Eternal Flames, 2010, cast cultured marble
Eternal Flames is a cycle of distortions, of culturally offensive stereotypes, threatening humor verging on horror. The cultured cast white marble works are derived from latex costume party masks of ‘Arabs’ and ‘eagles’. They present anonymous faces and camouflaged identities that allow derogatory projections and protective license to demonize or act with impunity. They are surrogate heads on a platter, fallen ideological premises, and patriotic stigmatized personas without bodies. While the pieces are undeniably topical with their cheap mass-produced rubberized role-play, their inconsequentiality is not easily dismissed; instead, it is preserved and memorialized as an endlessly iterated bad joke.
At a formal level the rubber masks are mediated through multiple levels of execution and remove. They are rubber casts (of rubber masks), then deliberately sculpted (not arbitrarily misshapen), and cast (not hewn) in stone to feign both lightness of fabric and the weight of historical tradition. Avian and Arab heads twisted into flames become the incendiary icons that provoke endless war, the antiheros that coerce inhumanity, the light that forces the dark to be feared.