In this installation, artist Marisa Morán Jahn and architect Rafi Segal imagine that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and copper, has bestowed us three gifts that extend our digital, corporeal and libidinal selves.
Each gift is a different copper-based device used to regulate and enable desire from antiquity to the present: a contemporary IUD (intrauterine device) used by 170 million women across the world today, an ancient copper-based contraceptive device (“pessary”) from 400 BCE, and a motherboard, used in personal computers. Together, the three artifacts present a fascinating story of extimacy—the mediation of intimacy through technology—and the continuum between flesh and earth. Altogether these three gifts sensitize us to desire—and its regulation—as a way of knowing ourselves, each other, and our environs. Copper, then, is situated as a gift from the gods and yet already an element that lives with(in) us.
This installation is one component of SNATCHural History of Copper, a larger body of work that began when Jahn discovered that her IUD is made from copper, prompting her to embark on a journey to trace “where the copper in my snatch comes from”.
Gifts of Earth and Extimacy is a site-specific installation presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Future is Female, which explores intersections between female identity, mythology, the natural world, and power.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Marisa Morán Jahn’s artworks redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum). Of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Jahn has presented work at Obama’s White House, United Nations, Creative Time, Tribeca Film Festival, ArtBrussels, and more. She teaches courses on the art of extimacy, bootlegs, and daemons at MIT (her alma mater), The New School, and Columbia University.
Rafi Segal is an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT where he also directs the Future Urban Collectives. Segal has exhibited his work at Storefront for Art and Architecture; KunstWerk, Berlin; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Venice Biennale of Architecture; Museum of Modern Art; and the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Urbanism Biennale.