Making Art From the War on Terror’s Deadly Paper Trail.

Posted: January 9, 2015 in For your information, for your reflection, Real Food For Thought

Some artists do indeed respond to the horrors that we face and some as Rajkamal Kahlon do it very well. Many thanks to Hyperallergic for this article. Making Art From The War on Terror’s Deadly Paper Trail.

Making Art From the War On Terror’s Deadly Paper Trail.

by Joscelyn Jurich


Rajkamal Kahlon, from 'Did You Kiss the Dead Body?' series (2012)

Rajkamal Kahlon, From Did You Kiss The Dead Body?’ series 920120 All images courtesy of the artist.

Joscelyn Jurich begins her excellent article this way:

“The response from the art world to the partial release on December 9, 2014 of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture has so far been scant. Washington Post art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott’s provocative editorial is a rare exception: “Our belief in the national image is astonishingly resilient…” he writes, but “we must learn that the national image is a hollow conceit. What we desperately need is a national conscience.”

For the past several years, artists including Rajkamal Kahlon, Jenny Holzer, and Fernando Botero have created major projects centered on US torture, detention, and violence related to the War on Terror. Kahlon’s ongoing project Did You Kiss the Dead Body? — whose title comes from the last lines of the Harold Pinter poem, “Death” (1997) — incorporates the military autopsy reports and death certificates of detainees killed while in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan that were first made public by the ACLU in 2004. Her 2013 projectBlowback uses early European anthropological and scientific portraits of native bodies to re-contextualize and question the signification of the modern terrorist.”


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