Recuerdos from a Forgotten War
Exhibition: April 13 - May 6
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Geoffrey Gorman’s Axle Contemporary installation “Recuerdos from a Forgotten War” poses the intriguing question ‘what would happen if dogs were soldiers?’
“When the Iraq War started, I happened to be looking at photographs of the American Civil War by Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner,” Gorman explains. “Then I heard something about mercenaries fighting in Iraq, which led me to wonder what would happen if dogs were used to fight a war and what would the battlefield look like after the fighting was over.”
Contemplating these thoughts, Gorman imagined blown up animals and their fragmented parts collected from the battlefield, mummified and turned into jeweled relics. “Kind of a cross between Egyptian mummies and ornate religious artifacts,” he adds.
“Recuerdos from a Forgotten War” is made up of several dozen dog legs that have been preserved and enshrined along with other bits of metal that were collected on the battlefield. They are hung in Axle’s van on an old whitewashed wall of weathered planks and presented behind a sheet of glass that viewers can see through.
Gorman, who grew up on an old horse farm in Maryland where he lived with a variety of animals, has a soft place in his heart for dogs. “Dogs for me are a metaphor for humans and the human condition,” he says. “I often build them as a way to expose the foibles of being human. But at the same time I also consider dogs, and most animals, to be symbols of a wild nature and environment which is slowly being destroyed as humankind ‘progresses’.”
A practicing artist who shows his work worldwide, Gorman also reflects upon the struggle between old and new, natural and unnatural and the attitudes society has developed regarding waste. He remasters his creatures into notable reminders of how careless we are with the preciousness of being.
Gorman shows his mixed media sculptures locally at Selby Fleetwood Gallery, 600 Canyon Road.
Individual pieces from the installation are available for purchase: Small: $250, Large: $500