Iraq Body Count
2008 and 2010
The Installation Iraq Body Count consists of strips of paper with names of Iraqi civilians killed in the current war. These names are taken from the Iraq body count project which attempts to provide a recorded document of civilians killed directly by military attacks. The available list (representing %3 of the total estimate) was printed and cut into strips of papers, each including name, gender, age and occupation of the deceased person. The papers fill the floor of the project space and the writings on the walls across the entrance invite the viewer to come inside the gallery space and thus step or walk on the strips of paper.
This installation addresses the idea of anonymity of Iraqi citizens killed in the war versus the specificity of the individuals. The discarded information and identities connotes to our ignorance and even indifference toward the suffering of “others” while forcing the viewers to confront their own relationship to the anonymous victims represented.
The work functions simultaneously as a memorial and anti-memorial. The hand cut pieces and the overall atmosphere of the room reflects a sense of respect and dedication. At the same time, the work is provoking since the papers on the floor can resemble trash or hays and thus challenge our perceptions and the effects of our actions or inactions.