In 2003, Aphrodite was shown as part of the exhibition „Bees&Balls“ (with Amy Brier) at the Antique Cast Collection, Berlin.
A man-made image of ancient Greece - epitome of harmony - meets a wax structure built by bees, also well-proportioned and harmonious, yet quite different.
The starting point of this series of 25 wax objects by Bärbel Rothhaar were casts of details of the “Crouching Aphrodite“ from the Antique Cast Collection. The artist placed these wax and plaster details into beehives for a period of time, in which they were altered, built upon and sometimes even destroyed. In this process of construction and destruction variations of the same motif were created much like a scientific experiment.
Throughout history, bees have carried a rich symbolism and played a role in the mythological cycle of death and fertility. The artist plays with the notion of the priestess of ancient Aphrodite-temples, also known as “Melissas“, a synonym for the bee.
In the museum where the antique is preserved in the form of pure white casts, the gold-colored, glowing, yet delicate and epheremeral material wax offers a contrast. The preservation of an old culture is juxtaposed with the process-oriented quality of this contemporary artistic concept.
The objects were created with the help of Thomas Schelper and Sandro di Michele (Staatliche Gipsformerei Berlin) as well as the bee keepers Reiter (Brandenburg), Brunner, von Werder and Hofmann (Berlin).