CHOOSE YOUR MYTH
Geert Mul, 2007
“Choose your myth” is a site-specific installation comprised of a series of pictures and an old church tower. It is a small exploration of the meaning of images, and to what extent their meaning is determined by context. Actually, the work suggests an unambiguous answer to this question: meaning does not exist without context. Images that are meaningful in themselves do not exist. Meaning exists by the grace of context, and context is relative and dynamic.
“Choose your myth” consists of a series of images and a church tower:
-a church tower that no longer belongs to a congregation, but to the city of Amersfoort. The church itself no longer exists. The tower of the church exists only as an image, a concept in the mind of the viewer.
-a collection of portraits of historic and contemporary figures, many religious and/or fictitious, who are all mythologized in one manner or another.
The choice of a church tower and the mythic figures is not coincidental. The church tower lends religious authority to all of the images that appear on it. That works more easily for some images than for others. The portrait of Christ is a self-evident presence on the tower. The portrait of ‘Elvis’ raises questions. Subsequently, the portrait of Christ does too – because what it doing in the midst of a collection which also includes ‘Elvis’ and the Willendorf Venus (a small statuette of a female figure from circa 25,000 BCE)?
-“Choose your myth” places religious images in a cultural context. Is religion a product of culture? Are religious images not pre-eminently the domain of the artist?
-Inversely, “Choose your myth” also places cultural icons in a religious context. Are these indeed figures of flesh and blood, or are they icons in which to believe, and is that where the importance of these figures and their relation to religion lies?
– “Choose your myth’ allows all these portraits to pass in review as a collection, a database with portraits. Is that a critique? Devaluation? Or promotion? And for which figures, specifically?
By posing questions and perhaps facilitating a ‘mind-shift’ on the part of the viewer, the installation “Choose your myth” seeks to provide a modest but relativising contribution to a escape from religious and intellectual extremism.