Iron structure, wooden board, plaster, resin casts
200 x 160 x 120 cm
The installation consists of remakes of 12 elephant tusks, which have been ornately carved and are part of historical collections. Such tusks have been valuable objects and were given as gift or tribute already in ancient times. With the colonization of the African continent and the Indian subcontinent by England, the Netherlands and Portugal started an industrial production of the precious raw material and the systematically killing of elephants. Growing demand for souvenirs and jewelry made from ebony in the last decades of the 20th century lead to the radical decimation or almost complete extinction of certain elephant populations. Only in the past 20 years growing effort is made to restrict the trade and to fight against the illegal trade with ebony.
The scarce material is attributed with magical might, like indomitable power and potency, but also purity, which lead to a broad use in Christian sacral art.
Such fields of meaning are of great interest for the artist. From them it becomes readable, how a medley of rational and irrational reasoning contributes to the fact, that some materials and objects are considered as precious. So that they are kept, become collected and preserved and are becoming part of a memory, which is based on objects, so that they are part of museum collections.