gods), I make a connection with the Abrahamic religions, where God is assumed to be a man. These are monotheistic, patriarchal religions. In cultures based on patriarchal religions, the man has a greater precedence in situations deemed to be significant. Women are considered even in present days as the weaker sex by many men in the western and eastern cultures. In the past, women had no say and had to listen to men only. To conclude, with MEN, ZEI, I try to draw attention to the misogyny that is still present in our days in some social groups or even at institutional levels, in some countries, and to point out that this misogyny has its origins from the first chapters of the Bible, in Genesis. It is endorsed and perptuated by our main traditional religions: islam, christianity and judaism. The woman received the following order from God: "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you". Governments, administrations and corporations are still dominated by men. Very few women world-wide are in leadership or administrative positions.
In the title constructed with neon lights, the letters S, U, G, I are underlined with small red neon lights. From Romanian to English, it roughly translates to "suck it". Given the context, it suggests the tendency to sexualize and objectify women in patriarchal societies.