Foreign Body

Foreign Body

Date: 20th May 2003
Dimensions(m) 2.0, 1.5, 1.5

An occupying foreign soldier is positioned in a 16th Century environment, like a mediated image from Iraq's museums in wartime

Foreign Body was an intervention inspired by the many iconic images broadcast and reprinted throughout the world during the occupation of Iraqi palaces and museums in the Spring of 2003.

The incongruity of dishevelled and informal soldiers relaxing in oppulent surroundings appears in stark contrast to the managed media campaign. The images displayed a level of triumphalism that contradicted the rhetoric of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’: the military’s apparent ownership of these sites indicating a momentary degeneration of ‘coalition’ attempts to persuade the world that a war could be an altruistic exercise rather than a matter of pride and power.

Within the sixteenth century room of a Siennese palazzo, the foreign element of a seated figure is introduced. The soldier, dwarfed by a vaulted, frescoed ceiling and clothed in US issue fatigues, was constructed of resin and fibreglass. A small eccentric cam housed within the chest worked to produce a subtle effect of breathing.


Resin, Fibreglass, Fabric and Geared Motor

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