12 May 2013

Wartime economics, The little green army man

Casualties of War, Dorothy Collective, 2009

The Dorothy Collectives Casualties of War was in my opinion one of the greatest art pieces of 2009. It was a welcome relief to the already stale talk concerning Hirst's For the love of God and coincided very nicely with one of the most important experiences of my life so far, my travelling through India and Egypt. Looking back now it is also interesting to note that this leg of my trip started in Turkey (New Zealand and Turkey share many very sad wartime stories) and the very stunning city of Istanbul. In the short time I spend there I became convinced it is not only one of the most romantic places in the world but also my spiritual home. I'm glad now for the rest Istanbul afforded as although India and Egypt are equally stunning and also hold an often intense spiritual pull for many, (even for some who have actually made it there) they are demanding. The realities of being in the fringes of the Middle East were not lost on me, nor was the small chance of my potential mistaken heritage (I even stitched a New Zealand flag to my pack, up-side down of course). It was though the smiles, sweat, interest and dirty old corporate logos worm by descendants of Pharaohs and holy men that caught my attention. It seemed apparent to my "western" eyes a trade had been made with these great empires, for their structure, their history. The deal must have been subtle over the years for a few generations later and these kings and gods looked at me with wonder. In my wonder I was confused.

In many ways 2009 was very much a transitional period for me and one focused one introspection and global awareness. I feel I woke up. Not in the "I've gone out and seen the world and I'm amazing" kinda way but more "I've gone out and seen the world and now I feel as insignificant as a bug and I really wanna help" kinda way. I don't know if I've really been too affective in my intentions since then and to be honest I'd have to be suspicious of anyone who spouts bollocks like this but that is the way I did and still feel. It's a small arse little ball o' mud 'n' rock floating in toxic space and we spend most of our time on here just bumping into stuff. Case in point a few weeks earlier I was standing in Billund, Denmark, gazing upon pyramids made of lego.

Wartime economics, The little green army man, 2010, Barry John

My concept for The little green army man is where I think we are heading. It may not be as salient as that of the Dorothy Collective's where we are now, especially considering recent military history but that mixed with the current and very much ongoing world wide economic situation, seems almost a certainty. I despair as to what employment the surplus of the human resource will be presented with once our militarises reduce overheads by way of cloning. I fear our young will one day muse on the genitally manipulated and ruminate over the heroes kept in cages. To war there seems no end but increased efficiency.