Civilizations in Conflict
Emperor and Spectre
Bush salutes in Fort Drum, New York, and so does Saddam from a mural riddled with bullets during the Gulf War, in the Iraqi city of Zajo. The Empire would send its troops out to hunt a fleeting spectre that multiplies in doubles, omnipresent and evasive as his arms of mass destruction.
Metropolis vs Babel
Scenography of Erich Kettlehut for Metropolis, and the Tower of Babel by Brueghel in Rotterdam. The menacing urban daybreak represented in Manhattan by colossal stepped pyramids with vague mesopotamic echoes contrasts with the ominous storm clouds in the byblical ziggurat.
The Presidential Palace upon the Tigris burns after the bombarding of Baghdad. The Iraq war began with the destruction of a modern ziggurat that feigned to continue the urban culture that led to the skyscraper of hanging gardens, now fatally confronted with the New American Babylon.
Seizing the Symbols
U.S. tanks pass under the Arch of Swords, and marines march before the Martyrs’ Monument. The landmarks of Saddam witnessed the victory prefigured in the change of the flags, which also entailed a fracture between civilizations and a defeat of the international legal order... [+]