Proposal Title: Abu Ghraib series, 12/22/2007, Installation
Proposal Synopsis: The "Abu Ghraib" installation investigates the consumption and treatment of public
images in circulation in contemporary society. I decided to use the photographs released
in May 2004 that depict American troops sexually abusing and torturing Iraqi detainees
during the war in Iraq.
I choose the postage stamp format as a vehicle for my ideas because of its consumable,
desirable and collectable characteristics. I was interested in the postage stamp because its
function is traditionally to celebrate, pay tribute, and commemorate the traditions and
culture of a country. The postage stamp is also a powerful form of communication as it
travels around the globe advertising proud aspects of a nation.
I was interested in how the act of licking and stamping a postage stamp could recall a
notion of humiliation and abuse revealed in the photographs. I was conscious that this
process could turn the viewer into a consumer and could make them aware of the
treatment of public images in circulation. It can also lead the consumer becoming an
accomplice to the violence.
The finished work could appear interpretative as being critical of photography in general,
and the consumption and treatment of images in public circulation in particular. It also
becomes a critical statement about war and conflict. The repetitions of images on the
stamp sheets are also a reflection of the depersonalisation that happens to victims of such
abuse. The intimate and personal details of each account, and the consequences for the
abused, is hidden and forgotten as the images are multiplied, repeated and "consumed" by
Artist's Biography: My photographic practice examines the effects and the implications of violence -domestic or public- within contemporary society. This ongoing theme of violence, whether implicit or explicit, physical or psychological, runs trough most of my work. The process allows me to engage socially and politically with the audience, in respect to the implications of violence and abuse within contemporary society.