Miseries & Vengeance
What is the capacity of aesthetics to convey atrocity? In Miseries & Vengeance, what initially appear to be walls decorated to host a collection of historic prints are ultimately revealed to be a provocative dialogue with the exquisitely horrific imagery in those very prints. In the seventeenth century, Jacques Callot produced the epic suite of etchings "The Miseries and Misfortunes of War" that documented the Thirty Years' War. An early recorder of the atrocities of war and social injustice, Callot influenced the likes of Francisco Goya, a fellow observer of human folly and cruelty. In the Miseries room, agonized bodies have been extracted from Callot's prints and assembled to form the disturbingly decorative pattern on the walls. In the Vengeance room, the landscapes from Callot's etchings have been entirely emptied of bodies and presented as vacated/evacuated terrain, leaving only land and built structures like buildings and torture devices. Key elements extracted from the original prints are repurposed on the walls of the rooms; these act not only as indicators of Callot's vision but also serve as links to contemporary territories of conflict that rage on, four centuries later.