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The Myth


The Tomb of Nahtaivel was inspired by the role of mythology art and culture. The first step in our process was to conceive our own myth.

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The Myth


The Tomb of Nahtaivel was inspired by the role of mythology art and culture. The first step in our process was to conceive our own myth.

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, just after the world was created, the god of the earth and the universe bore two children from the same womb, a powerful sorceress, Erodea and a great beast, Nahtaivel. The god of the earth split the planet into two parts, one for each of his children to rule; Erodea ruled the earth and its twelve tribes of men while Nahtaivel ruled the sea and all its creatures. However, a condition was placed on the ruling: if one was to slay the other, the slain would be put to rest and the slayer would be bound to its tomb as the protector for eternity.

Nahtaivel ruled the sea with wrath and took many lives from land. Seeing them suffer, Erodea grew compassionate. One day leaders of the three most prominent tribes, the Coolradians, Witnedias, and the Macdoltons approached her and begged for help in defeating the terrible beast. She agreed to help them under one condition, that they would build a proper tomb for the beast and pay homage to it, remembering the power that once existed and the struggle it took to overcome it. The leaders agreed and went into battle.

Erodea called upon her cousin, the god of fire for assistance. Together they formed a plan with one of Nahtaivel’s most trusted sirens, who grew sympathetic towards mankind. She lured the beast out of the water and onto land with her powerful voice. Once on land, Nahtaivel awoke from his hypnotized state to see his cousin sending out a raging flame. The beast caught fire and the witch leaped into the flame, their bodies turned to ash as their spirits intertwined.

As time passed, the earth dried up beneath the skeleton of the beast. As promised, the twelve tribes banned together to create a thriving community where all humans could coexist and built a great tomb for Nahtaivel, paying homage to the struggle, the sacrifice, the good it ultimately created.

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Story Telling


Next we designed the interactivity of the piece, which is based on the traition that has preserved mythology for centuries. Story telling.

Story Telling


Next we designed the interactivity of the piece, which is based on the traition that has preserved mythology for centuries. Story telling.

The Tomb of Nahtaivel is an immersive sculpture that engages both the body and mind of its spectators. The tomb, being both a representation of overcoming great struggle and a reminder of the importance of interconnectivity and community, shares its story with a code, etched into its walls. Decoders located around the interior help participants decipher the tale of the Nahtaivel. 

 
 1 of 4 panels containing the story of the Nahtaivel

1 of 4 panels containing the story of the Nahtaivel

 
 
 Decoder

Decoder

 
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The Structure


The structure itself is neogothic in style. It has 3 main components: the tower, the chamber and the skeleton of the beast.

The Structure


The structure itself is neogothic in style. It has 3 main components: the tower, the chamber and the skeleton of the beast.

The chamber of the Tomb is made of four decorative CNC plasma cut steel panels and four arches, supported by a modular steel structure. A cryptic code is cut into the walls of the sculpture for participants to deciper, using decoders placed around the chamber. The skull of the beast sits on a podium at the center of the base. The spine and ribs of the beast wrap around the upper tower, which is supported by neo-gothic flying buttresses.  

 All elements (asides from skull and skeleton) create a modular steel structure with heavily rated bolt connections with anchor points at the bases of the tower and buttresses. All structural elements of this piece have been designed with specific consideration for ease of transportation and installation while maintaining structural integrity.

Renderings by Rhizome NYC

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The Build


The Tomb of Nahtaivel was fabricated in pieces in Brooklyn and then driving across the country to Black Rock City, NV where it made its debut in August 2017.

The Build


The Tomb of Nahtaivel was fabricated in pieces in Brooklyn and then driving across the country to Black Rock City, NV where it made its debut in August 2017.

 Photography by Cameron Michael

Photography by Cameron Michael