Serpent and Lily, 2018
violin bow, human hair
Serpent and Lily (2018-), is a creative research about the materiality of death in hair. It is a project about cutting off hair to construct a violin bow and derives its name from the first published book by Nikos Kazantzakis’ Serpent and Lily (1906). In Serpent and Lily (1906) the author commits himself with a diary, and is found in love and death. His love for an Irish woman begins to take over his rational thought, and his passion against corruption. For Nikos Kazantzakis, the erotic love found in Serpent and Lily (1906) was associated with physical pain, desires, and violent afflictions of the mind. Kazantzakis affiliates himself with a serpent lusting for the lily, and his youth tangles among the urgency of love, passion, and fantasy. In some extent, Serpent and Lily may relate to Judith Thomson’s violinist thought experiment concerning moral issues about abortion and the right of life of the innocent. In this thought experiment Thomson imagines from one end a famous violinist who has a rare kidney disease and he will soon die if he is not treated. On the other end, Thomson imagines the other person who can save the life of the violinist. The story Thomson tells is that the person who can save the violinist’s life was kidnapped and was taken to the hospital where he is undertaking the first phase of the organ transplantation to save the violinist’s life, but without their conscious consent. When the person wakes up at the hospital, they find themselves in an accusing situation where they have to decide: (a) whether they will undergo the organ transplant and save someone’s life and (b) their right to decide what can be done with their body. Both decisions carry an emotional baggage and an unresolved moral dilemma. The project is a symbolic act towards the above issues.
The artwork participated at artist Solo Exhibition at the Theatre Academy – University of the Arts Helsinki in 2019, and at the performance “Mind Split = Siamese Twins” held at Universum Teatteri in Helsinki in 2020.