From: Genesis 3

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Description of the project Genesis 3

The first book of the Old Testament is Genesis. The third part of the book tells the story of Adam and Eve. Mythological history of man starts with a bite of the apple and the banishment from the Garden of Eden.
Everyone knows the story and many know the consequences it has had for the development of history; the inherent guilt of people, the responsibility for the way of the world and the relationship between man and woman. The story is both known in the Judea-Christian tradition as well as in the Islamic.

It may be said the story offers a common ground in the communication between various cultural groups who usually may have trouble communicating.

In addition Genesis 3 is a story with a very dramatic turn and it’s constructed of metaphors that still haven’t lost their strength. It’s all about temptation, shame, desire and mortality/ immortality.

The art project Genesis 3 of artist Anne Verhoijsen takes back the public to the moment Adam and Eve are being enticed by the serpent.
In interviews that were both held in the Netherlands as well as abroad people are asked about their opinion on the story of Genesis 3. The interviews show how people nowadays relate to the story of Eve and the apple.

The questions posed, are:
– What is your first association with the apple?
– Which role would you choose if you had been in paradise at the time? (Adam, Eve, God, the serpent or the devil)
– What would you do if the apple would be offered to you?

The performance.
In a specially designed pavilion people are being asked to project themselves in the old myth.
The pavilion is a pentagon shaped space with in it a lower cube shaped part where the performance takes place.
A woman sits in the pavilion and listens to the story of the visitor. After the two minutes of the hourglass have passed she offers him/her an apple.

In the pavilion people are being given the choice. It is a choice that has to be followed by a decision. The physical act leaves a lasting impression.

The project is realised in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Sarajevo, Latvia, Rome,Venlo and Istanbul.
The Amsterdam-Sarajevo-Istanbul axis is a geographical and symbolical reflection of the ambitions of the project. The secularized freethinking moral of Amsterdam compared to Istanbul with her Islamic tradition. Somewhere in the middle of it is Sarajevo, which until recently was the political scene of a physical collision between these religious and ideological structures of religion. At the basis of all this is the peculiar image of a woman with an apple in her hand.
In the situation of Adam and Eve, what would we have done?

By posing the ancient question in a ritual and symbolical way Genesis 3 places everyone for the primal dilemma of our culture; do you want to stay in paradise, innocent as a child, but at the same time knowing you’ll be cut off from the real world? Or do you instead of obediently relying on God’s command want to take control and find out about what’s good or evil for yourself?

The participants are being asked to make a decision and to explain themselves in a short time span. In this way there is a great chance they will continue to think about the subject after leaving the pavilion.

Above all the short moment of imagining being in the situation is a challenge for the public to not only read the Bible and Koran in their own way, but to rewrite the Books personally.

On the Poetry International in Rotterdam (2005) Genesis 3 was present and published a paper about the project. In it are the contributions of participants of the performances in Amsterdam en Sarajevo.

During the Biennale in Istanbul the project has been realised in cooperation with the organisation KOLEKTIF in Istanbul.
The project until so far has been financially made possible by the VSB fund, ECF (European Cultural Foundation), Stichting Cultuurfonds van de Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten, Stichting Rotterdam, Maurits van Kattendijke Stichting, Mondriaan Foundation, the Dutch embassy in Sarajevo and the Vermeulen Brauckman stichting.

But the project got its lustre foremost thanks to all who enthusiastically worked on the project selflessly.

The Genesis 3 Locations (Click to visit Google Maps):