Made on Earth

In many religions stones are considered the bones of the earth. In the myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, after the flood, one couple had survived, but they were too old to have children. Zeus ordered them to throw stones behind them and the stones which Deucalion threw over his head became men, while the stones that Pyrrha threw became women. Hence people were called metaphorically “laos” (=people) from “laas” (=stone).
Australian aborigines believe that dead ancestors continue to exist in stones as virtuous powers. If these stones are rubbed, one’s power increases. And C.G. Jung believed that stones symbolized our innermost center – complete, unchanging and lasting. It represents the experience of something eternal, moments of immortality.
But there is also a negative side. From ancient times until nowadays, throwing stones has had a different meaning as well: it is connected to hatred and destruction. Perhaps the stone was the first weapon to be used by humans.

Made on Earth is a short history about the relationship between humankind and the “bones of the earth”.
The video consists in two parts. The first, The Woods So Wild, starts with images of an incontaminated forest. On the background one hears only the sound of birds. This quiet and pleasant atmosphere is interrupted by stones which are catapulted towards the spectator, accompanied by sounds echoing modern weapon explosions. This scene evolves into a sequence of war images, coming from different times and places, which follow the rhythm of the weapon sounds in march tempo.
The title of the second part of the video is The Towers of Silence. It reminds of the rites of the Parsis in India, who believe that earth, fire and water are sacred elements and shouldn’t be desecrated by death. Therefore the Parsis leave their dead on top of high stone towers, open to the sky, called the Towers of Silence, so that vultures can eat the corpses as they dry in the sun. In Maria Korporal’s video this cult place takes the form of a nebulous space with infinite ruins. The stony surfaces are overlapped by dead images, which dissolve very slowly like memories of past times. Then the solitary stone reappears. In a slow process of transformation it presents us with the image that man created of himself, his endlessly reflecting mirror.

medium: digital animation with sound; available on DVD (Pal and Ntsc) and VHS (Pal)
length: 11’00”
year: 2004
© Maria Korporal

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.