The re-enchantment of beauty V (On the back of my brother)

Medium: Archival pigment ink/Giclee print on 350gsm Hahnemühle etching paper

Dimensions: 160 x 110 cm

Ed. 1/1 UNIQUE work


My work On the back of my brother heeds a warning about people who literally step on each other to advance in life. Power, greed, and money have been driving a monstrous patriarchal machine for centuries. The progress of humanity through time, and behind every critical event, in every culture and every era, we find repeatedly the same two driving forces – omnivorous human greed and the quenchless thirst for power. Destructive deeds and often amazing accomplishments of history’s ruthless rule-breakers. These Grand Acquisitors range from the warring chieftains of tribal societies to the robber barons of the nineteenth century and superpower nations of the twentieth. With a kind of historical inevitability, the actions of these dynamic acquisitors result in crusades and jihads, in revolutions and long, bloody military conflicts, in two world wars and catastrophic terrorist attacks. Defying historical orthodoxy, we humans have continually failed to benefit from the lessons of our own history. And we continue to invest power in politically and economically greedy acquisitors.

In the work, a historical figure, possibly from the 18th or 19th century can be seen without a human head, instead, the figure’s “head” is a massive gramophone horn. A gramophone or phonograph is an instrument that reproduces sound through vibrations of a stylus or needle that follows a groove on the rotating disc. The disc or record contains the replica of sound waves in the form of undulations in a sinuous groove inscribed by a stylus on the disc’s rotating surface. The sound produced by my “gramophone man” is meaningless, mere gibberish. The use of “bla, bla, bla” is important and applies especially to politicians and men in positions of power, such as big corporations, who more than often cannot deliver on their many promises. The “worker bees” are stripped of their humanity and slave away for profit at all costs, without sharing in that profit, but often working for a pittance. Carl Marx warned about exactly this, more than a century ago. However, there is a storm gathering on the horizon, people are becoming more and more aware and angry about their exploitation, especially so in Africa. We are growing tired of being dictated to, exploited, and belittled by the “mighty” West. The presence of other forms of life such as animals (porcupines), birds and insects circling the man and crawling over his body act as a firm reminder that we should have a far more serious regard for nature, our natural environment and especially biodiversity. The deliberate use of rather dark tones in this work is hence extremely important and used to strengthen my message. We have reached a crossroads and the way in which we advance as a species is of the utmost importance.

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