Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shrines to the casualties of the Iraq war (2005)

This project was about the shocking gap between being in a country at war while continuing on with our daily lives. Soldiers and civilians die every day, yet we pursue our routine as if nothing major is happening. The war is abroad – it doesn’t keep us from living, consuming and spending our time, energy and resources on often vain purposes.

These shrines were to honor the individual US soldiers who have died in the war on terrorism, as a way to connect more closely to the people who sacrificed their life to a war that seems so un-necessary. I used recycled materials that symbolize the waste of our daily lives – things we discard carelessly, a bit like the lives of these people who were wasted. Each altar incorporates a photograph of a dead soldier and is embellished with something “special” - flowers, beads, sequins, etc, as an homage to each soldier that relinquished his life – the same way shrines to gods and saints are presented with gifts in so many cultures. Installed as a group on the wall, the quantity of shrines made the viewer aware of the multitude of deaths.

Encaustic Paintings (2004)