Academic journal article Frontiers - A Journal of Women's Studies

Artist's Statement R&R ( ... &R)

Academic journal article Frontiers - A Journal of Women's Studies

Artist's Statement R&R ( ... &R)

Article excerpt

Responding to the ongoing disasters of war and the policies and conditions that lead to them, artists can condone or condemn. The challenge lies in finding a constructive stance, especially when confronting the aftermath of each war. Decimated and displaced peoples, ruined infrastructures and scorched earth follow each armed conflict. How can a place or people cohere after trauma and calamity?

These works from the R&R (... &R) series counter art-historical and contemporary media representations of war with interventions both remorseful and restorative. The series' title converts the military abbreviation for "rest and relaxation" to words like "regret and restitution" In face of perpetual carnage I cull images of regeneration from the art and architecture of the invader and the invaded. Referring to scenes of construction and cultivation from the workshops of Persian miniaturist Bihzad to the court arts of Safavid Iran, I paint images of resurgence over scenes of devastation across Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East. Sources for these scenes are "documentary" photographs found on the Internet--from military and news media sites, FLICKR and Webshots, and blogs by soldiers and others in the midst of war. …

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