"BANG BANG (MY BABY SHOT ME DOWN)"

Installation collaboration with Veerle Michiels, 2018

Stone, metal, flowers, sound

play me

In the text "The Destruction of Art", the Swiss art historian Dario Gamboni clearly tells us that creating and destroying are inextricably linked in our culture.

Eg. In our history are some examples where statues were attacked:

The iconoclasm was a large-scale destruction of images of saints and other objects of Catholic religious places by Protestants in the Low Countries, which took place between August 10 and October 1566.

During the Second World War, countless works of art were stolen by the Nazis but also destroyed.

 

In 1964 there was a man who damaged the "Pieta" by Michelangelo.

 

A few years ago we saw how IS systematically erased every trace of culture in Palmyra and thus made the history and culture of this place disappear for good.

 

In our dealings with cultural objects, we are both engaged in producing, conserving, restoring, re-using and eliminating, but we also find recall a central issue.

In destroying images there is a lot of symbolism, some even see it as acting magically to create new things.

With the work "Bang Bang, (my baby shot me down)" we show a Christ statue that has fallen from its base and is mutilated in the face. His identity is affected, he and the symbolism for which he stands has become vulnerable.

The title also tells this vulnerability, he refers to a cover sung by Nancy Sinatra. She sings with a certain bewilderment that she was shot by a person she trusted, this work echoes in a sense the same duality.

 

The work shows us how interwoven conservation and destruction can be and how these are fundamentally intertwined. In this way we show a moment of destruction that we all too often want to ignore or do not want to remember.

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©  Jonas Vansteenkiste.

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