Thursday, April 10, 2014

the four idols

Idol of the Cave #1  Saffran 2014  19" x 26" sewn photographs  $350

detail Idol of the Cave #1  saffran 2014

detail Idol of the Cave #1  saffran 2014

Idol of the Cave #2  Saffran  2014 19" x 26" sewn photographs  $350

detail Idol of the Cave #2  saffran  2014

Idol of the Theater #1  Saffran 2014  19" x 13"  NFS

Idol of the Theater #2  Saffran 2014 19" x 13"  sewn photograph NFS

detail Idol of the Theater #2  saffran 2014

Francis Bacon, a 17th century English statesman, penned his belief that unless something could be proven true through rigorous scientific experimentation it was simply the erroneous product of a faulty belief system. 

In the second book of his Advancement of Learning  Bacon describes what he believed to be the main hindrances to human understanding.  His Four Idols  are specific ways in which we delude ourselves.  Bacon labels these idols as Idols of the Tribe, Idols of the Cave, Idols of the Market Place and Idols of Theatre.  They all reflect the underlying ascertain that our attachment to religion, philosophy, communication and tradition distort any real understanding of the world. 

I don't think science can explain the truth of our lives, but the idea that we delude ourselves into a false sense of "knowing" through the philosophies we adopt, fits into my current investigation of the afterlife.  In trying to figure out what I believe about death and life I have been reading and thinking about the ways religion, culture and philosophy explain what happens after death.

I use the Four Idols as a structure to push against.  The images above are from an initial investigation into the idea of false worship and how this false worship keeps us in a dark cave.  They are visual reverberations from my attempt to move out of the dark and accept the uncomfortable truth that some questions will never have answers.  Perhaps the 5th idol should be The Idol of Science.

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