The Snake is part of a new series of works about the Fall of man from the Biblical paradise, Eve who got temped by the Snake and who, in turn, temped Adam to eat form the forbidden apple.
Currently, I am working on a series of works on Paradise, the story of Adam and Eve, and Original Sin about contemporary subjects. An important starting point here is what effect the Bible story still has in our Western society today. In Paradise, the devil, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve to take a bite of the forbidden apple, then Eve seduced Adam, resulting in both being banished from Paradise. In short, this story has had the effect that for centuries women have been labeled as cunning, seductive, and deep down as not to be trusted. It was the woman’s fault that Paradise became a thing of the past. It all happened to Adam, and really couldn’t help it; he was tempted and couldn’t resist the temptation. Today we see this reflected in how women are treated when they report misconduct and how they must defend themselves against misconduct. Victim blaming comes from here, among other things. Have you been harassed? Was your skirt not too short? You must have asked for it. Whatever happens to the woman, she has indirectly proclaimed about herself, because she must have behaved wrongly (too ‘seductive’, etc.), instead of looking at the perpetrator. If the woman had behaved differently, this injustice would not have been done to her. So it’s the woman’s fault. The worst form of this I’ve encountered was after the disappearance of Anne Faber, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered while cycling. According to anonymous people on the internet, it would be her fault, because ‘she should not have gone cycling in the woods’… Another example of today’s society in which women are seen as cunning and seductive and the man as wimpy ignoramuses is when an affair comes to light: often ‘the other woman’ is regarded as the culprit: she should not have made it with a married man. It is often forgotten to look at the married man, who was also present during this whole process of infidelity. Yet more often the woman is blamed than the adulterous man.
Photos: Peter Tijhuis
This object is sold, collection Museum W, Weert