L.A. Corvinus sculps.. Tower of Babel, floor plan
translated by Jean-Jaques Scheuchzer. Physique Sacrée. ou Histoire-Naturelle de la Bible. n.c. : n.p., 1732. Page 0.86, Plate 72
Turris Babel, Sive Archontologia Qua Primo Priscorum post diluvium hominum vita, mores rerumque gestarum magnitudo, Secundo Turris fabrica civitatumque exstructio, confusio linguarum, & inde gentium transmigrationis, cum principalium inde enatorum idiomatum historia, multiplici eruditione describuntur & explicantur.
The Tower of Babel - Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Detail.
The project focuses on the text of Genesis 11, recounting the Tower of Babel myth. Artist used different alphabets, Latin characters and dactylology (or fingerspelling) used in deaf education. The body painted in white serves as paper, hands painted in black as ink. This writing form revisits the myth that languages have been introduced to create confusion among the people. All these tables show faithfully the text of Genesis in English, the language of communication par excellence. The dactylology alphabets make the story less accessible including for deaf people, as it is not the sign language in itself but alphabets that are used to spell words. This writing and this language, English, have the power to connect different worlds but yet, over the tables, the myth of Babel becomes increasingly difficult to decipher. Photographed bodies are also the declensions of Humanity, masculine, feminine, from (W) white to (B) black. (Roughly translated by ARTchipel)
[more Laura Todoran]