Legacy Upon Legacy (Hearts and Minds)
Oil on canvas and 35mm photographic slide projection (40 slides)
30.5cm x 40.6cm canvas
Installation dimensions variable
Installation view: Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2010
There are faces on the screen; unknown individuals without histories and futures. What happened after they left the frame? To the spectator they are poised as fighters on opposing, irreconcilable sides locked in a so-called clash of civilisations. What is Afghanistan? What has been inherited from the legacy of warfare? Absolutist narratives are habitually embedded in both authoritarian aspiration and authoritative inspiration, erasing the other and other stories. These images were drawn from the contemporary digital mediascape. As online video screengrabs, they were transcribed with paint into physicality, repeatedly onto the same canvas. What the spectator — of war, and the viewer of art — observes is photographic evidence charting and scoping a fragmented and filtered view of reality, a palimpsest of projections that may ultimately say nothing, or perhaps everything that needs to be said, about “winning the battle for hearts and minds”.
Digitised projection sequence - www.vimeo.com/24976173
Process documentation - www.vimeo.com/24975944