Leaders, 2014

Completely covering the walls in the room, Leaders is a massive compilation
of found images that uses the faces of historical and contemporary
political leaders—with or without their consent—to promote a
certain cause or product. From Adolf Hitler with an afro wig to Fidel
Castro as a cake, the images are bizarre, and the installation comes
to resemble a baroque curiosity cabinet. The wall is a direct reflection
of a contemporary society heavily polluted by images and an
excess of information that leaves little room for analysis. Moreover,
it reflects the transgressive tactics and increasing political power of
advertising as well as the disillusioning mutation of the face of politics.
Like avant-garde advertising, it challenges the culture of political
correctness. However, it does so in the name of market shares
rather than social progress, and in its use of archival material it not
only turns history into a joke but also decontextualizes and depoliticizes
The installation also demonstrates how the focus of politicians
and politics in general has shifted from debate to publicity, from
arguments in parliament to visibility in the media. Politicians have
become as highly invested in the popularity contest of celebrity culture
as sports and rock stars. What is cancelled out or at least dramatically
narrowed by this shift of focus is the space for democratic
discussion of political principles. In its place a theatrical stage spotlighting
the personality of politicians has been erected.


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