Steve Silber

“Prometheus” 2008

Contained within the story of Prometheus and his gift of fire are notions supporting fire as a blessing and a burden.  This champion of humanity and giver of light was doomed to a life of entrapment and torture.  The punishment for this gift: the deterioration of the physical body in a violent discourse with nature.  He was chained to a mountain top by Zeus where by day his flesh would be burned by the sun, and by night his intestines would be torn apart by an eagle. Ever since, light and goodness has been a symbol of both intellect and omnipotence; darkness and evil a symbol of our natural existence as flesh and matter.

This work was originally created as a diptych. On the left, a two-sided 5‘x5’ wood panel depicting an image of Prometheus made by drilling hundreds of holes in a wooden panel. On the right, two back to back video screens, one depicting a close-up video of my eyeball forcefully held open continuously for one hour as I stared at the sunrise and the other of vultures feasting on a corpse.

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