Step-by-Step Ascension to Paradise

Paradise Gardens, Vogelfrei VI, Darmstadt, Germany

Outdoor installation in collaboration with Janet Davidson-Hues. 20 x 3.5 FT. Site specific. Mixed media: digital prints, poly poplin fabric, rope. As Jacob dreamed of a ladder by which angels ascended and descended between heaven and earth, so too visitors to our garden were able to experience the transcendence from the earthly garden in which they stand to the Garden of Eden by way of visually ascending the rungs of an escape ladder which leaned against the house of our garden. Each rung suggests the sequential progression of the narrative of the fall of mankind by a photograph depicting each stage of the drama inserted into the space between rungs, resembling an oversized filmstrip. The seven steps symbolize the seven levels of consciousness, the seven virtues, the seven days in a week, the seven seas, the seven deadly sins, the seven last words, and as we have constructed, the seven chapters of the narrative of the fall from grace by Adam and Eve. The couple, naked and innocent, are tempted by the snake; they partake of the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, committing the original sin; they are ashamed; they are punished by a lifetime of pain, hard labor, illness, and death; they are expulsed from the Garden of Eden.