My work deals with the human condition and the search for the roots of evil latent in every human being. I have been working on this subject for couple of years now. Projects like Faces, Ubakagi and Children focused on specific sub-sections of this subject such as war and identity, rapists from the Congo and child abusers. One of my main goals with The Crust was to view the topic of evil on a grander scale. To dig deeper into the origins of the projects mentioned above. However different these projects may look on the surface, their core is the same. They all revolve around us, humans. To understand evil we must understand ourselves.
The Crust project starts with one of the smallest elements of the human body; its DNA and in the final chapter it reaches the infinite universe. I increasingly felt like a scientist staring through his microscope, zooming in closer and closer to uncover the truth and to understand it. This project is sub-divided into 5 chapters. As mentioned above, the first chapter focuses on the DNA and genetic memory in particular. The latter is linked to our ancestral memory. The experiences and memories of our ancestors are hidden in our DNA and now and then they surface in our dreams and moments of dÃ©jÃ vu.Â My query: is it possible to adopt any evil or good characteristics from our ancestors besides memory. Can someoneâ€™s personality be partly defined by his/her ancestors?
The second chapter focuses on life and death, the great metamorphoses. Throughout our lives, from the very beginning until we die, we are exposed to exterior influences that continuously shape us into the human beings we are. Choice is an important factor here, as we can decide what is good or evil, but our surroundings can influence us and our judgment greatly so the boundary between the two becomes diffuse. Sometimes it is hard to see where to go, however it is always our choice to keep forging ahead regardless or wait until we can actually see where weâ€™re going.
This section was based on the biblical story of Eveâ€™s genesis from Adam. There is a clear link with the first chapter, but this time the focus is more on the body as a whole than on its DNA. Throughout history, the female body has always been relegated to second place; the male body being the ideal. Basically in my understanding, our physical and mental forms are two separate worlds that merge in this reality. Our bodies are nothing more than bubbles of skin, muscle, bone, organs, blood, DNA, etc.
The fourth chapter focuses on society and religion. As a society we are responsible for choosing people to watch over us (the police and the army) and we also choose people to punish us. Society plays a major role in how we see reality and it transforms and shifts the boundary between good and evil as well as often clouding our judgment. When it comes to religion there is a clear dichotomy between the messages of the major religions (love and mutual respect) and their practices, (bloodshed and oppression). Greed and control of the masses are obviously powerful temptations. Christianity, for example, is the same and has often been used to justify horrific acts against minorities as well as other Christians.
In the fifth and final chapter, we view the earth from outer space. Here I strive to leave the earthly form behind and visualise transcendence into something more abstract and beyond human. What gives us the right to say there is a God that created us even though we donâ€™t really know what else is out there in the immense universe? There is no heaven, no hell, it is just what we make of it here. To paraphrase Jens BjÃ¸rnboe in History of Bestiality, in this lunatic world between the deadly cold universe and the foaming sea of fire under us there lives â€“quite logically – a lunatic humanity on the very thin Crust that is about to break at any time.