Expulsion from paradise


The lost sculpture featuring Adam was a twin piece to an image of Eve that likewise does not survive. A wide straddle, arms flung up, and the bowed torso convey Adam’s resistance to the divine force expelling him from Paradise. The rough texture conveys the physical strain which, coming forth from inside the body, literally bursts apart the agitated flesh. This is no superficial impressionistic sketch dictated by some real-life experience, but an image of deep emotional shock, and convulsions of the mind, rendered in a manner close to the expressionistic. However, the resistance of Adam’s mind and body is ineffective: like a sail swollen with wind, the arc of his body, reluctantly succumbing to an unknown force, gravitates in the ordained direction. The anguish of the fall from grace ushers in a new era – the birth of humankind. The sculpture’s emotional charge is tragic, nearly eschatological, but also futuristic, both in terms of the dynamics of the forms and the substance of the image. The incompleteness of the forms leaves the dialectics of the currents of meaning open to all sorts of interpretation.

 

Brief annotations to the image

EXPULSION FROM PARADISE is an episode in the Old Testament, following the story of  Adam’s and Eve’s fall when they disobeyed God’s instruction and ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil growing in the Garden of Eden: “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis .3:22-24).