Guernica. Carpet Bombing, 2012

One of the iconic figures in Guernica is the lightbulb that oversees
the scenario and provides the only light in the otherwise dark space.
Installed in the gallery space is an enlarged real-life version of that
bulb. Next to it is a ladder that seemingly can be used if the bulb
needs to be replaced. The meaning of the bulb has been interpreted
several ways. One interpretation sees it as a man-made eternal sun
or the light of reason, while another points out that in Spanish the
word for lightbulb is bombilla, which is similar to bomba, the Spanish
word for bomb. Taking its cue from the latter interpretation, the
installation also includes a large-scale projection of footage of socalled
carpet bombings, a tactic that was introduced in the attack
on Guernica and later became common in warfare. For example,
German and British forces each used carpet bombing during World
War II, and the Americans relied on it during the Vietnam War.
However, in the context of the installation, the oversize bulb serves
the additional symbolic function of throwing continuous light on the
bombing footage, making sure that this horrific chapter in twentiethcentury
warfare is never forgotten.


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