The Fallen, an installation by two British artists [Jamie Warley and Andy Moss], entails striking silhouettes of fallen soldiers on Arromanches beach in Normandy. The project is a tribute to the civilians, German forces, and Allies who lost their lives during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944 on Normandy Beach.
The artists, together with a team of volunteers, traveled to the site in order to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand with pre-prepared stencils.
After the completion of about 9,000 imprints, the shapes were then left to wash away by the beach waves; a poetic visual composition that reminds us that life is temporary.
“The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable, the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the Second World War Normandy landings. People understand that so many lives were lost that day but it’s incredibly difficult to picture that number.”
Veterans and families, including some who have lost loved ones in recent conflicts were involved in the ‘Fallen’ project. (Via DailyMail Online)
Dimitri Kozyrev’s paintings are captivating, to say the least. His color precision from plane to line and surface to sky balances the ephemerally abstract beautifully with a hardened environment. This compositional fracturing feels like ice cracking on the pond, disrupting the reflection or illusion of us and our structures, before we crash into a new reality.
This “crash” echoes of Constructivism or Futurism, with deep contemporary critique on not just the disruption of landscape during wartime, but maybe even more so, the distortion of self, identity, and technology in relation to art and activism as these terms relate to the avant-garde, painting, and intention in today’s milieu.
On this note, Kozyrev elaborates:
“I have titled this body of work ‘Lost Edge.’ I use the word ‘edge’ because I draw a comparison between the notion of the avant-garde in war and the art world. In the early 20th Century, the avant-garde was at the height of its importance in both realms. Now, however, I maintain that just as the concept of the military avant-garde has been “lost,” because of changes in methods of warfare, the avant-garde in the contemporary art world, has also lost its edge.
“The source material for this body of work is images of ruins of the once mighty fortifications of the Mannerhiem Line, built to protect Finland from the advances of the Soviet military avant-garde. Finland’s attempt was valiant and not in vain; this war and the lives that were lost in 1939 are largely forgotten. The fortification lie in ruins, and nature is slowly reclaiming them. Similarly, the ‘cutting edge’ of the contemporary art world seems to have become blunted. Viewers of the avant-garde work of many visionary artists of the early 20th Century were shocked, challenged and inspired by The Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ and ‘Fountain’ of Marcel Duchamp. Because of changes in society, like changes in warfare, it has become difficult for today’s contemporary artist to generate the same level of response without resorting to vulgarity.”
Bohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.
His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.
Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.
Born in Oklahoma to a Vietnam veteran, Geoffrey Michael Krawczyk grew up in close proximity to the violence and sacrifice required by war. “My work is an exploration of the mythology of spirituality, the politics of aesthetics, and the connections between sacred and profane,” says Krawczyk. His series, “Passages,” was most recently shown at Artspace Gallery in Buffalo, New York, where he now resides.
I have to start out by saying that A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” is one of my favorite songs. This animation is an excellent interpretation of the trance the song puts the listener into as well as the false sense of security and comfort we often get from the media.