Babylon was a living performance piece. It was active between 2003 and 2009. It was created and destroyed many times changing its appearance as it modeled the chronological progression of Mesopotamian history. The piece culminated as a 7 foot tall tower of babel surrounded by 120 skyscrapers. The real story of Babylon continues today. Babylon is Iraq. Babylon is the history of civilization layer upon layer creating and destroying itself over and over again.
The project was financed by “citizen patrons” who owned pieces of real estate within the miniature world of Babylon. It is now in storage awaiting a suitable home.
The final Babylon
The Babylon Project is unveiled at The California Building Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis, The gallery is attached to my home studio. More than 200 guests attend and more than 50 become citizen patrons paying between $300 and $7500 in support of the project. Babylon is 20 feet long and 8 feet wide it is made of clay.
The piece is modeled on the confluence of the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers in ancient Mesopotamia. I call it Eden.
The proto-literate Sumerian culture gives birth to western civilization I create thousands of miniature buildings in a city modeled on ancient Ur the first city.
The city has grown into a well built urban center.
On April 20 I celebrate an ‘Akitu” a yearly festival of rebirth practiced in ancient Mesopotamia, dancers entertain the waiting crowds.
But then in a performance I become the destroyer and climb up onto the city destroying all I have created.
The ruins are devastating.
But a new city Akkad is reborn from the rubble and over the next year it matures.
Akkad includes the Temple of Marduk and dozens of other elaborate structures.
The first Tower of Babel appears under the guidance of Hamurabbi.
April 22 2005 another Akitu is celebrated.
Again I destroy all I have created.
Again the ruins are total without regard to saving the precious work previously created.
But again Babylon rises larger and more beautiful than before.
The second Tower of Babel is twice as large and far more elaborate.
High Babylon is achieved.
A news article cover story in a local business journal compares the piece with the living city Minneapolis wher the project is created.
But once again all is destroyed in the ritual Akitu.
The parched ruins are left as if in sleep buried in time.
I am defeated.
Secretly I rebuild Babylon once again. This time she is 10 feet tall and surrounded by skyscrapers from our world.
This final Babylon is not destroyed and is now in storage awaiting a rebirth, Babylon is Mesopotamia which is Iraq this is the story of creation and destruction across big time.
Performed as a work of process art.