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When you turn away from the halls of dinosaurs and other creatures of the past and turn left you find yourself in an altogether different part of the museum. This is the part where I usually go to in the end, after I looked at and drank up all the information of dinosaurs and the Precambrian creatures like someone dying of thirst.

Here it is lighter and there are more glass cases. Here there are no giant remains of ancient monsters but the remains of pottery, weapons and human bones. Nothing here is grand and everything is broken. It is the objects archaeologists found in the ground and most things here are not very old in comparison to the rooms of the dinosaurs. But within a human life span the things in here, the span of their existence, is unattainable for the human mind to understand.

In the middle of one of the rooms there is a black cube. A futuristic artificial space standing out among all the neo baroque architecture. You can go inside and for a moment you are swallowed by shadows of the past but once you get used to the darkness there is one object more precious and sacred than all the giant fossils of the Mesozoic era. Golden light shines upon a little sculpture, created over twenty-three thousand years ago. It is the Venus of Willendorf most precious because she survived for so long, crafted by humans of a forgotten world where no memory can go back to. Made out of light brown stone her body appears very round and voluptuous, a round intricate head, big breasts and a round body underneath. She is the idea of fertility. She is that memory, of that time, a work of art that holds the thousands of years of humankind together, from before the ice age, to the ancient civilisations up until to the modern times. She was there and she was not. She was never alive but our minds poured life into her like ammonites filled their empty chambers with water.

She is us and we are her, she was there before us and she will be there after us. Giant bones amaze the world but little things do too. It is not our remains but the remains of art that will make the creatures of the future wonder of how we might have looked like and what artistic fingers shaped these remains of humankind.

2 comments on “Treasures of the Past, Part III: Venus

  1. gerhard sagt:

    Well written, I never heard this before …. in addition, it is an incredibly strong figure in terms of formal quality, as it is not about illusionism but about the idea, which gives you freedom in design.
    This kind of approach is a hallmark of every large sculpture, no matter how small …

    toll geschrieben, habe ich noch nicht so gedacht….ist darüber hinaus auch eine unglaublich starke figur in formaler hinsicht, da es nicht um die abbildung sondern um die Idee geht, das verschafft Freiheit beim Gestalten.
    Diese Art der Herangehensweise ist Kennzeichen jeder großen Skulptur, auch wenn sie noch so klein ist….

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  2. Die formale plastische, rund-skulpturale Qualität dieser Figuren ist bei fast allen neolitischen Figuren sehr hoch: Venus vom Hohlefels, Venus von Moravany, Venus von Dolní Věstonice, Venus von Amiens-Renancourt etc.
    Wahrscheinlich der spirituell magischen bedeutung geschuldet.

    The formal, plastic, round-sculptural quality of these figures is very high in almost all Neolithic figures: Venus vom Hohlefels, Venus von Moravany, Venus von Dolní Věstonice, Venus von Amiens-Renancourt etc.
    Probably due to the spiritually magical meaning.

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