Where Does Peace Begin
This art installation is my reaction to the Iraq war. A Bush Chaney decision that ignored opposition from government officials and American citizens. I understand the engagement of war is a complex issue but with our level of consciousness, the United States took a huge step backwards in our yearning for peace.
Acting like puppeteers, the United States government manipulated public opinion to serve their own agenda. Censorship became a patriotic decision while media outlets filtered news and entertainment content. Basic democratic rights were being taken away, as a militarized police state grew, which we are now faced with.
I lost complete respect for General Colin Powell when he went before the United Nations Security Council claiming a bio-threat from Iraq with weapons capability of mass destruction, contradicting international intelligence. Was he just a pawn or was he a participant in undermining and violating rule of law in the UN Charter.
Globally individuals took on the responsibility to voice discontent in an attempt to stop the war. But the seated government took it upon itself to ignore the outrage. It moved forward with declaring war under false pretense and left hardship, a colossal body count of innocent people, which I invite people to mull over.
As you walk into the room, a mirrored wall reflects the installation. A mirrored cross hangs overhead. It supports coffin-sized American flags; representing over four thousand US solder killed in Iraq. The flags carry solders names and death dates. Red cord passes through the suspended cross to the flags, symbolizing the bloodshed of our nation’s youth and the noncombatant civilians that fell under the heavy hand of our nation’s power.
The mirrored surfaces act as a thin barrier and a manifestation between two truths. It evokes a sense of entrapment and the never-ending cycle of conflict. It also captures the viewer’s reflection so they may face their image placed in a reality that I am presenting, an emotional impact when brought closer to the human tragedy of war.
Underneath the hanging flags, abutting the mirror is a high-gloss black puddle representing oil. It reveals and gives consciousness to the significant and harsh reality reflected in it.
I put to question “Where Does Peace Begin” since we all play an active role in the way that situations play out. The slogan is readable in the mirror as it is placed on the wall backwards. I want the viewer to examine their reflection while pondering the legible question to kindle transformation and remind us to seek other methods for resolving conflict.
The Bush administration reduced our nuclear arsenal, but instead of dismantling it further, the Obama administration dedicated over one trillion tax dollars to modernize the program. This makes no sense to me. I prefer to see those dollars used in efforts that turn the Doomsday Clock, our annihilation, further back from midnight.
Disclosed by the US Defense Department in 2014, between 1950 and 1980 there has been thirty-two accidents involving nuclear weapons that had life demolish potential. Two such accidents took place in North Caroline. I wonder where the current number stands and how many mishaps do other countries not report. Does this make you feel safe or vulnerable?
If you do not remember or know the images of Hiroshima, take time to familiarize your self with the destructive power that nations currently hold, obliteration, and for what point.
I ask of you to become part of the solution and support freeing the world from the fifteen thousand nuclear warheads pointing at us from every direction. The attainable date is 2045; it will mark the 100-year anniversary of nuclear warfare.
We have the ability to do it. We owe it to one and other, since we can no longer continue on this unsettling path or we will destroy life, as we know it. So lets get it done and gift this to future generations. It is patriotic and morally correct.