A Book by Florian Göttke
Life as an absolute dictator may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Artist Florian Gottke collected a huge number of images of the toppled statues of Saddam Hussein on the Internet, and then started looked at them carefully. A close reading of these images reveals an astonishing amount of information about what happened in Iraq, about the statues’ desecration and humiliation, their transformation from manifestations of Saddam’s totalitarian power into icons for the defeat of his regime, their expulsion from the public sphere, their appropriation into his enemies’ museums and their symbolic reinterpretation for use in anti-war protests. Even in our modern image culture, the ancient magical link between the person (Saddam) and his representation (statue) is still alive in the human psyche.
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