THE FIRST MAN2015Sculpture
235 cm x 135 cm x 195 cm
The title of this mixed media installation is an antithetical reference to Friedrich Nietzsche’s “last man” described as a human being with no thumotic aspirations, filled with resentment, who has abandoned the vertical tensions of anger and pride, accepting the flattening horizon of a life without passion. The First Man is another migration of the 3D avatar, this time into a sculpture, thus making the figure of Fukuyama a totemic giant. In naming the piece The First Man, CHTO suggests a new beginning, a rebirth of History, not as past, but as future. In contrast with Raining Man and The Fall of Fukuyama where no death is to be seen, where the fall never ends, in this piece, the death scene is actually shown. Here, the first man has eventually crashed onto the debris of the metallic structures of the World Trade Center. Perspective is distorted, as the totem appears bigger than the huge remains of 9.11. By replacing the bodies of the innocent victims with a giant reproduction of a dying Fukuyama, the artist displays the death of the “last man” in an attempt to create a symbol for the world after. A death that is a beginning, ruins that are also a foundational moment. The title is a reference not only to Nietzsche, but also to Albert Camus’s last novel, Le premier homme. Although the book remained unfinished at the author’s premature death, it feels perfectly complete, a goal achieved. In these terms, The First Man can be regarded as a work about the intrinsic potentiality of unachievement.