A Pile of Stones / 2017

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

Men are being thrown off rooftops in Syria and Iraq. Accused of being gay by members of ISIS they are blindfolded and bound and then pitched to the streets below where crowds of men and boys wait with piles of stones.

The killers photograph these murders from the tops of buildings or from the pavement. The photographs are then published by ISIS and form part of a visualized ideology skilfully disseminated through their own publications and released on other news platforms.

 

I have been working from these images. They are appalling, difficult to look at, as much due to the immediacy of the individual tragedies, as because these deaths cannot be mourned. Unnamed and unnameable these men are denied any connection with familial and social fabrics, leaving the killers photographs as the dominant public record of their deaths. 

 

The violated historical artefacts from Palmyra and other sites informs the language of the sculpture I am making. I am carving in a naturalistic manner and the function of the works is commemorative in the mode of a narrative column.

 

By making these paintings and sculptures I hope to make a provisional marking of these lives. 

© 2018 clive van den berg. 

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