This piece shows the perspective of two soldiers fighting, in a charred surrounding.
This piece shows the perspective of two soldiers fighting, in a charred surrounding. One of the two (the right) is wearing a combat uniform, and one (the left) is bare-chested. The soldiers on both sides are painted in stark black, and one has a white ghillie hat on his head, while the other has a sign with a white-striped HIDDEN BUCKLE on his bare crotch. In the background, two roll-down holes are cut out of a nightstand. The only piece that can be seen, literally, is the window from which the two figures are silhouetted. Nevertheless, this window is lined with broken glass, which indicates the obliteration of this supposedly inconsequential scene. Although the visible re-presentation of a corpse does not take place in the space of the real world, rather, the sense of alienation and alienation is evoked by this material. Here the vanishing of the body was a motif in the work that was transfigured into a sign of the world. In this way the situation of the observer is altered by this history of violence. Here, the dead and wounded are presented as the witness to the very rituals that are now fading into history. This event of a violent re-presentation takes place in a place of military occupation, a space that has been transformed into a site of tragedy. It is a re-presentation of violence that contradicts the act of violence.The works through which such violence is indicated are divided into two parts: book and screen. In Book: The Table and the Table (all works 1992), a golden book is perched on a stand. On the table behind the book is a screen of gray text that becomes an interpretation of the text as a black screen. On the table is a bronze plaque bearing the inscription DEATH IN LIFE. In this way, the page is a reader, a seat, a mediator. This image of the text as the rhetoric of the silent struggle is transformed into a sign of the reality of death.
The upper one has just been cut off by a rifle butt, and the lower one is made of branches, still wet from the blood that dripped from the soldiers mouth when they were shot. The soldier speaks of a search that began with a tank ambush and ends with a sniper shot. The scene is reminiscent of the war in Chechnya and the subsequent American investigation of a massacre. One of the dead is a soldier, killed by Russian soldiers who were seeking to eliminate the Russian role in the conflict, according to these reports.In Bakers work, the sexuality of these people and animals is veiled and intimate. She transforms the figures of the body into symbolic-raw material. But even if this ambivalence is only in the surface of the work, it nevertheless indicates that the human condition is difficult to absorb and can be seen only in abstraction.
This piece shows the perspective of two soldiers fighting, in a charred surrounding. They are looking at a large satellite dish over a football field, which is transformed into an incomplete position map, just as the map that is still just a partial picture is turned into an actual one. The two figures of the map can be interpreted as organs for and against each other, as both of these fragments of a map project, it is possible to find the perfect red representation of a specific place.The way that these pieces relate to the huge satellite dish, the black outlines of the football field, and the lines of the view, is both natural and instinctive. The setting is that of an obscure battlefield, almost like a graveyard. The soldiers are dwarfed by the almost imperceptible satellite dish, and the field is desolate and wooded, so that one sees them as fleeing from the battle in the direction of the village. The perspective is as intense as the action. The battlefield is not a point of departure, the battle never takes place there. While the map which the soldiers are drawing looks as if it were on the other side of a mirror, they are almost faceless and virtually invisible, and neither of them can be seen from the other. The games that are played are presented not as the horizon of events, but as a process of execution, of capture and subsequent loss.Here we find an analogous relationship between the image of the satellite dish and the image of a football field. Both are images that the spectator sees as nothing but footprints, traces of behavior that never takes place. At the same time, the fact that one of the figures of the map is a woman indicates that this conflict is a struggle for power. The satellite dish is used as a weapon, but only against men, for they have long since severed all connection with it, and the spectator watches helplessly as the woman can be seen only as the image of a reflection on the mirrored surface of the satellite dish.
This piece shows the perspective of two soldiers fighting, in a charred surrounding. Its all to the left of the black line that delimits the space. At the same time, the outside of the scene is deserted and we are told there are no figures. What we see in the foreground is the distorted view of a dancing couple. The two are actually dressed as ghosts.The problem with much of his work is that it veers so easily into sensationalism. With many of his large-scale sculptural pieces, the frames become enormous and gigantic, so that the artist seems to have decided on the form of the piece as a metaphor for the way he wants the viewer to see the piece. The haunting qualities of the work, the cosmic inscrutability of the figures, seems to be a purely abstract and allegorical problem. When the figures become mythological in this way, as in Prisoner of Azazel, the atmosphere becomes more ambiguous and ominous. The figure as imprisoned by an underworld spirit is absent from this sculpture.There is also a large work that looks like a cross between a crucifixion and a fish in water, but a tiny one. The figures are isolated and nude, but the frame and the figures are conspicuously polychromed. If the landscape here is apocalyptic, the figures are both to the left and right of the surface, clearly visible. The top of the frame is occupied by a figure in a black suit, his hand and arms thrust up in a gesture of imminent danger. The lower figure is clad in black and white tapestries; on his chest a small red flag reads IN GOD WE TRUST.The promise of enlightenment is implied by the wood-frame cross which forms a large cross, and is surrounded by a mosaic of sand. The figure in the mosaic is standing alone. It seems to be both unapproachable and forlorn, both free and chained to an immobile and self-limiting frame.
The foreground shows the two soldiers in the boots of soldiers, their ragged faces with gaping mouths, the big teeth of one a little less pronounced, while the other one is the same, as if we are looking at something an armyman or police officer might have. We look down on the real soldier, who kneels, looks at us through a pair of binoculars. Her narrow, boxy hands clasp her short fingers, as if the viewer is a witness to some ritualized ceremony, perhaps to be regulated and controlled.Yet it is the soldiers identification with the young men in this setting that seems to pose the larger, metaphorical question of consent. Are we soldiers, soldiers in a war zone? Their uniforms are with the French army, and they are, like us, adults, so why shouldnt they be allowed to have fun? Yet the soldier who looks at the figure in the background, dressed in army green, does not say, Im sure youve got permission to look at this, and if so, why? Do you need to know? We have made the assumption that their faces are exactly alike, but we know the answer is no. Here the moral of the story is ambiguous, but the point is clear enough. Both soldiers are soldiers, and we all know that when a group of soldiers act in an innocuous way they are taking part in a war. If the military can be said to be neutral, then maybe the artist is being neutralized, just as the soldiers in the scene are. But the soldiers in this piece are soldiers, and it is the gray zone of military presence that creates the ambiguity.