Cornelia stoop

Female figure

Look, see!

Dualism a concept championed by Descartes, maintains that thought and consciousness is a phenomena separate from the body. This philosophy is still commonly held today. Animals are merely seen as complex machines without consciousness.

Contemporary neuroscience explores how the anatomical, material properties of the brain itself give rise to what we perceive as consciousness. It is postulated that our conscious selves arise because of, and not in spite of Descartes’ “beast machine”1. Much of our physiology is shared with other animals. All living creatures have a shared experience of life.

The artwork depicts an invitation to contemplate our place as a species in the universe. It begs for the recognition of the brilliance of other species within the ecologies that surrounds and permeates us.

Sun and clouds

A girl carries flocks of sheep. The flocks of sheep are on the move, along with the girl. She becomes the sun while the sheep become clouds.

There is an emphasis on the natural but fragile subjectivity of the individual. She -the sun- is the center around which her world revolves. Yet our subjective world is fragile. The sheep are ethereal clouds that might disappear into the blue. The flock is a source of comfort in its familiarity, but it also obscures the sun.

The artwork refers to infinite movement. Regardless of the aggregation of elements, the whole is never sedentary. Constant movement and continual flux are the order of the day.

Atlas

In Greek mythology the Titan, Atlas, is sentenced to hold up the heavens for eternity 2.

The figurine looks childlike, and yet she carries the name Atlas. She represents future generations who has been condemned to “hold up the cosmos” in the face of an apocalyptic Anthropocene. Yet she is an aspiring traveler of the stars. The Protea in her hair is a reminder of home.

Baboons waltz

The sculpture depicts a somewhat awkward dance between a girl and a baboon.

We have severed ourselves from nature by denying that material properties of the brain itself give rise to what we perceive as consciousness. We are now engaged in an awkward dance with the contemplation of our evolutionary origins.

Contemporary neuroscience explores how the anatomical, material properties of the brain itself give rise to what we perceive as consciousness. It is postulated that our conscious selves arise because of, and not in spite of Descartes’ “beast machine”1. Much of our physiology is shared with other animals. Through this lens we can regain a sense of oneness with life around us.

  1. The royal institution.2017, Feb1. The neuroscience of consciousness- Anil Seth. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRel1JKOEbI
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, September 26). Titan (mythology). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:32, September 26, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Titan_(mythology)&oldid=917997202