FEUERWERK 2005 / Other plates of collection

METAMORFOZ 2000 / Wearable skins for vases
Titre de la photo 1
  • feuerwerk 4
  • feuerwerk 2
  • feuerwerk 3
  • feuerwerk 1

Feuerwerk (Fireworks)

At first sight, the installation appears to be a perfectly inoffensive interior decoration: an arrangement of coloured plates on the walls of an apartment. On closer inspection, viewers discover that instead of conventional motifs (idyllic landscapes, flowers, reproductions of paintings) these plates show terribly real images.

Images are created by photographing the television screen during news broadcasts, more specifically, during the dramatic taking of hostages in Moscow (2002) and the war in Iraq (2003).

Through the sharp discrepancy between the form (a reassuring interior decor) and its content (intolerable images of suffering and violence), this work brings us face-to-face with some of the most abiding problems of our contemporary society: the continued conflicts and acts of violence, of course, but also their intensive and intrusive media exposure.

With the spectacular development of means of communication, the most horrifying dramas invade the privacy of our homes, as it were, in real time and with such insistency that we sometimes come to trivialise the horror. The image of the worst finishes by blending into our everyday surroundings.

The title of the work itself is ambiguous: "Feuer-Werk" signifies both "fireworks" and "work done with fire" (for example, ceramics). Such is the extent to which the images of the nighttime raids on Baghdad, shown time and time again, end up losing their real significance to evoke merely (sinister) fireworks.

Text by Roland Blättler, Ex-Curator of the Ariana Museum, Geneva

Display of porcelain plates with ceramic prints, Gustave Revilliod Room of the Ariana Museum, Geneva 2007