Keren – Sculpture by Addé 2018
Keren, in Hebrew, originally means horn.
Perceived as animals’ weapons, the horns were a strong symbol of power and strength, attributed to warriors, heroes, and kings, and metaphorically as rays of light, ending with a mistranslation giving horns to Moses, a grotesque error.
Not only a symbol, the horn is presumably the most ancient sound instrument, together with the conch.
Later, much later, it was copied and adapted to the oliphant, an ivory horn made from ivory tusk.
Remarkably, the term is still in use for musical instruments, with «the Horns» naming both the brass family among which is the cornet (from latin cornua, «horn») and the woodwinds to which the saxophone family belongs (not to the brass) hence the reed.
Today, there are vestigial uses of horn, the most ancient one has now become a hand sign for rock’n roll, but originally meaning «cuckold» from the legend of the Minotaur.
Still in use in Italy, Spain, and Greece, as an insult (do not hand sign R’n R there).
We have kept the adjective «horny» meaning concupiscent, with a bundle of correlations, all in connection with the bull, its horns, and its sexual stamina.
Last but not least, the devil is not only horny, but carries the full list of sins. The horns he sports belong to his original form: in ancient Greek religion and mythology, later adopted by the Romans, Pan was the god of the wild, of nature and countryside.
In the first centuries of Christian expansion, a term was needed to qualify the non-believers, and the Latin paganus, meaning peasant was chosen to forge the word pagan incarnated by Pan, to become the image of the devil.
Standing as a symbol of strength and light, this sculpture is a potential trophy.