Tiffani Hollis, Artist Statement
Be a Seeker of Wisdom. This is a maxim from the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece. I have it tattooed on my wrist as a reminder to set myself apart in a world where Socrates is virtually unknown by the masses, but Kardashian is a household name.
I am an insatiable student of history, philosophy, and mythology. That which I have learned by seeking wisdom from the greatest minds throughout history inspires me to create art that brings these historical lessons into modern context. It is cliche, but has proved true, that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. In viewing my work and reading the corresponding stories, I encourage you to think deeply about the implications of minimizing the importance of history and philosophy in modern education. I encourage you think about how we have relegated the wisdom of our elders to a level beneath insignificance. Without wisdom there can be no progress.
Destruction of the Goddess
My current series of work is "Destruction of the Goddess". I tie together the back stories of women throughout ancient mythology and folklore to modern day women's issues. I use these stories to demonstrate our lack of progress and to show how women's struggles can make them stronger. In the piece "Rise of the Gorgon", I tell the back story of Medusa. Medusa is commonly known as a fearsome monster from Greek mythology. She was, however, once a beautiful, virgin priestess in the temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Poseidon, god of the sea, raped her in Athena's temple. In her infinite wisdom, Athena punished Medusa. In blaming the victim, Athena made her stronger. She was far more powerful for having been made to suffer than she ever was as a mortal maiden. 4,000 years later, women in modern society still suffer victim-blaming. My intention is that we learn from this story and others like it so that we understand that we can be made stronger for our struggle because in having been broken, we have the ability to rebuild ourselves with a strength we did not previously possess.