Steve Silber

“Prometheus - Giver of Light” 2008



   Freud talks about dreams as scenarios internally created to fulfill what we wish for but cannot or do not manifest in our waking lives.  Mythology aims to fulfill those same gaps with a more coherent narrative than the dream state.  This piece is the beginnings of a desire to investigate and recreate scenes of the oft repeated myth of the hero in bondage, the one who suffers for the good of the populace or a loved one, the martyr.

    This is the beginning of a series of scenes depicting mythical heroes in the throes of their tragic situations, removing the context surrounding their stories, as if these creatures afflictions were less a consequence of their selfless actions, but more a fulfillment of their dreams of struggle, their need for severe physical challenge.  I’m intrigued my an idea that their desire to seek a battle, any battle, is not necessarily motivated out of a need to be just, but to gain the opportunity to prove their worth, to live up to the great potential with which these gods and demi-gods were born.

    I find in this modern existence there are few opportunities in regular day to day life for exhibiting acts of struggle.  Life today is physically easy.  I think of what it would have taken just 100 years ago to make a Big Mac that today can be procured by a vagrant through an afternoon of pan handling.  Back then, there would have to be a butchering of the cow (a huge undertaking), grinding of the meat, milking and making of cheese, growing of lettuce and tomato, harvesting of wheat, grinding the wheat to flour, cultivating of yeast, etc.  With so many automated systems in place for the catering to our biological needs, in today’s world the struggle is more internal.  There is more time to contemplate, more choices to consider.  With this gained knowledge comes both power and consequence.

   The lightbox in this piece contains so many high output white fluorescent bulbs, with no diffusion, that to look upon it directly and not from an angled perspective for a very long, long, extended period of time could possibly even become painful to the eyes to look any further.

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